Click here to see who's who above.

Here are some photos and commentary on our week at Gargunnock.

Our time at Gargunnock was the week of 7-14 September 2007.
The nine who made it:
Mary Cavanagh
Luci Hunt Edwards
Sue Batten Guelpa
Janie Alston Habla
Ray Hobson
Mike Madgin
Greg Packer
Rob Stephenson and
Francie Walls.
Jo tried to make it but time got the better of it.
Scott & Sue and Dave & Cheryl sadly had to pull out. We missed them.
Some others who stayed a night or more: Carl Lindbloom (a friend of Rob's)
Jennifer Speirs (from Edinburgh. She travelled a similar route with Hughes Overland at about the same time and was with Rob and Francie from Nairobi to South Africa)
and Greg's daughter and her boyfriend.



LAUNCHED: 29 January 2006. LAST UPDATED: 1 January 2008


Accessed at least many times since 24 December 2006.









Aerial photo showing Gargunnock






Map showing Gargunnock and Stirling






The Gargunock floorplan


From the Landmark Trust catalogue:

The main front of Gargunnock, when approached through the park, looks regular, classical, serenely late Georgian. But this facade of 1794 is only skin deep, imposing order on additions made then and in the previous two centuries to an old tower, which still forms the core of the house.

The old tower also dictates that the main rooms are on the first floor, above the traditional vaulted basement. Of these, unquestionably the finest is the drawingroom; it contains a piano on which, just possibly, Frederic Chopin once played.

Gargunnock was bought in 1835 by Charles Stirling, a Glasgow merchant and son of an old Perthshire family. His sister, Jane, was Chopin's pupil and friend. She brought him to Scotland in 1848, taking him to stay with her sisters and cousins, and family tradition is firm that he came here too.

The late Miss Viola Stirling was the last of her family. She left Gargunnock to trustees who now let it, with our help, for holidays.

Staying here feels rather as if the family has gone away for a while. They have taken their personal things with them, but the furniture remains, the flower garden is cared for, the park is grazed and the estate maintained in orderly fashion.

There is fine country in all directions, and Stirling is nearby, but most of all you can enjoy living briefly in this graceful and pleasantly old-fashioned country house at the foot of the Gargunnock Hills.


Information on Gargunnock from the Landmark Trust

Thank you for booking this Landmark and we hope that you enjoy your stay here. The income we receive from your booking pays for the repair and maintenance of the building, thus allowing us to preserve it for the enjoyment of those who follow you.

To arrange to get into the Landmark, it is very important that you call the Housekeeper AT LEAST TWO DAYS before you are due to arrive. She is Mrs Jane Hutchings, Tigh Beag, Sommers Lane, Stirling, telephone 01786 841531 or Mobile 07894 166674. Early evening is generally the best time to call.

Please do not arrive before 4pm on the first day of your booking. The Housekeeper will have prepared Gargunnock House for you, and we hope and expect that you will leave it as clean and tidy as you can when you leave. On the last day PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE LEFT THE BUILDING ENTIRELY BEFORE 10am, leaving it secure and returning the key to the Housekeeper. If you do not leave on time, this makes the Housekeeper's task extremely difficult. If you leave on an earlier day, please let her know.

Gargunnock House (OS map reference NS71 5944, Postcode FK8 3AZ), is is just east of Gargunnock village, and about six miles west of Stirling.

It would be a good idea to bring a torch.

To reach Gargunnock House leave the M9 at Junction 10. This junction has a roundabout on either side of the M9. At the roundabout on the Stirling (east) side, take the exit signed 'ring road'. Follow the ring road for a mile or so, over a couple of roundabouts, until you reach the A811. Turn right onto the A811, signposted Balloch and Erskine Bridge.

Drive along this road (which crosses back over the M9) for about four miles, until you reach a turning to Gargunnock on the left (marked B on the map attached). Turn left here. Turn left again at the T junction in Gargunnock village, and then continue for about three-quarters of a mile until you reach a white-painted gatelodge on the left. Turn left into the drive to Gargunnock House (not signposted). Drive carefully up the drive, which is an unmade road/and then bear right at the junction to take you to the front of the House.

Parking: There is parking for several cars.

Public Transport: Stirling rail station is served by trains from Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street. Buses run nearly every hour (fewer Sundays) from Stirling to Gargunnock and the journey takes 15 minutes. Contact Tourist Information for details.

Gargunnock House has five twin and three double bedrooms, on the first, second and third floors. Please contact the Housekeeper if you will need the folding cot. This is suitable for children up to two years old; we provide a mattress but no bedding. Note: It is possible to request two cots at Gargunnock. Heating is by a combination of oil central heating and electricity. There is also an open fire in the sitting room. There is an electric cooker. The cost of fuel for heating and cooking is included in the price, but please use this sparingly to keep our costs (and prices) down. Fuel for the open fire is not included, but can be bought locally.

Dogs, birds or other animals, are not permitted at this Landmark. Please do not allow them into the building, as this might cause serious health problems for asthma sufferers who come after you.

There is enough crockery and cutlery for two extra people. However, the building must not be used to entertain others beyond that number, and the number sleeping in it should never exceed sixteen.

We provide sheets, pillowcases, towels, tea towels, and blankets. An equipment list is attached.

Our buildings were made to the standards of earlier ages, often without the intention that they should be lived in. Consequently, you may encounter features that reflect their particular characteristics, but which deserve due care and attention, particularly for the young, elderly, less mobile or visually impaired. Examples of these are steps worn with age or with narrow treads, uneven surfaces, low doors, ceilings and beams, unexpected drops and changes of level, and (by modern standards) low or absent lighting. In all cases we have sought to make a sensible compromise between due regard for safety and the careful retention of the character of each building, which makes it an interesting place to stay.

Even familiar things, for example; polished floors and stairs, hot water temperature, open fires and hot stoves, can differ from home and so surprise the unwary, particularly the very young. We ask you to appreciate and use the building in the same spirit of care, and recommend you read the Information and Advice folder on arrival, to familiarise yourself with the building and its surroundings.

The 'Information & Advice' folder in the Landmark gives essential information about the building and local amenities, including shops for provisions. The nearest Tourist Information Centre is in Stirling, (01786) 479901.

Landmarks do not have postal deliveries, and mail sent to them may not reach you.

In an emergency you may call our Regional Manager Ms Adrienne Cochrane telephone 0141 334 5476 or Mobile: 07789 721259. In exceptional circumstances urgent messages may be left with the Housekeeper, but please do not ask our staff to do this otherwise, since they may live several miles away.

