PEACE ON EARTH: GOODWILL TO ALL MEN
It's now three years since Ian, Viv, David and Matthew left Vanuatu for
New Zealand. We're still in Hastings on the East Coast of the North Island,
and we still don't seem any better at writing to people.
So we continue with the annual newsletter and hope that you enjoy reading
our news. This has been a busy year when we have continued to be involved
in St. James Church and in various school, pre-school and not school at
all organisations. Here are a few highlights of our year.
This year, we bought a new computer (as you might be able to see).
So, we now have up-to-date technology and at last are on-line. For those
of you who care about such things, it's a Pentium 100 with 16MB of RAM
and 850MB of disk and a 4x CD ROM drive. For the rest of you,
it's a new computer. This machine has proved to be a monster which
gobbles up huge amounts of time, especially for Ian, Viv and Matthew.
A Year ago
We started 1996 in England. This was our first return to England
since coming to New Zealand. It was a great shock to move from the
New Zealand summer to snow on the ground. None of the boys had ever
experienced snow, and playing snowballs on Stafford station as we were
changing trains was an experience that we will never forget! On
Merseyside there was snow overnight on Christmas Eve, so that we
experienced a real white Christmas. It was lovely to be back and able
to see so many of our family and friends, but as ever, time seemed so
short and we had to leave again without having time to track down so many
In July, we went back to Port Vila for a week. It was wonderful to go
back. It was especially nice to see our old housegirl Anna and gardener
Moses, but it was also lovely to catch up with many old friends from
Church, Hash and elsewhere. It was wonderful to revisit many of our
old haunts, though it would have been nicer to stay longer than a week.
It was particularly nice for the boys to go back and see places and people
that were so important to them when they were younger. It was a real
change from Hastings and a lovely, relaxing time, though the journey
to get there proved a little more eventful than we had hoped or imagined.
Hastings to Port Vila doesn't normally take seventeen hours and via
Melbourne is not the most direct route!
David, Matthew and Christopher
David is continuing to do well at Mahora School, where Ian is still
on the PTA. He was joined this year by Matthew, who is doing very well
too. Both boys put in a good performance at the School's Fun Run early
this term. Christopher is now a chatty, energetic and strong-willed
two-year-old. They have written a little more about themselves in the
paragraphs included, though Christopher needed the help of a scribe.
The stupid cat
This year has seen the stupidest cat ever to live join us.
Some cats are born leaders, but Anagram is a born follower.
She follows us to school, to the fish-and-chip shop, to kindergarten
or anywhere but she can never find her way back. So at dead of night
I wander round the district, listening for the pitiful mewing.
December 3: I came home from a meeting to the news that poor Anagram had
been run over and killed outside our home in Hastings. In this, she
joins Marmalade, who was killed in October 1995. We remember our cats
Books and speeches
This year, Viv has started selling books for The Book Circle,
a division of Reed Publishing. She sells books at parties in peoples'
homes, and also at kindergartens, child care centres and schools.
This is interesting and fun and gives Viv the opportunity to buy lots
Ian is not selling books, but he has started to go along to a group of
Toastmasters International. Toastmasters meets every two weeks for
members to practise public speaking.
Just after Christmas, the five Hallidays will be spending a week in
Melbourne. For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere hazy about such
things, it is a four hour flight from Auckland. We are also looking
forward to Viv's parents coming out to New Zealand again at the end
of February. They will have the opportunity to celebrate two family
birthdays, Viv's and Christopher's, before returning home.
lots of love for 1997
Ian, Viv, David, Matthew and Christopher
Hallo, I'm seven now. My best friends are Emma and Kane. I like reading. I like riding my bike.
I like making things with wood.
I am five now and I have started school. I like to play with Reece and Sean. I like to swim and
play on the computer.
Christopher would like to tell you all that we have a cat called Anagram.
Christopher likes to be called 'Ratty' because he likes "Wind in the Willows".
Christopher's best friend is Emily (age 3) and he goes to Playcentre twice a
week. He likes to play with Duplo.
people have read our Christmas letter.
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