Not only has the Gregorian new year all but disappeared from sight in the rear view mirror, the recent Lunar new year is also fast fading away. As I look back (belatedly) on the previous year, I think it’s fair to say that 2011 was an annus horribilus for me and Jenny. If you noticed that we were flying under the radar a little more than usual, it was probably due to one of these reasons:

  • We suffered 2 miscarriages (without intending to trivialise the experience of others who have been through it, neither of ours were the “simple” kind that happens quietly behind closed doors, leaving everybody not in the loop oblivious to what happened. We required surgical intervention both times, meaning time off work.)
  • I was made redundant from a job that I’d been in for almost a decade, and spent 3 months unemployed, doing a lot of career-related soul searching
  • I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, an ongoing condition related to my psoriasis, which negatively affects my physical abilities

Then there’s Jenny’s mum having open heart surgery, and a host of lesser incidents including one where Jenny learnt a valuable lesson on the very real dangers of -literally- kicking my ass, and a computer hard drive failure that would have been catastrophic but for the fact that most of my data now lives in The Cloud.

We also had some “near misses” such as: the Queensland floods – our investment properties were unaffected, but the flood waters stopped just up the road from where they are located (yeah, such a first world problem, I know).

And it seemed the rest of the world too, was being oppressed. Fortunately, we were very glad to learn that friends and family in Japan and New Zealand were not directly impacted by the earthquakes that rocked those countries, but still saddened by the many lives lost in those tragedies. Then of course there’s the continuing turmoil on the global financial markets.

So bruised and battered, we came into this year with the greatest of hope and expectation that things could only get better. And wow, what a start to the year! We spent a week away with our closest friends in a rented beach house in Anna Bay – the weather was absolutely perfect. Then during the trip I learned that I’d won a Sony Tablet S from the Sony (X) club. And we’re still only in January.

We’ve got big plans in store for this year, including a move (hopefully into a place of our own – fingers crossed).  Hope to share more (and more often) with you right here, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are a few photos from the Anna Bay holiday.

Paradise on Birubi beach house

"Paradise on Birubi" - the house where we stayed. 5 bedrooms, 2 stories and rooftop access. Asking price: $1.65m

Praven serving up his curry

We had a great feast every single night - this one was Praven's superb Lamb curry. Yum!

A praying mantis

An unexpected visitor

Crashing waves

Leanne, Jenny and Tina playing around in the waves

A rock formation

Who you lookin' at? *grumble grumble*

Sunset over the water

We saw some spectacular sunsets over the beach

Sunset with silhouetted figures

Another amazing sunset. (EDIT: oops, I think this one was sunrise!)

Caesar holding a Port Jackson Shark

I caught a fish! Well, a Port Jackson shark actually. Oh, and it was actually Juan that did all the hard work, setting up the rod, hooking it, etc. he just kindly let me reel it in. He'd caught one that was even bigger the night before. We threw them both back in, thinking that they were endangered, but turns out they're not. Wouldn't have been all that good eating anyway - we were hoping for Salmon. Juan did catch a decent sized Taylor the night before we left.

Monkey toys arranged in a pattern

I couldn't resist... there were so many kids, and so many toys!

Birubi Beach

I suppose I couldn't get away with not showing a beach shot from a beach holiday (there's lots, but didn't want to post potentially "unflattering" pics of my friends without their permission). In the foreground is Birubi Beach, walking distance from where we were staying. In the distance is Stockton Beach, where I had my bucks - ah, the memories...