You may be interested to note that the local village store. Number One Main Street, is happy to supply your groceries, which will be waiting for you on arrival. You can contact them on 01786 860703.

Please be appreciative of neighbours and anyone else you meet, since they may have to coexist with Landmark visitors 365 days a year!

We hope you enjoy your stay.

Special Notes:

Since January 2003 dogs have not been allowed at Gargunnock House due to the sheep and game birds in the park. Note that game shooting may happen in the winter.

The owner of Gargunnock House has also requested that NO FIREWORKS are let off anywhere on the Estate.

There is a full-time gardener, who lives in a house nearby, and (although they will not normally come into the House) you may meet him or the Housekeeper during your stay.

The gardens at Gargunnock will be open to the public on Wednesday afternoons between 2pm and 5pm from mid-April to Mid-June and in September and October.

If you require caterers please contact the Housekeeper who has a list of reputable companies.
18/04/2007

EQUIPMENT LIST

We suggest that you look through this list before you arrive in case there is anything which is not on the list and which you especially feel you need:

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT
Baking dish
Baking tray
Bread bin
Bread board
Bread knife
Cafetiere
Cake box
Carving knife, fork & steel
Chopping board
Colander (metal)
Cooking tongs
Corkscrew
Crockery & cutlery
Egg beater
Egg cups
Frying pan
Garlic Press
Glasses
Grapefruit knife
Grater
Kitchen scissors
4 knives: chopping, serrated & 2 cook's
Mixing bowl
Pasta pan
Pedal bin
Potato peeler
Roasting tin
Rolling pin
Rotary whisk
Salt & pepper pot
2 Sandwich tins
3 saucepans
Set of kitchen implements
Sieve
Sink tidy
Sink top dish drainer
Souffle dish
3 storage canisters
Teapot
Tea/coffee strainer
Tin/bottle opener
Toast rack
Tray
Water jug
Wooden spoons

PLASTIC & POLYTHENE
Dustpan Pail
Picnic cups & plates
Washing up bowl

PYREX
3 casseroles: small, medium & large
Basin
Covered butter dish
Fruit bowl
Lemon squeezer
Measuring jug
Pie dishes
Oven dishes

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
Fan heater
Fridge
Iron
Kettle
Toaster
Vacuum cleaner

GENERAL EQUIPMENT
Ash Trays
Bath rack
Boot jack
Brooms & brushes
Clothes line & pegs
Coat hangers
Dish cloths
Dog food bowl
Dog shovel
Dustbin
Dusters
Floor cloths
Garden chairs
Ironing board
Loo paper (one roll per WC)
Over bath clothes airer
Oven cloth
Small bar of soap
Soap holder
Table mats
Tea towel
Washing-up liquid
Washing-up brush or mop
Waste paper baskets

WE DO NOT NORMALLY PROVIDE
Food of any kind
Candles
Pot scourers
Torches
Hot water bottles
Electric blankets
Washing powder
Fuel for open fires or stoves
Axes or saws
Matches
US/Continental electrical adapters
Additional loo rolls
Telephones
Televisions
Microwaves

The largest Landmarks may have more than this. We provide crockery, cutlery and glasses for as many people as there are beds, plus two further sets in case you invite others for a meal. If you need fuel for fires or stoves, please ask the Housekeeper in advance how you can obtain this.

The beds will be made up with sheets and pillowcases (duvets on bunk beds). There will normally be two no-allergic pillows per person and three blankets for each bed. If there is a cot (see overleaf), there will be a mattress but no bedding. We provide one hand towel and one bath towel (these are bath towels, not the larger 'bath sheets') for as many people as there are beds. There will be a limited supply of tea towels (drying-up cloths), but you may wish to bring more.

Please let the Housekeeper know about any breakage's, or if anything is missing or goes wrong during your stay. She may well be able to solve a problem quickly.

There is a green Log Book in which you can record your visit and pass on to future visitors anything of interest you have discovered in the area or in the building.

If you have any comments on anything to do with the Landmark, please send us the Comments and Suggestions Form from the green folder (don't write them in the Logbook, which we won't see).
Revised 11 June 06



MARY CAVANAGH

After we all said our farewells in Nairobi, Pete and I headed south with Dave and Cheryl, Scott and Sue, and Pam and Paul. We spent a year in South Africa before making our way to Australia, catching up with Helen and Greg. We worked in Sydney for 9 months whilst exploring Australia and New Zealand, then ventured back to South Africa via Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India. After 6 years of domestic life in South Africa, buying a house and enjoying both our work life and the social scene, Pete got the wanderlust again and our plans got underway to set off for the Americas. We joined Encounter Overland to travel through South America, then continued on our own through Central America, the U.S.A. and Canada, reuniting with various Siafuers along the way. Finally we made our way back to dear old Blighty and our families, where we have, effectively, been ever since.

In 1988 we started our own business, in Telecoms (structured cabling), which had always been Pete's area of work. Mine, being accounts, meant we could keep an eye on our progress, and we made a good team in our usual way, with Pete at the helm and me in the supporting role. It's been a lot of hard work over the years, but it continues to be a successful company, with a good reputation in the industry. His younger cousin, Dave, who joined us a couple of years after we set up, now runs things on a day-to-day basis, so Pete is able to spend more time at his second home in Spain, whilst still keeping an overview on things remotely.

Pete and I separated in 1996 and divorced in 1997. Sadly, we had outgrown our marriage, but we remain friends and I am still involved in the business, although my role has scaled down over the past few years. I am no longer a director, and now work part-time, but still have the interest of the Company at heart, and have the overview of the Accounts department, with three assistants carrying out the daily tasks.

Now, I divide my time between skiing at every opportunity in the winter, mostly in Europe, but sometimes in the U.S.A. and Canada, visiting my apartment in the north of Spain as often as possible, socialising with friends, and occasionally fitting in a minor trip here or there (nothing to compare with our earlier travels!). Doesn't sound like much, but I always seem to be busy and rushing around!!


SCOTT AND SUE COSBY

"Oh sad news. We will not be able to come to the reunion. Scott had an accident this week. The final diagnosis from Scott's injury is he has broken his neck. We are very lucky that it is not worse.It took 6 days to get a correct diagnosis and his head was not properly supported. He was admitted to the hospital today and we are not sure about the treatment as of yet. We think that he is going to wear a halo for a month for traction and then surgery maybe. Will keep you posted."


