Sunday, 20 December 2015

Xmas Missive

Capelin Lynch 2015                                                      34 Doris Street Hill End 

   We say it every year but 2015 has been another beauty.
   There was travel, weddings, house purchases, more travel, family reunions, job changes, writing projects AND PATCH TURNED 100.
   Patch came to us as a stray from the RSPCA in 1994, the year we moved into this house. He was part of helping the kids adjust to a new home. As with most cats he’s very zen, living a simple life catching the occasional bird and bringing it to us as a trophy. He caught a noisy minor recently to celebrate his 100th. Otherwise you’ll find him sleeping in the sun, wandering the local streets looking for treats and watching the possums and brush turkeys walk past him to eat his bowl of dried food. He’s never been an affectionate cat often sitting just beyond reach, his back to us as if to say “I’m here. I’m not going anywhere but don’t think you own me.” Talk about good value. He’s only been to the vet four or five times in twenty one years and, when he’s looking poorly, a worm tablet, administered about every five years, seemed to have magical properties. These days he’s slowed down but keeps his regular rituals. At times he stands and stares at the wall wondering where he is or what to do next, at others he demands to be fed when he’s got a full bowl sitting in front of him and when in doubt finds the coolest (or warmest) spot in the yard and goes back to sleep. I hope I grow old as gently as he has. We’re thinking of throwing him a party to celebrate.
   Other news.
   Nick got married in April to Dimitee Henderson. It was a great event – the service in a cute chapel in bushland followed by a grand reception at “Shangri La” at Wynnum where I remember dancing at formals when I was a teenager. This brought to ten the number of weddings we’ve attended over the past three years. We only had four this year – Liz Capelin and Tim Lang, what a great day, Harriet Bebendorf and Jason Langford and Loani Prior and Julian Pepperell. Nick and Dimitee have just bought a house at Alexandra Hills which settles on Xmas Eve. It’s bigger than any house Andrea and I have ever lived in - two bathrooms - luxury!
   Jess and Warren had a big year. Having got smashed by the rogue hail storm last November they are still waiting on the final repairs to their apartment over twelve months later. They treated themselves to a trip to NZ in the middle of the year where Jess jumped out of a plane and lived to tell the tale.
Brother Mick and I headed off to Northern Italy in June to attend a “Perin” family reunion. Perin is our original Italian surname which became Capelin in Australia – it’s a long but interesting) story. We joined 400 people in the foothills of the Dolomites, San Vandemiano, and met a bunch of Perin cousins, Australians we had never met before and learnt how to pronounce our name in Venetian which the locals still speak. We also door-knocked the local villages and uncovered some links to my Great –grandmother and her first husband. He died on the voyage to Australia – you can read all about it in my forthcoming book. We also lucked on an eighty year old cousin (second third or fourth?) of my Great grandfather. She is the first direct link we have discovered to living relatives in Italy and demands a follow up trip to explore further. Mick and I had a ball over our two weeks culminating in a few days in Venice during the Venice Bienniale. He then headed home and I headed for Sicily for two weeks – that’s a story for another time.
   Andrea has lost and found employment in the latter part of the year and we celebrated by traveling to Laos and Cambodia for a three week holiday. We fell in love with Laos, Luang Prabang in particular, and had one of the funniest days of our lives in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where a young guide spent seven hours walking us around the Ankor Wat temples while regaling us with stories of love and life and ghosts and a one minute version of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana.
   I’ve reached the end of draft two of my novel, Paradiso. It feels like a real book with an introduction and acknowledgements etc etc – all the real stuff real writers include. I have had a couple of people read it and the feedback has been positive. There’s another year to go and a rewrite to plug the holes and cut out the rubbish but it is nearly ready for a publisher to snap up. I wish! That’s the next challenge.
   We’re mostly well and enjoying ourselves. Andrea wants to continue working – her new job is again in the “post adoption” area and she loves her work. I want to continue playing golf badly and writing and don’t miss paid work at all.
   With 2016 beckoning we wish you a peaceful Xmas break and everything you hope for in the next year.                
Andrea and Steve                                                                                                                                                                PS For some photos and stories of our year you can visit my blog at:    e:  
Ph. 07 38445985 Mob. 0423733108 (Steve); 0402819364 (Andrea)