James’ News & Progress – 5 January 2009

As usual in the Gribble family, following Christmas Day, Boxing Day marks Mum’s birthday. As such, another big lunch accompanied by a few “sherberts” (for the non-Aussie viewers, “drinks”) brought several family members together again.

Due to a number of international visitors being around, I took the opportunity to get them involved with some of my physio and take them up to the local tennis court where I regularly practice my frame walking and occasionally have a hit of tennis (still with my racket being strapped to my hand, unfortunately). I found this a great way to burn off some of the big meals and extended days sitting around with the occasional beer bottle in my hand. Knowing that a friend’s bucks party and wedding, as well as New Year’s Eve, were imminent, it was also a smart move to get some training under my belt.

From previous experiences, bucks parties on boats have proven to be logistical challenges and this one was no different. That said, with a full crew of mates over 6 ft, the decision was made to carry me over the railing and onto the small deck of a tiny ferry that had been hired for the event. As I don’t get out onto the harbour as much as I used to, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute, especially when, almost on cue, we were joined by a few female visitors from a birthday party on a nearby boat. Anything to keep the boys’ spirits high. As usual with these days out, I made a relatively early exit before my selected “chariot drivers” were over the limit. I’m sure I’ll catch up on the stories at the wedding in a couple of days.

New Year’s Eve was a sensational night as two good friends combined the end of the year with their engagement party. Obviously I have another big year ahead of me and if the last 12 months are anything to go by it will be just as eventful.