LUCI HUNT EDWARDS

Following the end of our trip, I flew to Johannesburg and stayed the first night in the YWCA and then moved in with Cheryl's parents until the Ellen Landrover arrived. After that Paul and I found a place together and I found a teaching position at Jeppe Prep School. Our plan was to earn and save and then travel to South America and drive the continent eventually arriving back in Calgary. However, in March of that year, my father had a serious accident so my plans changed and I flew home in August. It was my intent to meet Paul in South America but it never panned out.

Back in Calgary, I went back to university to finish my degree but I also worked part time at Bawden Drilling. When Peter Bawden bought an aviation company including a flying school and offered to give free flying lessons to obtain my pilots license if I would go work there, my life changed direction. I never did teach again. A few years later Bawden hired a retired Airforce Brigadier General to come to Calgary to run the flying operations and I moved over from the flying school to be the flight dispatcher for this individual. In 1979 I decided that while I loved my job and the people I worked with, especially my boss, there was no future for me with the company and I resigned. Five days after I resigned, I went back to visit my boss and thank him for the party he had thrown for me. He closed the door and said I wish I was 20 years younger. I asked why? He said because I think you are the greatest gal on earth. To which without hesitation I responded what difference does 20 years make? And my life changed forever. I had a wonderful marriage of 26 years and we had two wonderful children. Sadly I lost my brigadier in 2005 but he left me with his story to tell which I shall do in time and in the meantime I have much research to do.

I worked for 10 years as the Executive Director of a national organization of medical professionals but I decided at the age of 46 that I would prefer to be my own boss. I quit at the end of August, took two months off and then founded Concierge On Call. We are now into our 9th year and it has been quite the journey with many rocky spots but I think we have turned a major corner in the business and I hope to grow the company into a national franchise.

I feel very blessed in my life experiences and my Siafu experience had a huge impact on my life. The friendships that continue are absolutely wonderful and I am so looking forward to seeing people in Gargunnock!


CHERYL AND DAVE ELLEN

Have sadly had to cancel a week before.


SUE BATTEN GUELPA

After leaving Nairobi, I travelled south to Durban and the luxury of a Mum and a Dad (borrowed from a former roommate in London) looking after me for a few weeks. It was heaven, but I soon moved on to Joburg for a short while and then down to Cape Town ostensibly to attend the wedding of another travel companion from Europe. In the end, I was invited to stay with family friends of the Bride and tarried for quite a while, meeting up with old friends from London days and working for a Temp agency.

When I moved on, I went by ship to Australia and lucked into a ready made roommate in the form of the sister of a London friend. Jenny and I had a great time in her little house in Sydney (me working for a Temp agency again and also as a waitress at the Rose Bay Steakhouse).

However, after three years away from home and my Dad becoming very ill, I decided to pack up the bags one last time and head for home. I went to Ottawa first, to see the parents, and within days had a lovely visit from Janie who was still wandering the globe!

Once back on Vancouver Island, I found work immediately and settled back into life as if I had never been away!! Funny how that happens whether you are away for three weeks or three years?!

Three children and thirty years of marriage later, I am now living on the East Coast of Vancouver Island, overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Stephanie, Lindsay and Paul have all left the nest and are making their way(s) in their various fashions. Each of them is happy, healthy and self-sufficient. They stay in contact with me way better than I did with my own parents and for that I am ever grateful.

I work full-time for a federal Crown Corporation which handles the contracting and QA supervision of large construction projects for the Department of National Defence. My office is located at 19 Wing Comox (the only Cdn. Airforce Base on the West Coast). The Base is largely responsible for Search and Rescue on the West Coast of Canada.

I still love travelling and have recently spent a little time in China. With one daughter attending University in Adelaide, I have been to visit Australia a number of times and was fortunate to get in another trip to South Africa to catch up with some wonderful friends there.


JANIE ALSTON HABLA

. . . "don't worry Mum I'm driving home through Africa" said the postcard to Melbourne, and so began that great adventure . . . opening my eyes to the world, giving me the most insatiable "travel Bug" for remote and less travelled places, unsettling me for years, giving me some very real friendships and a lifelong bond with my fellow travellers.

I was supposed to go home from Nairobi but I headed back to London for awhile then home . . . to the really quiet life. I got malaria badly, quit the job I loathed and as quickly as possible headed back overseas. I was an Occupational Therapist and specialized in the treatment of handicapped and learning disabled children, so in1994 I did Post-graduate study in London, as soon as the exams were over I headed to Canada and stayed with Luci, Sue and Francie, John Thornley even made the trip to Francie's to catch up, it was a wonderful holiday. The same year I headed home to Australia in a small minibus with an "odd bunch" we had fun though. We travelled through Europe, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Afghanastan, Pakistan, Kashmir and India . . . a different world now, some of it was wild but fascinating.

At home afterwards I had some great jobs in schools with handicapped children.The years between 75 and 78 were pretty hard as both my parents developed terminal illnesses, I was lucky enough to have the independence to nurse each, Mum on our family farm with my two brothers. After they died I went back to Darwin Hospital where I worked, I loved the bush and the wonderful distant gorges and waterfalls we drove to each weekend. Saw Helen up there at remote Gove which was good.

The need to upgrade my studies was pressing, so I went back to Uni in Melbourne. I missed Darwin a lot but got on with a massive job in charge of Rehab services at the Alfred , a uni Teaching Hospital in Melbourne. There were a few trips to Europe and I saw Francie and her cute little children in Melbourne from time to time.

At 32 years I met the love of my life, Gilbert, in Melbourne, then I disappeared to go camel riding in Rajasthan. We share the love of travel and saw many Pacific Islands together after we married in 85 we took off on the big backpacking trip. We hiked in Nepal for weeks, were the first foreigners to go overland into Tibet in 86 and spent an extraordinary time there, then off to India, Europe and Greece.

Our daughter Mary was born in 86, Peter in 88, Christian in 90 and James in 93, a few days before a Siafu reunion. Things have been pretty busy, four children in five years, dogs, kinder, school, etc

Gilbert helped to build a ski lodge when he was younger so all the children are comfortable skiers, I'm hopeless and just organize the troops!! We have had two massive camping trips taking the children out of school for 11 and 6 weeks to travel with an off-road camper trailer throughout the outback up to Darwin, Cape York, Thursday Island, the Tanami Desert and the Kimberleys . . . I haven't had the time to get back to OT, two of the boys missed years of school with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, that's another story!!

