Seasonal greetings

We used to send Christmas cards; at least, Majella did. That was many years ago. More recently we have engaged in other forms of annual greetings.

Among the old files on my computer is a copy of the Christmas letter I wrote while we were living in the USA in 2001. It ran to 6 pages and almost 4000 words. Evidently I wrote it, possibly under protest, sometime after Christmas and ended with the hope that Majella might resume the task in the following year. She must have started that custom sometime prior to. I expect we emailed it and the writing task fell to me because Majella had been sending regular emails with news of our expatriate life. Those are preserved in our travel blog.

I found a few later examples of such annual letters and there are others on Majella’s computer, probably reflecting the division of labour over the years. Majella came across one from 2011 yesterday and was exhausted reading what we had done that year.

As the years progressed we started adding photographs to the letters. Sometimes we saved some time in preparation by resorting to selected photos with brief descriptions.

In 2016 it seem we switched to compiling photos to produce a video summarising the past year. That suited Majella because it required a little more technical effort which she could delegate to me. I have used different software over the years, most recently Keynote, to compile slides with photos and minimal text. That is exported to video and uploaded to YouTube so that it is available in formats suited to different devices. Majella sees to emailing the link to family and friends.

My YouTube space has the videos for 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. There is a Word file with text and images for 2020 on Majella’s computer so we must have reverted that year. I assume we produced something in 2017 – that was the year we spent 3 months in Europe so there was plenty to report – but I’ve not yet found whatever we produced.

All of that is by way of introduction to our video effort for this year, 2023. Majella thought the pace of my 2022 video was too rapid for some viewers so this one is a little slower. Of course, it is possible to pause if there is something worth looking at.

I confess that as this year began I was wondering if I would see the end of it. I’ve blogged the tale of my kidney cancer and various milestones in my recovery. I have been blessed or lucky, depending on your worldview. I take credit for the good sense of mentioning my one day of symptoms to my GP who was thorough enough to send me for the scan that found the growth. We were fortunate that we were able to quickly access urologists in Toowoomba and Brisbane and that the surgery appears to have eliminated the problem along with one kidney. I am having regular monitoring and to date those results are all clear.

Once I had recovered from surgery, we were able to fly to Europe in June and Western Australia in September. We have also been on road trips, south to Tura Beach and north to Rockhampton, and engaged in a variety of other activities.

It’s been another busy and fulfilling year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.