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Ian and Viv's News

Christmas 1997

Peace on earth: goodwill to all men

Four Years

It certainly doesn't seem a year since we wrote "Three Years" in this space on last year's letter, but it's true! We really don't know where 1997 has gone, but it's now more than four years since we arrived in beautiful Hawkes Bay. So what have the five Hallidays been up to this year?


We didn't start 1997 in New Zealand at all, in fact, but in Melbourne, Australia. We had just over a week there at the turn of the year, and thoroughly enjoyed the buzz of a big city again. Highlights included a trip to Ballarat, a gold-mining town and seeing the little blue penguins at Phillip Island. It was also good to catch up with Sue and John Rolph, friends from Port Vila, while we were there.


Sadly, our wandering cat Anagram met an untimely death at the end of last year on the road outside our house. The new year saw the addition of two new cats to our household, a black cat named Sooty and a black and white cat named Willow. So far, these cats have shown none of the eccentricities exhibited by their predecessors. Instead, they concentrate on truly feline pursuits such as mewing for milk and walking on the roof (not at the same time, of course).

...and mice

After much pleading from David, Matthew and Christopher, we purchased two mice. Matthew writes about the mice:
In the weekend, my mummy bought us some mice. One is an albino mouse and the other is an ordinary mouse. One's called Patch and the other is Twitch. Patch always keeps me awake every night because he uses his wheel and it squeaks. We feed them corn, weet-bix, apple and corn flakes.


Hamilton is the fourth largest city in NZ, which we visited earlier in the year. Ian attended the Lay Readers' Conference there, while the rest of the family had a short break.
We went to Hamilton Zoo. We saw emus, lions and the tuatara. We saw keas and parrots and something like bulls and something like deer. (We think he means bison and ibex) We went to Candyland. They had a museum which had all the old-fashioned ways to make chocolate. They made the biggest lollipop in the world. The next day we went to the hot springs and it started to rain.


Keas (mentioned above) are large green New Zealand parrots with a reputation for being rather cheeky. The junior division of the Scouting movement in NZ is named after them. Matthew became a Kea in July. At the same time, David became a Cub. A little later, Viv became a Kea leader...and Christopher has christened himself the Kea little boy. Matthew and David both enjoy these activities. David has already earned five badges and Matthew attended National Kea Day which unfortunately was cancelled due to heavy rain.

David, Matthew and
Christopher (34K)


Last year, Ian was persuaded to join Toastmasters, an international public speaking group, and was this year rewarded, if that is the word, with the position of Club President. This has involved various meetings beyond the fortnightly club meeting, and he is now involved in preparations for the National Conference to be held in Hawkes Bay in May 1999. Viv had also just joined a Toastmasters club, but has yet to give her first speech there. Ian continues his work at church, now simultaneously Church Warden and Reader. David and Matthew go along to a speech and drama group after school, so it looks as if we will soon have a fine family of orators.


Viv continues as a member of the Board of Governance of the Kindergarten Association and this year attended the national conference for this organisation, which was held in Wellington. Christopher started at Camberley Kindergarten this year and enjoys it very much. His teachers are both called Jill but to distinguish which one he is talking about, Christopher refers to them as chocolate and golden. These descriptions refer to their hair colour!


...are still always welcome and we particularly enjoyed having Viv's parents in Hastings to celebrate Viv's and Christopher's birthdays this year. They stayed in Hastings for almost four weeks and were kept busy during that time!

lots of love for 1998

Ian, Viv, David, Matthew and Christopher

Hastings, New Zealand

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