These days I have four big healthy and happy teenagers (20,19, 17 and 14) I think I'm what they call "an Older mother", it's still busy but I more or less keep up. Gilbert and I are very lucky older parents!!


JOANNA HEATHCOTE

From Jo's website at www.jhhotels.com

Joanna Heathcote was virtually born in transit. As the daughter of a career military officer, international travel was part of the family routine. So, although her birth certificate reads United Kingdom, it might easily have been anywhere from the banks of the Nile (where she learned to swim) to the Yorkshire moors (where she developed her love of horses). Her formal education took place in England, Italy and France.

Before joining the workplace, Joanna decided to see as much of the rest of the world as time and funds would permit. While the sixties wound down, she managed to explore the USA by bus before boarding a freighter in San Francisco bound for Singapore, with stops in Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. After a sojourn in Singapore, she joined a small party of British VSO and American Peace Corps workers driving from Southern India to London. During the many months of this journey, she got to see a lot more of the world.

In 1970, Joanna settled in at her first real job as a travel agent for horses. She worked for a company that specialized in the shipment of racing, breeding, and competition horses throughout the world. Here she discovered that horses have passports and are subject to immigration laws that are quite strict. Her next job took her to Kenya where for two years she worked on the registry of British owned land in that country for the British High Commission in Nairobi. It also allowed her to travel extensively throughout Africa during this period.

But the British Isles beckoned and she returned home in 1976. For the next few years, she worked as a tour guide for Take-A-Guide, a car/driver company specializing in private tours throughout Britain. In 1978 she took over the running of the company's London office where she supervised the planning of client itineraries and lodging. Her duties include visiting hotels recommended by the company in Britain and France.

In 1981, Joanna broadened her knowledge of the hospitality business by working with ITP Villa, a company based in London, that specialized in luxury villa rentals throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and Florida. Again, her work required extensive visiting and evaluating company-recommended properties as well as the development of marketing plans and materials.

In 1985 she rejoined Take-A-Guide in London as head of operations, with overall responsibilities for sales and marketing worldwide. This included many sales and marketing trips to visit travel agents and tour companies in the United States and Europe.

The proverbial seven-year itch prompted Joanna to take a sabbatical from the travel business. In 1993, she volunteered her services pro bono, running a summer program for disadvantaged children in Boston. She spent some time freelance writing and traveling internationally. Several new travel ideas seemed appealing, wine tours in California, horseback riding in Spain and of course, the hotel business.

In 1995 she contacted a number of charming, unique luxury hotels she had come to know over the years with a view to establishing herself as a marketing person for them. Her portfolio of hotels includes deluxe boutique hotels in London and Paris, chateaux and manor houses in the French and English countryside and romantic castles in Scotland and Wales. Lately, Joanna has added hotels in Spain to her portfolio and in 2007 she will be expanding her horizons to include New Zealand. All the hotels are very much Joanna's personal selections. She bases her choices not only on comfort, friendly staff, good service and location, but good food and fine wines. Joanna presently numbers ten Michelin stars amongst her collection of hotels with fine restaurants. All of the hotels she represents are individually owned. Indeed, many are private houses with the owners beautiful furnishings, including antiques and fine art, available for guests to enjoy.

Joanna plans to continue to combine her work with her personal interests discovery of new treasures throughout the world, enjoyment of fine food and wine, and travel . . . travel . . . travel.

RAY HOBSON

You mentioned putting together a small blog of everyone, as we haven't seen each other for so long, but it is difficult to keep such a thing to just a few words, as you can see from above I do tend to ramble on; however, I shall give a brief description of what has happened.

Barbara and I arrived back in Australia in March 1974. We stayed in Sydney for about six months, then I got a job in Perth W.A. We lived there for seven years, both David and Katriona were born in Perth. I then got a job in Brisbane, so moved there for three years, then got a job in Sydney. Had five jobs in Sydney, ended up with Philips Electrical (the Dutch Company) stayed with them until I retired two years ago. I moved around from job to job as the industry I was in always had openings in different fields, I was a Customs Broker, and found staying in the one job a little boring if I was handling just a particular range of goods. Barbara has been working in Sydney almost all the time since returning from Brisbane. She has a job with the state government, and works in the premier's department looking after recruitment. Katriona had an ideal education, and on the way was lucky enough to have some wonderful friends, (two in fact are in New York working at the moment). Katriona went onto Uni and graduated in Eco Tourism, but must say not much work in that field. She now lives at Stanwell Park, a surfing beach about 30 kms south of Sydney. Matthew, her husband, is the life guard at that beach, so he just has a 200 metre stroll to work!!! They took 12 months off work in 2005 and drove around Australia in a second hand Toyota 4 wheel drive, that had already done 300,000 kms before they took off. They had no trouble with the vehicle; it was petrol/gas so they had two fuel sources. David is keen on surfing, but to date has not taken to girls, so he is still living at home with me. He is working as a contractor for the local water board, and ends up working at all the plants in and around the city, depending on the problems they may be having.

I spend my time now making silver jewellery, doing wood work in my workshop, going to the gym, bicycle riding, collecting semi-precious stones, and polishing them. Some stones I use in the jewellery I make. I also my go fossicking for stones but have not had a great deal of luck. I get most of my stones from the rock and mineral markets that come around every three months or so. Have just bought myself a digital camera so getting back into the photography. Marvellous not having to worry about film anymore.

The two pictures one of me and Katriona on her wedding day 2003 and the Siafu one packing the landrover before taking off on the first day of the Beni Road.


MIKE MADGIN

Six of us left Nairobi (Clive, Denis, Tar, Sally, Cherry and I) to travel south and climb Kilimanjaro. Tar and Cherry returned home after the climb, I had also planned to do this but decided to go further south - for a short while. Clive and Denis travelled through Malawi to Rhodesia (as then was). Sally and I went through Zambia. However, we reached the border crossing between Zambia and Rhodesia too late; it had just been closed and was being patrolled by the army. Very frustrating. We had to return north again and finally reached South Africa via Malawi and Rhodesia. I saw Denis some months later when he travelled through SA en route to NZ and I saw Clive in Umtali, in the eastern highlands, nearly a year later. Although we all corresponded for a while we have now lost contact.

