Monday, December 14, 2015

the beat goes on … 2015

Was I tempting fate with my tongue-in-cheek pessimist's view of life in last year's xmas news? Maybe, because this year really has been a challenge.

First the good news: We were so happy to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary - some kind of miracle! We celebrated with two weeks in North Queensland (Daintree, Mission Beach and Magnetic Island). It was also our 25th anniversary of living in this beautiful part of the world, and (unbelievably!) the 35th year of my working at UNSW.
Early in the year we found out that both Chris and I had work selected for the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award - a feat that has become much harder to achieve as the profile of the prize has risen. As well, a portrait that I made of Chris was selected for the Olive Cotton Award, a major biennial photo prize based in Northern NSW. Not the eventual winners, but this was a good start to a year when I planned to take time off to focus on artistic endeavours. This hasn't gone to plan, of which more later!
So, Dan having bravely given up his games art day job, he and his team in Auckland are now full-time indie developers, living on 2 minute noodles, and planning to release their first game early in 2016 - look out for Swordy!
Sam is still plugging away at his engineering job that has had him frequently travelling to various parts of regional Victoria over the year - he is looking forward to taking a leap into some international travel next year, when he will go with Leisa for her work in the UK factory of the digital textile printing company she works for, then for some exploration of the cafés of Europe. We are hoping to meet up with them in London in June, as I amazingly won airfares for Chris and I to fly over to catch up with Chris's brother Bob!
Will this plan work out? I am nervous because this year for Chris has been one of escalating health problems with a recurring lip cancer. For now – the recovery is slow but the prognosis seems good. This forced us to return early from our long-planned trip to Japan, derailed my leave plans, and has now made our retirement plans rather more urgent (well, I admit I don't need too much encouragement). So it may be that next year will see us drop out of our long-held day jobs to resume a bohemian and creative life style. Another impetus is my big birthday in February, which will be celebrated (fingers crossed!) at a small music festival on the banks of the Murray River, followed by a few days on a houseboat.
While Chris has been on sick leave since September, I have been on long-service leave from my job. While it's not exactly how I planned to spend my leave, it's been fortuitous that I am around to support Chris in a relatively stress-free environment. We have been quite reclusive, and I have avoided other commitments and anything resembling work over this period, but somehow there is still not enough time in the day for all the things I plan to do … While Chris has been adding to his archive of offbeat videos and soundscapes, I have occupied myself with domestic therapy like gardening and cake-baking, and a new-found addiction to Antiques Roadshow ("You know you are getting old when …").
I did recently manage to take a week off to visit the family in Adelaide to commemorate what would have been Kates's 40th birthday, and to spend a few days away with Mum in the Grampians - you can read more about it in my blog. And with Chris on the road to recovery, we plan a brief camping trip on the way to Adelaide to meet up with the boys and family for Christmas.
Love to all, and best wishes for smooth sailing in the new year.
Belinda (and family) xx

North Queensland photos:
Dan’s team: and Swordy game

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