2013 Summary

The year started by congregating back in Tuart Hill and Suz and Brendan left back home after some extreme Barina driving and bird watching on the south coast. We then took up Fawna's idea and had an Ivanic art-show day which was quite well attended (mainly by geologists) on a lovely January day with a few sales. The first (and hopefully not last) time the house became a gallery. Then it was farewell to the folks at the end of Jan on the same day pretty much that we upgraded our little cars to one big one: Carl, our 4x4.

It was not long until our much anticipated Hawaii trip in March which was so extremely diverse and full of new things for us. Active lava, giant telescopes on top of the highest mountain in the Pacific (courtesy of Nick's hospitality). Rainforests, canyons, coral reef, turtles, dolphins, it really had it all. On our last couple of days on Kaua'i we were then married on the beach, just us with an officiant and a photographer present. At the moment of the Hawaiian chant there was an uprising in the ocean and the crashing waves seemed to salute us. A very special time.

Hardly were we back and we were both into the field for the start of quite a long field season. May was in Yalgoo for me with the Chinese geologists once more. It was relatively routine but the area was new and interesting. Not so snaky as last year for Fawna but a flood did cause some surprise as a foot of water rushed through camp sweeping some of the party's shoes and lunchboxes away.

A wet winter for WA...we did manage to get a Minnesota trip in though in June in time for Fawna's grandparents' burial ceremony and life celebration for a day or two at the cabin. The time at the cabin turned out to be a musical get-together with the advent of the drum-didgeridoo combo and Kim's Journey dance celebration. The trip also involved picking up Fawna's old boxes of stuff from Pittsburgh where we had a great salad and french fries speciality dish with Pam. [I managed to move the window so the air con unit went tumbling onto the roof but Pam handled this news very well]. We had a few good catchups with friends and cousins too, including a swing-by to a fresh and cobalt-skied Chicago on the way back to MN. We didn't stop in Ohio since there is nothing there, nor Wisconsin as it was only inhabited by cheeseheads. Thanks to Deb for housing us in St Paul where fine foods were had and sketchy banjo was played.

A long way home and straight back into the field again, this time wet and very different for me. Fabulous to see the bush getting rain with some great scenery, some of the best. Then we both went out a third time, myself to the amazing Golden Grove mine with fab minerals...strange having to work from the mine village again, very cushy with beer and darts most nights it turned out. Weather starting to heat up to about 37C here and there in October. Chris Yak stayed for a couple of weeks, which was a nice time that included some progressive music creation and a great day trip or two around Perth.

November another trip up north, this time pushing 40C, though a useful trip, sharing our info with lots of keen folks from academia and industry and I got to show them round some of my old stomping grounds. Also in November, we continued the Tuart Hill Thanksgiving tradition, which was a great day with another huge turkey. A final trip away in early Dec was for me to get my volcanology training in the world class course over east on the coast on the border between NSW and VIC. A truly inspiring trip with good guides and lots learned, not to mention fab scenery...a place to dwell at when we eventually get around to driving round this country!
The final month was a big one for the house too. Fawna is now strummin' a little mandolin which suits her just fine. It has helped me get back into violin also: the exercise book actually helps out since the violin has the same string tunings! So now we're drumming and strumming and didging here and there when we are stationary. The house has also gained a decent air con unit allowing light from where the old one blocked the window. Finally an overdue new oven should be with us in early 2014, looking forward to getting into the home baking a lot more next year. Creme caramel and creme brulees have already been a success in this new episode!