In Johannesburg I stayed initially on the floor of Heather and Hendrick's flat, then met Ian and decided to look for work - so much for a "short while". Familiar faces passed through Johannesburg over the next few months, with many staying; it was a great year. Then, at broadly the same time, everyone decided it was time to move on, with S America, the most favoured route home. I travelled back up Africa, but this time on the eastern side, using buses, steamers and trains; it took over 4 months and was very enjoyable. There were some hairy moments but the trickiest moments were after just leaving N Africa for Europe, as Turkey and Greece had just began hostilities in Cyprus. Fortunately, outside Cyprus itself, it was mainly sabre rattling; I met up with a friend from SA and we spent 2 enjoyable months travelling around the Greek isles - made more pleasant as there were few tourists!

After returning to London I put on a suit again and joined a large professional services organisation; I had intended to work for them overseas in either Australia or Canada but ended up working for them in London for 28 years. They had a worldwide presence and I have been lucky to work in a lot of overseas countries over the years. During this time I met Cathy and we married and had two daughters. We have loved watching the girls grow and mature; we have also enjoyed a number of fun family holidays combining some travelling and relaxing and occasionally visiting old friends, including Siafuites. Cathy had also travelled widely - her parents had worked in Australia and N America for some years - so we were delighted the girls enjoyed doing it as well. Both girls have grown up now. Melanie has just graduated from university and is currently trying to resolve how best to celebrate her 21st birthday while she will be working in a Canadian ski resort later this year. She has no difficulty celebrating anywhere; it is just that all her closest friends will be a long way away. Miranda starts at university in September and, after working in the early summer, is currently relaxing with friends in the Greek islands.

Cathy continues to be busy with her business she set up more than 20 years ago. I joined a smaller international consultancy firm, nearly two years ago, to help build up their practice and am also kept busy. However, retirement is now not far away. Cathy plans to reduce her work load gradually over the next few years. I would also like to wind down over a similar period but working for a large organisation makes this a little tricky. Still we are both looking forward to more leisure time soon.


GREG PACKER

My short story since the Siafu trip, i.e. after a year travelling the world and not working, I returned to Sydney and within a month had a job in commercial building construction with a major company. Over the next 35 years I remained in this industry but 20 years ago my family and I relocated 1000km north to Queensland. I married Libby in 1975 and we had 3 children: Gareck now 30, Leisl nearly 28, and Megan 26.

The kids were only young when we moved to a State that in those days was a bit of a backwater but with great weather. Queensland is now one of the growth states of Australia due to mining and tourism. First, we lived on the Gold Coast for a year; then moved to the Sunshine Coast 120km north of Brisbane to build a large resort: Hyatt Coolum. During this time I bought a block of land opposite the beach up near Noosa. Six years ago we built our retirement house there, but as yet haven't moved there full time. ( I am currently semi-retired but work about 3 days a week advising a major developer.)

After that we moved to Brisbane and eventually built on 2-1/2 acres 20km from the center of Brisbane in the beautiful hills to the west. I promised the kids we wouldn't move again until they finished High School. We still haven't moved as we love the area and the kids have well and truly finished school and university.

My daughter Leisl is working at a medical research center at Chelsea in London for 2 years and Megan (who just went to Tibet with Libby and me ) is going to London in 3 weeks to do a Masters at London University.
So I will be visiting the UK quite often.

My other interests in life are cycling. I ride over 8000km per year averaging around 200km per week while at home and I now do quite a bit of oil painting . How we condense 35 years of our lives.


ROB STEPHENSON

I continued on to Ethiopia with Francie and John Thornley and others for a month perhaps, then back to Nairobi where Francie and I hooked up with a few Brits and headed south eventually to Jo'burg where we got together with some of the Siafuers there. I then went on my own to Durban and arranged for passage up the West African coast on a freighter which I boarded in Cape Town. The voyage was great after all that hard travel: air conditioned cabin, three meals a day, clean sheets, nothing to do but read and go ashore for a few hours at any number of ports. Disembarked in Dakar and then flew back to the UK.

Once home I started a job or two in planning and sometime in the late 70s did a London to Kathmandu overland trip. In 1977 I bought my present house in New Hampshire and took a "temporary" job in Boston working for a group of institutions in the Fenway neighborhood: universities, hospitals, museums, etc. Ended up staying until 1992 when I settled fulltime (versus just weekends) in Jaffrey.

My 1800 house became my nearly full-time project--total renovation and then a new addition begun in 1991. Just as that was nearing completion (believe me nothing along these lines is ever completed), I hosted the first Siafu reunion.

Over the years I have become more and more involved with Antarctic affairs, amassing a large collection of books, art and artifacts and running a website at www.antarctic-circle.org
I've travelled there six times, four of those as a lecturer on Antarctic history on cruise ships. I'm signed up to go back in February 2009.

I also seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on local affairs: Overseeing the Town's cemeteries, the 1775 Meetinghouse, Dump Committee, Water Committee, Energy Committee, blah blah blah.

I've organized seven, I think, Landmark Trust house parties for friends and several years ago Gargunnock was one of our week-long destinations. So this reunion will be deja vu all over again. After this reunion I head to the southwest where I'll spend a week at the next Landmark Trust houseparty, at James Boswell's Auchinleck. Have a look at http://home.comcast.net/~rs41/boswell.htm (The website will look familiar!)


FRANCIE WALLS

After Siafu, Rob, Maureen, Ray, Barb and I travelled around Ethiopia for a month - bumped into John Thornley in Harrar. It was an very interesting month, I thought, although some of my strongest memories are of finding the worst loo in the world, and of Maureen taking the heads off fleas. Huh - those were both at the same 'hotel', now that I think of it! Rob and I then hitched a ride to South Africa via Trade Winds (where I played hide and seek with a baby octopus!), Lake Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe (still Rhodesia). I finally headed back home in July.

I took the rest of the summer off up here in the country (it was hard to come back down from those 9 months away) and then found a job at McGill University's Law Faculty, as exec. secretary at one of the post-graduate law institutes. Was planning on staying there for at least 2 years while saving up for South America, but I ended up meeting and marrying Jade, an Aussie student at the Institute, and moving to Australia in September 1974. We lived in Melbourne for about a year and a half, both of us working, and doing a lot of exploring of Victoria whenever possible.

Then we moved back to Montreal, where Jade began working for ICAO, which is part of the UN, which meant that we were luckily sent back to Australia every 2 years to visit Jade's family, first of all in Queensland (north of Brisbane), then in Melbourne, and then again in Queensland (Gold Coast). In the meantime I became a Mum - we have 3 kids (30-1/2, 29 and 27): - Erin got married here last September - she and Rod (from Calgary) are living in Vancouver and have a newspaper distribution company but they're both really supposed to be artists, very good ones. - Brendan got married here in May to Malaika, from Nairobi - nice African music in the ceremony (I've got it on my MP3). They're working in Montreal but Mali wants to go into medicine and Bren's still working on his science degree and they want kids soon. Sounds impossible to me. - Andrew is working at FedEx, doing very well, and is the one I see the most - lives half way to Montreal. Is luckily very good at changing gallery boards and insulating basements.

