Family and Final Days

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July 15th 2019
Published: July 16th 2019
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Seb Zac and me by Kingston foreshore
We had three great days in Canberra with Melissa, James and the boys. On the Monday Fletcher and I spent the whole day in the house. We had been travelling for so many days that we were a little burnt out so we enjoyed chatting to Seb and Jude, listening to Zac's cello practising and playing on our computers. That night, James and Seb cooked some red curry chicken which was delicious. Then Seb proposed that he and us took on the other four in a game of Codewords. This is a lot of fun and makes you think. In the end we were victorious after several turns and more wins than losses. Good fun.

On Tuesday, Seb and Zac accompanied us as we drove over the lake to Manuka to visit our favourite book shop in Canberra, Paperchain. Jude stayed in bed! Naturally we found books we needed, (about 6) and then it was to Urban Pantry for morning tea.After coffee and cakes we drove to the Kingston waterfront for a stroll. We had visited there the last time we were in Canberra . This has been newly developed with many high-rise apartment blocks centered around a Marina on the lake. Very attractive. We had a good walk but thecold wind drove us back to the car and a return home. After lunch, Fletcher and I drove out to Duffy to visit John and Kerry Reid. John is one of Fletcher's oldest friends having been at school together. A few months ago John had suffered a stroke and is still feeling the effects. He cannot use his left arm and hand but is slowly progressing and is able to walk. The best outcome though is that it hasn't affected his ability to communicate and he is still John. We spent a couple of hours chatting about all sorts of topics. We even had a glass of wine, his first since the attack. We can only hope that he progresses further with his rehabilitation. that night we caught the newly installed tram which runs down the centre of Northbourne avenue and visited the restaurant where Seb is doing his apprenticeship, 65 Northbourne.We left it to Seb to feed us and we had an excellent dinner with the main courses being beautifully tender beef and chips as well as other delicious dishes. A lovely night and great food. A ride on the tram home and then a nightcap topped off a busy day.

Wednesday morning, Fletcher and I set off about 10am to go to the National Gallery while Jude and Zac went with their parents to the dentist.At the Gallery was a Monet exhibition. We both love Monet and this exhibition showed also some of the art which influenced him with works by Boudin and Turner amongst them.The main ccentrepiece was Impression Sol Levant which gave its name to the overall movement. We had visited the Marmotan Museum in Paris where this is usually kept but the day we were ther the paiting was on tour! At last we got to see it.After a couple of hours there we drove back to Kingston and chose a Chinese restaurant, Tang Dynasty, for lunch. We had some great Yum Cha in a very comfortable environment. Then it was back home where we spent the afternoon chatting and relaxing.Another lovely meal cooked by Melissa this timeand more good wine.

On Thursday morning we were up early and packed the car and after goodbyes we were on the road home. We had originally though of going via Rutherglen, but after so long away I just wanted to get home..It was a cold, misty morning and along the way we had patches of rain. We stopped at Gundagai and got some breakfast and then carried on. I drove through Wagga and our next stop was at Narrandera. Then it was across the Hay Plain and eventually to Balranald for the night. We had booked into the Shamrock Hotel/Motel and once checked in we went for a walk to explore the town. We enjoyed reading the many biographies of locals who had served in both wars and then we found a museum containing a replica of the Southern Cross and the original Lady Southern Cross. Unfortunately it was closed but Fletcher got a couple of photos. Back at the Hotel we had dinner in the Bistro and then retired to our room to watch the Australia v England Semifinal of the World Cup. We were not happy with the result!!

Next morning we took our time and left about 9am. The drive from there through Tooleybuc and Ouyen was uneventful. We finished listening to Michael Palin and didn't enjoy the rain. However, we made good time and arrived home about 3pm.

It had been a trip covering one month and over 8,000 kms. We had seen many new places, connected again with friends and family and enjoyed the various experiences. A lovely holiday!!

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