Christmas 2020

Dear friends and family,

The world agrees – 2020 is the year from hell. Who hasn’t had to don a mask, work from home, miss special events? We have watched in dismay as the corona virus spread its tentacles around the world.

But we have survived and learnt new skills.

My sister Kate challenged us by making an Advent Calendar for Brianna with instructions – ‘now you fill it’.

Bruce used his InDesign skills to create characters of Australian animals, which he recreated in felt to become part of the Advent Calendar treats. Iron on paper, tracing paper, glue, scissors and a lot of swearing produced some amazing little characters. Then it became a book. They were both repeated for our great-nephew Freddie.

I have been writing a story for Brianna each month, to explain our family and our life in Australia. I have published it as a blog and Bruce turned the first year’s episodes into a book.

I hauled old photos out of storage and found a few ghosts and interesting stories. The State Library very kindly offered free, online access to the worldwide which helped to connect the stories to ancient relatives.

I also caught up on annotating photos and updating blogs from past travels.

Hayden, Andrea and Brianna preparing for Christmas 2020

With one granddaughter and another on the way I knitted and crocheted, experimenting with more and more complex projects.

And we walked and walked and walked.

And we zoomed and zoomed and zoomed.

We missed Brianna’s first birthday but watched her grow with lots of video chats. It has been a tough year for Hayden and Andrea in Berlin, managing working from home and caring for a little one without the support of their families. But they have done well.

Ev and Steph – home in Australia

Evan and Steph spent most of summer working remotely from their tiny apartment in New York. They made the difficult decision to return home prior to the arrival of their first baby who is due late January. The horror stories of so many Australian’s stranded overseas, due to limited flights, had us concerned. However their journey home in October was uneventful. There were a mere 30 passengers on their Delta flight, followed by a relatively easy two week quarantine in Sydney. They are now installed in an apartment in Carlton North and busily preparing it for a family of three.

Over Christmas we will meet our newest family member – Freddie’s little brother and Kate’s newest grandson, George, who was born on 1 December.

We are hopeful that the COVID-19 virus will be under control sometime in 2021 and our life can return to a new normal, but realistically we wonder if that is achievable.

As is our habit, we are making a donation. This year we will assist Job training for First Nations women in lieu of paper and postage for Christmas greetings.

Stay safe, all. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a bright and happy 2021.

Bruce & Thea



Job training for First Nations women

Through training and mentoring, First Nations Australian women can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become early childhood development workers and provide a vital service in their communities while nurturing future generations.

  • First Nations Australian women can help children grow in awareness regarding their language and culture while reaching essential child development milestones.
  • Trained child development workers provide a vital service to children and families in their communities.
  • Help empower First Nations Australian women through education.

Job Training for Indigenous Women