Going back to when the kids were young, I worked a couple of days a week once they were in school (that allowed us to build our own house in the country), and also went back to horseback riding, jumping and then dressage. I returned to art too - took classes for years with the same teacher who taught all 3 kids, especially Erin.

Jade and I decided to split up at the very end of 1999 when he grabbed a job offer in Sydney. (We got along very well but had lost something over the years, neither of us knowing how to communicate properly.) We divorced a couple of years ago, I think, and he's remarried with someone who lived in Montreal, so he's had to move back to Montreal just when he was happy to find himself back in Australia. I think if you marry a Canadian, you usually have to live in Canada, although Bren and Mali may end up in Nairobi... (Andrew's my only hope for a nearby grandchild!)

Ever since Jade and I split up, I've been living where I've always wanted to live - in the house we built in the Laurentian mountains 1-1/2 hours from Montreal. I'm trying to be an artist, but at the moment I'm customer service manager for daughter Erin - I call her customers who've called in with complaints, among other things. I'm actually very good at it and the customers really like me!!! That was a surprise to both of us. It's keeping me afloat, so although I wish Erin would go back to her paints, I'm very glad to have this usually very pleasant job.



CARL LINDBLOOM

Carl is filling in for Krista who has had to pull out of our 14-21 September houseparty at Auchinleck. As we have a few vacant beds at Gargunnock he's coming over a few days early and will be with us from Wednesday onward. Welcome Carl! (But be prepared for lots of Africa talk.)

Carl has known Rob since the early 70s when they met in London through John Thornley. He has been a city planning consultant for over 50 years and is now a legend in his own mind.

Carl and his late wife, Dorian, along with Rob, were at Wortham Manor, another Landmark Trust property, several years ago.

He and Rob will be going on to Auchinleck after the Siafu Reunion.

Here's Carl with his daughter Nell.









UPDATE

Comments from Siafuers will appear here; most recent, first.


From Dave and Cheryl Ellen, 31 August 2007:

Dear friends and family, It is with great regret that Cheryl and I have found it necessary to cancel our travel plans to France and Scotland.

I am deep into critical negotiations for the sale of my major business Ellen Equipment Corp. It is a large and complicated transaction with many parties involved. I have been given notice to attend critical meetings with Case Company in Wisconsin and the new owners, at the very time we were to be in Scotland. It is impractical for me to travel back to the USA for the three days of meetings as well as difficult for me to be absent preparing for the closing and legal documentation for this transaction.

We hope you understand our predicament and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Once this is all behind us, we intend to set up a visit once more, perhaps in 2008.

We both will miss the great opportunity to play golf, drink wine, visit distilleries, view pictures and most of all catch up on all of your lives. Until a later date, be well and we will be thinking of you.

From Luci Edwards, 31 August 2007:
I will have a computer with me as well and I will bring spirit beverage. Mike and I are traveling on Saturday so feel free to send me an email on my Blackberry if we are meant to shop as we come - Lucile@rogers.blackberry.net. What fun entertaining the whole pub with our slides!

From Rob Stephenson, 31 August 2007:
Yes, I'll be bringing my laptop and the necessary cables and adaptors. Mine is a Mac. If people bring CDs with powerpoint shows, they should work. If the images are just numbers of jpgs or tiffs, they will work as well either individually or by my putting them into IPhoto and in turn making a "slide show" out of them. If the images come in some other format or already in some presentation application that is strictly PC, then there might be some difficulty. We'll find out. (It wouldn't hurt if one of you locals brought along your PC laptop.)

Regarding ordering food. I would caution against it unless you're given the costs beforehand and they seem reasonable to you. My guess is that we'd be paying a large premium. Last time I was at Gargunnock I stopped in a supermarket on the way and bought enough to more than get all 16 of us by and all under one hour. I will be picking up Janie at the airport at noon and then going on to Gargunnock and will have time to shop if you'd like us to. It's up to you. We could do some of both: the shop could deal with things that need refrigeration (milk for instance) and I or others could get the rest. Wine, for instance, is easy to do, absolutely critical and probably overly expensive at the shop.

You decide and let me know by Thursday AM. (It's wise that only one person is doing the shopping initally. We don't want 5 boxes of steelwool.)

My plan would be to show up at the village pub (there's an entrance on the main street and a large parking area in the rear accessed from another road), and hope that it's open (I seem to recall that it closes for a bit in the afternoon), see if anyone else has shown up and then, depending on the time, go into Stiriing to buy a phone and do any shopping if you decided I should. There's a very large Tesco, I think, in Stirling. As you know, we can show up at the house at 4pm. If after doing so, it's clear we need things, I could go out, either to the shop or to Stirling (if I hadn't already been there yet) and do any necessary shopping.)

I do remember as I thiink I mentioned before that last time we settled in, had some drinks and then went back to the pub for dinner the first night which worked out well.

I will be bringing at least one big bottle of gin which I will guard with my life. Depending on how much I'm travelling with (I picked up the T-shirts yesterday and they'll take up more space than I figured) I might take a chance on getting another bottle on the plne. The best place for wine will be a big supermarket.

The things that should be purchased initally include:

Bread
Milk
Plain youghurt
Orange and other juices
Various cereals
Wine
Nuts and other munchies
Cheese
Marmalade
Honey
Butter
Margerine
Tomatoes
Mayo
Bacon
Sausage
Eggs
Candles
Matches
Handsoap

Others, I'm sure, can add items I've missed.

Once we're settled we can work up a shopping list of things to buy on Saturday, much of which would be for any main meals for the next few nights.

From Mary Cavanagh, 31 August 2007:
Only a week to go. I guess some of you are already en-route, but I'll send this to everyone anyway.

The good news is that I've managed to borrow a projector to link up to Rob's lap-top. I hope you are definitely bringing it, Rob, as it's our only means to see any pictures at all!! Anyway, I'm able to borrow the projector from Monday (when we'll all be there, as Cheryl and Dave don't arrive until then) for a couple of days. I think that'll be enough time, as we'll have lots of other things to do besides watching "slides" (in their new format).

