Tag Archives: friendship

Our Australian Christmas 2016

Christmas was filled with sun, sand and happiness and lovely gifts.

We caught up with so many family and friends and Jason, Karen, Tahlia and Caxton were here for a very special Christmas morning.  A night boat trip around the canals to see the Christmas lights was a highlight.


 Christmas morning the sun shone through the window and the seagulls made a racket hoping there would be some interesting treats later in the day. They were not disappointed. Santa bought bikes and under the tree were toys and games. Wrapping paper was quickly torn away to reveal hidden treasures.

xmas-2016  family-xmas

Boxing day both our sons and daughters -in-law were with us plus Alan’s sister, Betty, John , Carol-Anne and Margaret.


We cut the cake from my Book Launch. At the book launch on the 11th December Wendy Dunn presented me with a fantastic book-shaped cake with the front cover of Something Missing proudly displayed on top. I couldn’t bear to cut it so froze it to share with my Queensland family.gold-coast-family

New Years Eve we were caressed by the last rays of the evening sun and joined other families sitting on the sand to watch the sun slowly sink beyond the blue waters of Port Phillip Bay. Later, jet skis dashed past, well out of the way of the many swimmers enjoying the welcome coolness of the water. Children played cricket until it was too dark to see the ball while others enjoyed the swings, slides and other activities at the beach-side Keast Park foreshore playground.

In the darkness at home we lit a brassier filled with pine cones, ran along the sand waving sparklers in either hand and popped party poppers. The multitude of  colourful streamers covered our outdoor deck.

img_1962  caxton-sparkle

How wonderful to start a brand new year. It feels like opening a special new book with empty pages just begging for some interesting events to be recorded.

May 2017 be a year of fun, good health and happiness.  With fingers crossed we all made New Year resolutions. Hopefully they will last…at least until February.


Happy New Year to all fellow bloggers.

May all your writing dreams come true in 2017.

Writer wins 2016 Award

Mordialloc Writer, Mairi Neil, wins the Kingston Australia Day 2016 Citizen of the Year Award.

program mairi

At 7.30am on arrival at the Moorabbin Town Hall for the Australia Day 2016 Awards celebratory breakfast we were greeted by members of the Kingston Council, music by the Mordialloc Jazz band, laughter and a hubbub of chatter from over 300 guests .

crowd lisa

Lisa Hill of ANZlitlovers wordpress blogging fame is an amazing woman who took the time and trouble to nominate her friend and colleague, Mairi Neil for the main award. Lisa’s blog is for lovers of Australian and New Zealand literary fiction and she is an ambassador for Australian literature. Click the link above to visit her site. You will be delighted with the book reviews featured there.

3 girls

Many people feel that Australia Day could be celebrated on another day that doesn’t focus on the arrival of white people to this country, but that is a different debate. This Australia day ceremony was about  celebrating the many groups and individuals who willingly give of their time and energy over many years to make the City of Kingston a great place to live.

It is a long time since I have seen a Wurlitzer Theatre Organ rising  out of the depths and I was delighted to listen to it accompany amazing young voices when Scott Harrison, Leea Nanos and Will Atkinson sang iconic Australian songs. The morning began with the Welcome to Country by Kingston Mayor, Tasmin Bearsley and flag raising ceremony followed by  Advance Australia Fair , I am Australian and later, that rollicking popular song,  Waltzing Matilda.


New Australian citizens were sworn in and were given a native plant to commemorate the occasion. The award ceremony began with the 4th Mordialloc Sea Scouts winning the Young Community Group of the Year. This was followed by the Young Citizen of the Year, Jenner Shea.  Then the  Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Greg McMahn, principle of Parkdale Secondary College and the Community Group of the Year awards went to Beach Patrol Australia, Kingston group. At last it was time for the main Kingston Council Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award to be announced.

I rose and aimed my iphone camera, all set to record a video, when the battery died and the iphone closed down. Dimity Pollard of the Chelsea Red Cross Unit came to my rescue and took the following photo with her trusty digital camera of Mairi with Mayor Tasmin Bearsley

City of Kingston Citizen of the Year

Mairi’s list of achievements spans over twenty years of unstinting service to the community and includes producing annual anthologies for the Mordialloc Writers Group, the last one titled Kingston our city. She teaches writing at many Neighbourhood Houses. The list of her involvement in community projects is endless and it is wonderful to see her selfless passion to support all writers and their writing be rewarded.

Congratulations, Mairi