A Year of Family Fun and friendship in France

Icecream on the Left Bank in Paris

This is the second Christmas without Olivier and life in 2013 has been kinder. Life at Belair has been peppered with fun family events including my first holiday in Brisbane with daughter Serena, husband Jon and the grand-children, Samuel, Angus and Josephine.  They then travelled to Adelaide for a camping trip on the River Murray at Easter time with the Herbig crew (daughter-in-law Vanessa’s parents) which was tremendous fun.   There was much ado when  grand-daughter Scarlett turned one year old and we celebrated my father’s 95 birthday with lunches at his nursing home (see my articles in “My Journal”).  Niece Chelsea’s wedding was a highlight of the year and Qantas did very well out of the event because all my three adult children attended.  Daughter Felicia, who is Chelsea’s Godmother, came from Melbourne with partner Justin to make a full family table at the reception, including my sister, mother of the bride, Anne and husband Ken. It was a memorable night, even though I was struggling with a virus.

I joined the Lyceum Club leading to exciting activities locally and attended its international congress in Perth in May.  Afterwards, I joined the post-congress bus tour to Albany enjoying the Margaret River wineries and the Valley of the Giants (huge prehistoric trees) along the route.

It was time to revisit France three years after Olivier’s and my last trip in 2010. Sydney friend Jane and I had a fabulous time in Spain and France in September before I travelled on alone to Brittany staying with my new Lyceum friend, Daniele.  The amazing experience, though, was learning the French language at Alliance Francaise in Paris where I lived a lovely Parisian life with my host Catherine and her three dogs. One lovely Labrador was a geriatric, which made life interesting, and another was blind.

Olivier’s memorial garden has given me so much joy and his water lilies have flowered for the first time.  My life, too, is beginning to bloom again.