Rob, your idea about asking at the pub whether we can view videos on their T.V. seems to be a good one to me. I'm sure I have a video that Scott sent me after the last reunion. As they won't be there in person, if I can locate it, it will be a little bit of Sue and Scott that we can still have with us.

I saw in the update from Gargunnock House that the local shop will supply groceries, and have them waiting there for us. I think that's a better idea for our first night, rather than us having to dash off trying to find a supermarket as soon as we get there. If no-one has any objection I'll arrange to have the basics delivered for us. So speak up now if there's anything in particular you like for breakfast, or anything special we need to have (I recall that some prefer soya milk - or will cows milk do for the time we're there?). Otherwise, I'll just get what I think. I hope they supply booze too! Will anyone be bringing duty free sprits? I'll just organise some wine and soft drinks.

From Greg Packer, 28 August 2007:
I would like to apply for my daughter and her boyfriend to stay over on the first night. Mbr> Hope that is ok

From Francie Walls, 23 August 2007:
Hi Greg,

That's awful that you're having to scan them all in again - it takes forever!! You'd think a TIFF file would be better than a jpeg, with all those extra pixels. I guess re-saving them all as JPEGs doesn't work?? Mine aren't completely clear, but not too bad. I'm sure they looked a lot better as slides, although the slides seem to have a reddish tinge now - I think they maybe have for a long time and I've gotten used to it. I ended up buying a new scanner because it cost the same as what an Ottawa company was going to charge me to do the most important of the slides. So now I can do them all if I want, as well as all my Australian ones, which'll be great to have.

I'm glad that you're bringing Ian's film - my copy won't work on UK video players. There won't be a video player there, but bring the film anyway, because I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to rent a TV / video player for the week so that we could look at all our slides on the TV instead of everyone trying to see them on Rob's computer screen. [Note from Rob: There is no TV in the house unless someone brings one and who knows what the reception will be like. Perhaps we could play them in the pub if they have the equipment.]

It does sound like a long time ago, and yet when we meet up, it feels like yesterday!

From Greg Packer, 17 May 2007:
I scanned all mine a year ago but they are TIFF files, and not good for showing on computer as large images so this weekend its scanning most of them again as JPEG files.

Also I am bringing a video made from 8mm film that Ian Pasquill made. Got it from him a couple of years ago. Will there be a video player there?

I fly out Sunday 2nd, very excited about meeting people I haven't seen for 35 years. As I say to friends in Aussie saying 35 years sounds a long time but when you think we were 25 or so then and are 60 now that's a life time.

From Janie Alston Habla, 23 August 2007:
Time is ticking away and I am in fairly hair raising "departure mode", cooking, shopping, packing etc., and naturally complicated by the fact that the boys have school ski races over the coming weekend finishing on Tuesday, I LEAVE on Wednesday. Guess it always works out but its feeling fairly tricky right now!! My plans to get there remain the same. When coming back to London, Sue and I will work it out together, possibly with the help of Greg if it isn't too much of a hassle for him, we'll see.

Am finalizing tickets tomorrow. Is it still OK about meeting you [Rob] in Glasgow? My plane lands from Belfast around a similiar time, though one will have to wait. I'll check and email either Saturday or Tuesday with a phone Number in Belfast and final reconfirmation of flight details. I'm putting my fairly basic Siafu photos onto CD, its been fun looking at them again and I'm really very excited about seeing everyone that can make it.

I felt very upset for Scott and Sue, I'm hoping that an accurate diagnosis is now made and that he is I'm sure, being well "managed/Rehabed" for the quickest of recoveries. I'll email them soon. Here is a "bio" to add to the website, better late than never!!

From Francie Walls, 23 August 2007:
I'm still working on scanning and repairing some of my slides, and tonight I've realized that the way I ended up numbering them in some cases hasn't much to do with the order in which they were taken. So I've taken out my original notebook where I listed each photo while we were travelling. I wonder if I've ever looked at it before - there are lots of notes - "Helen wants all the ones with stars", "Greg wants this one", etc. I bet I never did any of that! (tsk) Anyway, that made me realize that now that so many of us have ourslides digitallized, it's much easier to share- maybe it's worth bringing along a cd or dvd in case we want an image from someone else. I'm not sure if that ruins future reunions or not - it's always so nice to see NEW images!! But perhaps if there are some photos of ourselves back then we might like having them... Or our kids might. I was just about to stick some blank dvds intoplastic envelopes, thinking of bringing them so that if anyone needed one there'd be some around. However, they seem to be a different speed than I usually get, and it says that they may harm some dvd drives. And Sue you need a cd, not a dvd. So I guess it's best to bring whatever works for us. Maybe you're all way ahead of me and already have packed a few.

From Rob Stephenson, 20 August 2007:
One of our members from the Landmark Trust house following Gargunnock has had to withdraw, so she is being replaced by Carl Lindbloom, a long-time friend who was introduced to me by John Thornley years ago in London. He will be arriving on Wednesday 12 September and staying with us from then through the end of the week (actually that works out to only two nights).

From Scott and Sue, 17 August 2007:
Oh sad news. We will not be able to come to the reunion. Scott had an accident this week. The final diagnosis from Scott's injury is he has broken his neck. We are very lucky that it is not worse.It took 6 days to get a correct diagnosis and his head was not properly supported. He was admitted to the hospital today and we are not sure about the treatment as of yet. We think that he is going to wear a halo for a month for traction and then surgery maybe. Will keep you posted.

From Jo Heathcote, 28 July 2007:
I am thinking of flying from Southampton to Edinburgh on Monday 10th September. There is a flight at 9am that gets in at 10.30 and then come back Tuesday afternoon to arrive back at my mum's by supper time. I will pick up a car. I will keep you posted. Will I need to bring sheets for one night? Don't think I own a sleeping bag these days!!!
I will keep you posted.

From Francie Walls, 21 July 2007:
Speaking of Sue, she was wondering if she should be putting her scanned images onto either a CD or a DVD, but there's no way of showing them at the house we'll be in, is there?  (I'm sure that's what you've said, but I'm just making sure that what I told her is true.)  That's always a fun part of our reunions, although it would maybe be less fun with so many people!  Except for those who've never seen anyone else's, like Janie...

NOTE from Rob: I'll have my Mac I-book with me which can show both CDs and DVDs. If you put your images in a PowerPoint file, so much the better. I've scanned and arranged my slides and have them in PowerPoint and can run it continuously in a loop.

