Sunday, February 27, 2011

Two departures

Vonnie, Simon and Hannah are departing soon for the Shaky Isles. And they are going via Christchurch! So I organized a big family sendoff dinner at my usual Indian restaurant on Saturday night. There were 21 people plus three babies present, including George, who was in excellent spirits.

I managed to get in a bit of a chat with Von about baby matters but found, rather as I expected, that she was already thinking along the same lines. She is a very sensible young woman and we have always got on well.

The occasion was also supposed to be a sendoff for Joe but something came up and he had to leave on Saturday morning so missed the big family dinner. He actually drove down to Canberra in his Toyota Corolla, much to the disquiet of his mother and me.

I did however manage to corral him for a Friday night curry dinner on my verandah. There were only six of us for that dinner (including Paul, Sue, Anne and Jenny) but it was quite a fun dinner with lots of chat.

I spilt rather a lot of curry on the tablecloth at one stage, which greatly amused Joe. His sense of humour has not changed since he was 2. At that age, his favourite joke was: "The boy fell in the mud".

Joe told us quite a bit about his exploratory trip to Canberra and the ANU, including his encounter with the endemic socialism there. His exploratory trip (by air) was to enrol and to arrange accomodation; and he did manage to get college accomodation.

He will be starting his Ph.D. studies anew at the ANU school of mathematics, the first two years being mainly involved in courses and reading, with the writing of his dissertation (using partial differential equations) left to the third year. So he should have plenty of time to enjoy the student life, which I am pleased about.

Update March 1

Joe had a relatively uneventful trip and arrived safe and sound in Canberra.

I forgot to mention something amusing about the dinner:

Suzy and Lena had a highchair and a pram to accomodate their babies at the dinner but Von had neither. Little Hannah was passed around like a parcel all night. She is a very placid baby so everyone who wanted a cuddle could get one. She was very popular.

Update 2

I hear that Joe has done a bit of quizzing of the many socialists at ANU. A bit unwise perhaps but it interested him to see how little thought many of them put into their beliefs.

Something that happened at his sendoff dinner was amusing. He said that he always orders the same thing at Indian restaurants. This was greeted with some surprise so he explained that when he found something he liked he couldn't see the point of ordering something that he might not like. Various people then said to him: "That's what John says", which is of course true. I doubt that he has ever heard me say that so it is another example of the power of genetics. He is not like me at all in appearance and personality but other similarities are numerous.

Update 3

Some pictures from the sendoff dinner:

Bottlescape: (champagne and water) with Jenny, Pam and Anne (L to R) in the background

A good photo of Russell and Sahara

Paul's Susan with Hannah and Timmy

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