2009

Season’s Greetings, all

We struggle again with the annual “diary” and the seemingly short time since we did this last year!  Again, 2009 has flown.    In many
ways, for us, it’s been very similar to 2008 – tons of good times between the rounds of stress and over-work.

On the family side, both our mum’s soldier on, but both have been “in the wars” this year.  GT’s mum had a surgery/hospital bout in
June with some chronic bowel issues (will spare you the details) and Henry’s mum, at 89, recently fell twice.  She’s just been released
from hospital and is now in recovery in full care at the center where she  lives.  Despite the fact that our mum’s drive us nuts at times,
(that’s their job, right?) we love them dearly and wish them comfort and happiness in their old age.   Counting our upcoming Christmas
trip, GT will have popped down to Perth 4 times in 2009.  Henry also had some quality time with his mom when he returned to the US for
the first time since 2004.

Our “boys” Tiki and Coconut, aka “the rascals” are doing just great!  They’ve matured into handsome cats with very different
personalities but occasional lapses into the terrible teen’s behaviour – viz., mad, crashing chases around the house causing havoc in
the process.  They’re now in the throes of tearing the decorations off the Christmas tree. They sleep on our bed and get thoroughly
spoilt, as pussycats should.

Dreamcatcher remains our best friend, but like many of our close friends, we don’t see her often enough.  Between our travel, work and
a change in the marina situation, we haven’t taken her out much this year.  However, we’ve decided to get her upgraded below decks – a
little bit of a facelift early next year (every girl needs one, right?).   Until yesterday, she was “shanghaied” in her berth:  the marina
decided to expand, which meant putting an extra dock between our stern and the bridge to the island where the marina is.  Bottom line
is, between the dredges, the pile driving, the dock laying and the narrow waterway across our stern, we literally have not been able to
get her out for the past 3 months.  Yesterday, we were able to move her to a new berth (close by) which has much better access.  So, we’
ve used her as a dock-side party boat more than a sailboat in recent months.  Prior to that, we had some fun sails during the year with
local friends and we look forward to doing more of that in 2010.

We had our usual stream of visitors this year and thoroughly enjoyed it, so come on down!  (Or up!).  I think we had stay-over guests
every month and sometimes two at once….we’re fortunate enough to be able to put them up. It was particularly special to have Henry’s
brother Rene and sister-in-law Sue with us.  It was the first time they’d visited since we left California in 2003 and we had a great time
with them.  We shipped them off to Bali one week and to Phuket another – they spent 3 weekends with us and we really enjoyed showing
them our side of the planet.  Additionally, Henry’s cousin Hans, who’s lived in Jakarta for the past 17 years, joined us on one of the
weekends, so, a real Mellegers re-union.   Hugh & Tammy came back too (we hope they never stop)… but we all needed a liver
transplant by the time they left!

Henry returned to the US for a couple of weeks in September to spend time with family, attend his school re-union (now, that’s scary!)
and pack up the last of his US chattels.
Henry:….”Had some wonderful adventures with old friend Barnacle Bill (who was the MC at Dreamcatcher’s christening),  including a
fantastic night at Quinn’s Lighthouse to hear Skip and the Boys sing the wonderful old sea shanties,  Afterwards, a quick trip on Bill’s
boat  ‘Queen of Hearts’ to Last Chance saloon at Jack London Square (one of our old stomping grounds) to round off the night.

Spent much time with my (grown up) children, and co-incidentally I was in Santa Cruz visiting Eric, my son,  at the same time as the
Capitola Arts and Wine Festival -I’d forgotten how much fun those California festivals are.   Since Eric is big into bicycling, we had a
major early morning  bike ride in Santa Cruz - he has 3 tandem bikes, so about 1.00 am  we decided to go on a bike ride… Eric and
Nutan, Danielle (grand-daughter #2) and her friend, and yours truly with my daughter.   Needless to say, we were not sober during this
decision or exercise: this is a bike ride not to be forgotten for a long time!

Lara and I drove drove to LA, and I stayed with her and her husband Brandon for a few days before returning to San Jose. Had a great
walk along Marina Del Rey canals, and an excursion to Venice Beach.”

We’ve been active travelers again – I (GT) sometimes feel like the time traveler, rather than the time traveler’s wife!  Of the few
blessings that the economic downturn delivered, it was a curtailing of corporate travel (yea !!!).   So, I happily grounded myself job-wise
apart from 3 trips to New York, related to the merger – more about that later.  Off the back of one New York trip, I went south to Georgia
to re-convene with lovely friends Bill and Roseanne (HP/Agilent)… they live in a stunning Georgian home with a couple of cheeky high-
maintenance pooch’s, and it was great to see them again and absorb much of the US “South” – I’d never been before and it was
fascinating.  Off the back of another NY work trip, I spent a day in London with old friends Barbara and Daniel – it was lovely to see them
and we had 24 hours of great quality time, including a 4 hour lunch in the local village followed by a saunter through a 15th century
church.

Henry and I had several of our “usual” short regional trips.  We raced again in the Phang Na Bay (Thailand) regatta in January on the
good ship Rusalka.  Alas, Henry (sober) tripped over a rock the night before the race and did all sorts of damage to his achilles tendon
and ankle.  It was an uncomfortable week on-board for him, and ended up in rigid plastic cast for 6 weeks followed by several months of
rehabilitation.   Not long after the regatta we had committed to go to Koh Samui (an island off the east coast of the Thai peninsula) in
March – Henry struggled through a series of wheelchair, crutch and hobbling days, so despite the lovely venue and generous friends
Bob and Molly who had asked us to accompany them, it was not the best of trips – we plan to return one day with Dreamcatcher.    We
stayed put – receiving visitors – for several months then decided to do a week’s R&R in Bali, again in Ubud – what wonderful therapy….
Bali really does get one’s head into a different “space”.  We were there at the peak of the rice crop – harvesting had only just begun and
the endless high mountain terraces looked beautiful in their bright green livery.

We flew down again to Thailand in August, this time south, to join good friends at their beach-house in Hua Hin, where the King and
Queen of Thailand live.  An idyllic pad right on the beach, we relaxed…at massage…at the pool…. and at the bar (s)… a really fun
respite.   We took off for another break to Kota Kinabalu in October, on the northern corner of Borneo: we really did R&R there….  
Happy hour was between 2pm and 5pm (we love those island time happy hours!!).  KK is interesting – a little “grubby” but starting to get
a handle on tourist needs, and making a wonderful effort at rehabilitation of the orang-utans.  The offshore islands looked very inviting
and again, we plan to visit them in the boat at some point in the future.

We write this after having just returned from a fun 4 days in Hong Kong to visit Lorraine & Jonathon for Thanksgiving: what a great
night!  We spent an afternoon at the yacht club at Middle Island on the south of Hong Kong, re-visited Kowloon side and lunched with old
friends in the sea-side village of Sai Kung – a great 4 days.   We also had a chance to rekindle our youth (even though it does not
require rekindling) and went to see a Mama Mia Mania concert. Yes, ABBA has a great sound, and the cast did a superb job in singing
the hits we all know so well.  So, we can’t complain about the number of short breaks we’ve had.

On the work-side, things have been hectic and stressful.   Henry’s boss of 3 years returned to the UK (and subsequently retired to Bali)
and he has had to train a new one.  GT’s company, Watson Wyatt announced a merger with major competitor, Towers Perrin, in June….
That merger – and all the associated uncertainty, angst and hard work has been in progress for 5 months and will launch on January
4th.   

We wish you health, happiness and fair winds in your passage through 2010.


   With love,

       
 Glen & Henry and Tiki & Coconut