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Sep 15, 2003

Dear David,

Firstly I must say I'm sorry for being such a lousy correspondent! It is such a long time since I saw you in Bristol and I don't think I have pounded the keys in your direction since!

Anyway here I am in Glendalough with a few minutes before I go to bed so I will try to fill you in on some of what we have been up to.

I got quite a surprise last Sunday at St. John's, Laragh, when I went over to say hello to Jack and Olive Carstairs and the unrecognized gentleman beside them said to me " Hello Cousin!" It was Robert, your brother, who was attending the service while on his holiday here.

He and Liz came up for a cuppa on Monday morning and we had a good chat. It was great to meet them.

I gather you were on a locum for August filling in for Stella Durand (I hope to meet her soon - I have been carrying her address and phone number with me back and forward to Ireland ever since you sent me the information but I have not "got a round tuit" yet). She in fact had left a message here for Una asking if she knew Robert's whereabouts so I did have a little advance notice of the possibility of meeting him, but I imagined him showing up at the house.

My family in Calgary are all well. Ashley graduated very well from High School this summer and is now in the throes of figuring out what to apply for at University for next year. She has 4 hours of career guidance activities this week which we hope will help! She is planning a trip leaving in early December going to Australia and NZ for five months or so. She plans to stay initially with an exchange student who spent three months with us last year. He lives near Sydney. She will then have to work for a while to collect the money she will need to do the traveling she thinks she is going to do in Australia and New Zealand. She needs the same sort of visa that Deborah was granted (1 year, work allowed, Max 3 months with any employer).

Lindsay has two more years of school left and is now back to her usual routine of piano lessons on Monday, swimming on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, Youth singers on Wednesday nights and school choir a couple of mornings at 7:20 am!! I don't know how she manages all this but her marks are also great in school so we are very happy!

Del is fairly sure she will retire from teaching in the school system at the end of this academic year and look for something else to do. She enjoys her book club, hiking, and the sailing and traveling we do, so all she needs is to find an activity which replaces the adult contact she will loose by not being on a school staff.

I need to find something to focus on, probably engineering related, that I can do in chunks to allow me to come over here to Ireland a couple of times year and still take family holidays. I will initially be looking for an engineering - project management contract in October as soon as I get back to Calgary that will take me through to next summer.

We all hope to visit China with Youth Singers for a major two week tour in August 2004. The trip was postponed from this year due to SARS. We were all very disappointed at first but realized there was no other choice that could be made. Ashley ended up getting a job as a camp counselor which she really enjoyed. Lindsay was extremely disappointed not to be able to go to camp this year (she has been for the last 6 years I think and really loves the activities and friends there) as all the spaces had been filled before Christmas and the China trip was not put off until May.

Sibyl & Tom Beddoes' son Tim, is getting married on 20th September in Arran (Scotland) and I am going over for the event and then moving on to see Hilary Murray (Nee Wynne. daughter of Wilfred, sister of Julia) who lives near Aberdeen. I'm also visiting my friend Howard (TCD) who has a place near Barnard Castle. I won't be in the south of England this year.

Michael Wynne and his Daughter Cynthia and her husband Michael are coming over here and will be based in Glendalough for a few days from 29th Sept to 2nd Oct. They plan to tour around the area.

I had better get to bed now!

If you would like to put this on the website that's O.K. (if you think anyone might be interested to read it!).

Best regards,

Graham

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