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Friends and good wine are wonderful.



Last night we had a Kyneton couple around for dinner, and the end result was terrific. Ian and Simon are gay, and have a house about 200 metres away from us. Ian, a New Zealander, is an architect and designed our renovations, while Simon is, arguably, Australia's best garden and food photographer - as well as having his own books published.


We first met Ian in a local cafealmost 3 years ago, and he came down to our rundown cottage with its wild and overgrown garden and atarted giving us renovation ideas. We subsequently went to see his home and were stunned by its nagnificent garden. We wandered down the drive, turned to the left, and stood open-mouthed as we took in the amazing view. Those of you who mayhaps subscribe to the magazine "Country Style" should try and find the June 2012 issue, as Ian's and Simon's cottage and garden are featured in it,


Simon has done the photography for Paul Bangay's books (Bangay recently flew him to the Hamptons, NYC, to photograph several gardens he had designed), and those of cooks/chefs Stephanie Alexander, Maggie Beer, Kylie Kwong and Shannon Bennett etc. He has also done his own books - "Sheds", "Shacks", and "Boats".


But I digress.


Jules' made the most delicious food, and the two boys and I provided excellent red and white wines, and everything went off brilliantly. It quite made me forget the aches and pains that constantly wrack my body. The gourmet sausages (pork) and lentils - cooked to a recipe in "Gourmet Traveller" magazine - were superb, and the pear and caramelised cake was to die for!


And it wasn't a late night. The boys left at about 10 pm, and Jules and I hit the sack about 10.30.


We woke this morning at around 8.30, slept in until 9.30, and it's now 10.45 and I am getting ready to depart for Gisborne (a 30 minute drive) for an appointment with my neurophysio.


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I had my last treatment yesterday. Sadly, my health fund only pays 50%,for five treatments, and I have used it all. But I start with my Monash-Epworth research study on August 5, which will include physical exercise as well as mind games.


And Jules has agreed to join with me in a local gym program called "Strength for Heart", which runs for 10 sessions over five weeks.


So these two activities will take me through to perhaps late September. And in early November we have taken a punt on one of those internet things - Luxury Escapes (www.luxuryescapes.com.au) - for a week at Palm Cove in FNQ. By the time we return we will be heading into Xmas and before you know it it will be 2016 and I can get the five sessions with the neurophysio again!


So there. :-) Things are good, and I constantly marvel at the way I am able to make things to sort themselves out! As my wife says: "Johnno, the Committee of Ways and Means will see us through!"

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