The year of 2016 is almost at an end – and it has been a big year for me. This is a brief review of a busy year.
Review of 2016
In 2015 I was lucky enough to be invited to two weddings in China. One was in December of that year, and the other in February 2016. I bravely attended both, for I had never attended a wedding in China previously. They were both so different.
Wedding in China
February 2016 saw me arrive in China midst the Spring Festival. Not always the best time to travel in and around China, but it caused me no issues. The only “drama” I had was getting from the Hangzhou airport to my hotel – listed as near the airport when I booked it online. I am still not sure if the taxi driver delibratory took me a long way to the airport, but his price when I arrived at the hotel was much higher than I would expect. Luckily, the Bell Boy at the hotel agreed, and would not let me pay the amount which was demanded. He quickly grabbed my luggage and ushered me into the hotel. It was a very nice hotel and the rest of my stay was excellent. I only stayed one night before catching the bus to Shaoxing, where folk from the university were waiting for me.
I was fortunate to be able to stay with a family in Shaoxing – and it was a wonderful experience, though at times very confusing. They certainly looked after me very well for the five days I was with them. As it was Spring Festival there were many special events – usually lunch at someone’s home or a restaurant.
One of the places we went for lunch, was at a private home. A relative of my hosts. I was rather thrilled as it was a place I had been before. Well, it was a village on the road that I had ridden my bike some years before.
Each day was an adventure. After 5 days I went to Cixi with the bride to be. That I have written about previously, but it was an amazing experience too.
I had a most enjoyable and often confusing time, before time was up and I headed back to Australia with the bride and groom!!! As it turns out the marriage didn’t last. It was some 3 months or so later that the bride decided to leave her husband and start life again.
She has been to Australia to visit me since, and is getting on with her life.
I spent much of the year working on some of my community committees – too much in fact. There was so much to do. I had intended going to Tasmania for The Alice Literary Awards in August, but Alan from China chose to visit me. I was indecisive about my proposed trip, but in the end I went, on my own.
Journey to Tasmania
It was a journey I was looking forward to, which took 4 weeks and I drove 8000 kms – from Brisbane to Dubbo, Canberra, Eden, Sale, Melbourne, across Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania, and then drove from Devonport to Launceston, then Hobart.
The return journey was through Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Broken Hill and back to Brisbane via Bourke, Lightning Ridge and St George.
So much to see and so much to do. I would love to go again!
I have continued with my writing though most of my writing at the moment is for Weekend Notes. Click here for some of my stories.
During the year I have had a number of house guests – nice to have them stay with me. Sadly one of my neighbours moved up north which has inspired me to do some work on proposed co-housing in Queensland. That will be a major task for me in 2017.
A few minor health issues have annoyed me, but I manage to cope with a huge workload really.
All up a good year was 2016!!