David Minifie & Deborah Williams Phone +64 3 359 3478
5 January 2007 MSN MESSENGER: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you had a great Christmas and wish you all the best in the
New Year! Please note that we have a new zone number for
We started the year at Quaker Summer Gathering in Central Otago followed by a trip to
In March we were thrilled to see our SERVAS hosts and friends Sho and Kurosawa from
We were invited in May to speak at the WEA (Workers Educational
Association) about our trip to
Wine is a part of our daily lives. We are members of the
We decided to go to
We spent some days in the
David’s shop was broken into in August one night by a drunken young woman and friend. We were invited to take part in a Restorative Justice meeting with two other victims – the shop next to David’s and a young man who was assaulted in broad daylight and had his wallet stolen. This was an interesting experience. The young woman was sentenced to monetary reparation and community service even though David had indicated at that meeting that he was not asking for money compensation for the cost of the repairs. Deborah had done further investigation in between the meeting and sentencing and found that the police were not very accurate in their information and the judge gave a very muddled summary.
We have enjoyed meeting our friends Wendy and Russell, and Marian at
the South of the Border restaurant once a month to enjoy a $10 dinner
and our BYO (Bring Your Own) wines of varying prices and qualities! We have
been lucky enough to be invited to Wendy and Russell’s bach at Little Akaloa several times with good times had by all. Russell is
one of NZ’s top potato breeders so in March we had a
potato tasting weekend there. We tried a large number, from purplish maori to varieties that were still experimental. We also
tested vodka varieties. In June we went to their
Our beloved cat, Possum is getting somewhat older being about 17 years old. She has thyroid problems and has to have pills twice a day. Her readings have varied from 5 to 74 whereas normal is between 20 and 40. She also has a lump the size of a small golf ball on her back but the vet tells us it is benign and it would be too dangerous to operate. We have a chair for her to get into her bed on top of the washing machine as she is also arthritic. However she is a great joy to us.
This year I have mostly taught from home. Apart from my after school
classes, mostly for children who are beginners in French and one small class of
German, I have had private students from
During International Languages Week I had no classes so that I could
go into local libraries and read stories in French and German to small
children. That week I also SERVAS hosted Catherine Pujol
and sons from
In August Imagination TV invited me to take part in a television “health” programme which I later found out was called Honey, we’re killing the kids. Learning French was a leisure activity which Monique, the solo mother, had always wanted to do. The filming was directed by Veronica, who herself had been to my classes for parents and small children with her husband and son. One hours filming yielded about 20 seconds TV time! You can see Monique and me on my language website page.
I only got to about three of the meetings of the German and Language Culture Society. They are really only a social get together at a pub. However I have been doing a weekly language exchange with a German student, Corinna who is here for a year studying international law. She joined us for Christmas dinner.
As per last year I was involved in the drama course for Harlequin Players and produced a short playlet as part of the post course production.
I continue to visit the man in prison who is now in the low security villas where the men share a house with three others and cook and budget for themselves. He spends a lot of time working in the vegetable garden he has created.
I also continue to give blood plasma usually every 6 to 8 weeks. I have to drink copious amounts of water the night before in order to swell up my tiny veins!
This year I took on the treasurership of
Quakers, a job which I have found incredibly hard to do. I only managed to get
to Meeting once or twice a month as I take Mum to St Barnabas church once a
month and I like to go the Alliance Française breakfast on the last Sunday of
the month. I organized a small group to publicise the
stand of the Peace Tax Seven (http://www.peacetaxseven.com)
My mother, now aged 93, moved into a retirement home in April. This
was an exhausting and emotional process for us all – particularly dividing up
the things she could not take and selling off things which no-one could use. I
was lucky enough to get an oil painting of the tussocks and hills of
Skellerup, who was our neighbour for many years in
My niece, Nicola Olsson (née Fairbrass), and husband gave birth to a
second, son, Oscar, this year in
I hit the big 60 on October. I decided to have two parties: one for family and very close friends over Labour Weekend and a second on my birthday. I enjoyed both parties, the first of which was a “wake”. I requested that guests bring either a photo of themselves with me or write down two things I am good at and one thing I need to improve on. All these things were presented with great humour and we all had a great laugh! My old friend, Lindy, brought along some wonderful photos, especially one of the two of us with our walkie-talkie dolls which little girls treasured in the 1950s.
Irène Eidenweil, a
friend whom I met in
Both makeup shops are getting busier – Koa is doing very well
David with the winner of the hand-painted section.
Was great to have my three daughters down for
Deborah’s 60th. Hope to see a bit
more of Janine next year – she is very busy with her Massage Therapy business
Had a wine tasting for my birthday this year. Tried matched selections of top wines – a NZ Gewürtztraminer with one from Alsace, a NZ Riesling with a German, NZ chardonnays, Pinots, etc then walked to the local Chinese restaurant for a meal then back home for dessert and dessert wines.
I managed to get a weeks skiing including several days with Martha. I still play the flute fairly regularly with Alison Edgar’s small group and occasionally with the Cashmere Wind Ensemble.
I am now a trustee for QIET – Quaker Investment Ethical Trust. I am finding it challenging and enjoyable, with great fellow trustees. You can find out more at http://www.quaker.org.nz/groups/quaker-investment-ethical-trust-qiet
Many thanks to those who have sent us cards and letters.
This is your invitation to our Garden Party on the 11th February at 31(b) Highsted Road from 2pm to 6pm, rain or shine. Since it is our 10th wedding anniversary, the theme this year is “TEN” – you can interpret that however you wish!
Deborah Williams , David Minifie and Possum