don@faroc.com.au

Http://donpugh.dyndns.org

lma@swiftdsl.com.au

 

17 Irvine Street

Peppermint Grove, Western Australia 6011

 

 

ICQ 36577965

 

TELEPHONE +61 893849043

 

 

2003-12-13

 

 

Longer sunny days with azure skies remind us that Christmas has nearly arrived.Summer and writing our annual letter always brings back pleasant memories when we send out greetings to our friends around the world. This year has been an exceptionally adventurous one with Donís busy five month trip around the world, momentous decisions by Lily and completion of Lilyís landscaping project for the house.

Lily has continued to enjoy being the principal of South Lake Primary School now for her seventh year, but she has notified the Education Department of her decision to take a yearís leave without pay, prelude to a possible resignation. Although on an excellent salary, she has decided to accept fresh challenges in new fields.She has applied to the University of Western Australia to study Landscape Architecture for four years.Her interest was kindled by her landscape activities around the house, with a low maintenance garden, bursting with colourful flowering bushes and plants. She added a two metre iron statue of a long haired nude, named Irvinia after our street name.Construction has included a new carport at the back of the house with a tall brick and wrought iron fence, and replacement of the front brick wall with a tuck pointed brick and wrought iron fence.This has opened the house and garden to public scrutiny and Lily enjoys the chats with the morning walkers as she gardens. The garden was selected to be part of a seven garden tour of the Gardens of Peppermint Grove.This is organised by a local private school and about 1000 visitors came to see her pride and joy

 

The shopping complex with ten shops in Subiaco continues to go well, with mostly reliable tenants, and no empty shops.Lily has managed these since 1999 when the introduction of a GST appealed to her very system-oriented brain.She monitors maintenance and does the accounts and deals with tenant concerns and complaints.Since our purchase of the property in 1983, land values have appreciated steadily, making the property an exceptionally good investment.

Lily had a trip to Singapore in July by herself while Don was overseas travelling.She enjoyed long walks, shopping and visiting parts of Singapore that she has not seen before.She also went on a health and relaxation retreat for 5 days at Dunsborough three hours drive south of Perth.Lily remains in fine health and enjoys her busy lifestyle which includes monthly attendance in a local book club, attendance at the School Parents and Citizens meetings, long walks and meals both at home and in restaurants with her friends.

She has maintained her regular contact with sisterís family, chatting with Britt, aged 8, who enters year 4 in 2004, and Curtis, aged 11, who commences year 7.She also invites them to stay during school holidays where they enjoy satellite TV, DVD movies and excursions to the river, beach and local shops.Both children have developed a taste for cappuccinos.They have been booked into private schools very close to our home for their high school years, with Curtis arriving in 2005.After a disastrous drought in 2002, the Liebeck family enjoys a substantial wheat crop this year.

 

Don will turn 57 in January. In December, 2002 his right eye was successfully operated on to remove a cataract and insert a plastic lens.His eyesight is now greatly improved as a consequence of this amazing operation by Dr Littlewood.Don has continued working for the newly created Fremantle Peel District Education Office as a psychologist four days a week.However, he enjoyed taking six months of long service leave on half pay, a privilege granted to long serving members of the Education Department.

 

He used five of these six months to travel with Richard, his personal care attendant some 65,000 air kilometres and twenty thousand road kilometres through fifteen countries and twenty capital cities.Don kept an extensive three hundred page typewritten travel journal called Wheelchair Nomad, which is easily accessible on the net along with some of his digital photographs.Please read a section of this journal to get the flavour of the trip, either Fiji, Canada, Poland, Egypt, South Africa or Malaysia.The trip came off without an incident and Don really enjoyed catching up with many old friends.Various highlights included a week in a luxurious ocean side cabin in Fiji, a car trip through Quebec and the Maritimes, touring Poland, visiting the Pyramids of Giza, and touring a private game reserve Tshukudu in South Africa.

Now, back to work, Don (VK6DN) continues to chat away happily to amateurs worldwide on 2 meters (amateur radio) during the one-hour drive to and from school eighty kilometres south of Perth in Warnbro.He now operates two internet repeater linking systems which allows hams to link a local Fremantle repeater via the internet to ham repeaters world wide. See Echolink and IRLP. Donís spare time still continues to be spent on weekly visits to movie theatres to see most of the new release films and regular reading of new release books by his favourite authors. With Mike Hand on his ten speed bicycles, Don explores Perthís cycle paths in his green eleven kilometre per hour electric wheelchair and finishes his trips with a pint of Guinness. On his day off each Wednesday he continues to meet a group of friends for lunch at the Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant.

 

Donís health this year has been problematic, beginning with severe coughing fits which occurred following meals while he was travelling.This problem disappeared on his return to Australia, to be replaced by a bladder which fails to empty causing severe leg spasm and heavy sweating. These problems interfere with obtaining a good nightís sleep and his work. An operation in early December to weaken the bladder sphincter muscle may cure this problem.The medical problems are causing Don to consider reducing workload, but at present he will be returning to work four days a week next year.Don has booked a trip with Richard to Vietnam via Singapore in early January, but the poor state of his health is making this trip problematic.

 

Please remember that we have loads of accommodation for visitors in our house.†† We live in a Mediterranean climate with more hours of sunshine than any place on earth with our summers occurring during European and North American winters.As our friends retire, we urge you to consider an Australian winter holiday.We love getting your correspondence.We hope that this finds you well and best wishes for a happy, healthy, enjoyable and prosperous New Year.

 

With best regards†††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††

Don Pugh and Lily Auld.