From Janie Alston Habla, 24 June 2007:
I have been carefully watching this exciting Reunion evolve and I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone. I'm not as reliable at e-mailing, but at long last am "cobbling" together my travel plans.
I will fly Emirates from Australia to Dubai, overnight there then fly onto London change planes and fly to Northern Ireland (Belfast) stay with friends there from the 1st Sept - 7th Sept.
It is only a 35min flight across to either Glasgow or Edinburgh from Belfast. I can get a flight landing in Glasgow at 11:55 am on Flybe from Belfast City on Friday morning the 7th September. Rob you arrive at 10:25am and Sue and Scott at 12:55pm from Spain.
Would either of you have room for me in your hire car, for which I would obviously share expenses?
Returning I will go to London on the 14th by train or car if there is space available, stay a couple of days and fly home to Melbourne on Sept 20th. Looking forward to hearing from you all.

From Sue Batten Guelpa, 18 June 2007:
I agree with you, it would be fun to have Rob's friends (or anyone else's for that matter) join us for whatever time they wished.
I envy those who are going with you to Spain after our little meeting - you'll have a great time, I am sure!
I only remember "Both Sides Now" ? that might not even be what it is called! and in Mombasa I remember dancing to that "popcorn" song that had us jumping about. I am so bad with remembering the names of tunes......whatever the rest of you remember is good by me. I am hoping that I have figured out how to download music to my new ipod before I come, so I can listen while travelling, although one of my friends who recently travelled by air said the plane was a lot louder than she realized and she couldn't really listen comfortably.......oh well, it will be good for out in the garden and walking the dog (maybe the gym).

From Mary Cavanagh, 17 June 2007:
Thanks to everyone, I've now received all your payments (sorry, Greg, for some reason the bank must have taken charges at this end, as they only credited 128. Not a problem, but I thought I should let you know). The bad news is that Annie can't make it now, so we're back down to 13. I'm sure that if anyone else from Siafu were planning to come they would have let us know by now, so I think Rob's idea of filling the rooms on a daily basis to anyone who is interested (mostly Rob's friends, who we may be grateful to if they keep the costs down for us!) is a good one. Unfortunately, Mike has told me that Cathy won't be coming and Janie the same about Gilbert.
Rob, I've received payment confirmation from The Landmark Trust, with the details you mentioned. If I was smarter, I could scan them and email them to you, but I'll be putting them in the regularmail to you tomorrow and you can do the twiddly bits.
Rob again, you mentioned music and the songs we remember. The one that stays in my mind more than any is "Mr Tamborine Man". Anyone got any other fond music memories? I have a CD player I can bring with me, so that's not a problem, and I also have the Byrds CD, for my special song.

From Rob Stephenson, 1 June 2007:
Regarding the vacancies. Unless there are two last minute people to take a whole week we could provide beds on a daily basis for friends, etc.. My friend Jonathan Shackleton from Ireland is interested in coming over for a few days to visit some Scottish Antarctic "sites" with me. Jennifer Speirs who went through Africa with Encounter Overland, I think, and later with Francie and me from Nairobi to RSA lives in Edinburgh and may come over for a visit. She might wish to stay a night or two. Jo Heathcote expressed interest in stopping by as she will be in the UK and visiting her mother. There may be others. There's one couple in our group the week later who might be interested in a night or two as well as they will be spending that week touring around Scotland. In such instances we could ask those people to bring a sleeping bag or their own linen and then we would have to deal with washing or changing linen. (I seem to recall a washing machine there.)

One difficulty with this is that you can't get people interested in spending a night or two and then tell them it's off two days before because two new Siafuers say they now want to come. Perhaps one more mass e-mailing should be done to Siafuers giving a definite deadline such as mid or early August after which no space can be guaranteed. And then anyone from the outside who wants to spend some nights in the house could be given a definite answer between mid-August and when we move in.

I shouldn't worry too much about the food kitty. It's surprising how far 20 per person will go times the number of people. In the past we've put in probably a total of 50 each for a week (and from this wine, beer, even whisky has been purchased). We just had a sheet with everyone's name on it and they would put in the amount they added and throw money into a tin. Anyone who bought anything eligible for reimbursement would throw in a receipt and take out the money. Any money left over at the end can be distributed. Since I will be going on to the next house on the day we leave Gargunnock I can take anyt food or supplies left over with me and if it's substantial reimburse everyone a bit.

There's a Tescos or similar in Stirling and a shop in Gargunnock. It's important that we avoid everyone shopping on the way to the house and we end up with a dozen boxes of Corn Flakes. I suggest that Mary do or coordinate the inital shopping which can be just for the first few breakfasts, some wine and beer and munchies for the first night or two, something for the first dinner (although at Gargunnock we all went out to the pub for the first night) and the few staples that are needed (hand soap, sugar, etc.). Those flying in may wish to load up with duty free wine and/or liquor and, if for everyone, reimburse themselves from the kitty.

In past houses what we have found is that people go off in groups to see this castle or go to that town and in most cases are back at the end of the day. Then preparing and eating dinner becomes the chief time of everyone being together and socializing. In the case of Gargunnock I think there was one night when all or most of us were in Edinburgh and ate at various places there and taking the last train back to Stirling. But we always have a good time cooking so I wouldn't downplay that aspect of things. At several houses we've managed to find a local fishery where we could buy trout or salmon. I will bring a few recipes just in case.

MARY--You have or will receive from Landmark Trust an extensive list of kitchen equipment, name of the caretaker, directions, various instructions, etc., if you send a copy to me I will scan this and put what's relevant on the website for all to see.

I will bring a CD with at least 2 of the songs we heard incessently--American Pie and Both Sides Now. Were there other songs we played. Does anyone have a CD player to bring?

From Mary Cavanagh, 1 June 2007 (edited):
Just a reminder that I have to pay the balance for the accommodation before 7th June (next Thursday!). I have, so far, received payment from:-

Sue & Scott, Sue Batten, Francie, Ray (thanks, Ray, yours arrived in my account on Wednesday - 189), Luci (thanks, Luci, your money order arrived today).

I still need to receive the balance, as follows,from:- Rob 140, Mike 140, Greg 140, Cheryl & Dave 330 (190 p.p. = 380, less deposit paid 50 = 330), Janie 190.

Sue and Ray have included extra, to put towards a food kitty, so I don't know if anyone else wants to do the same, otherwise we'll sort that out when you arrive.

[home address and bank info edited out]

The price, if you recall, was based on 15 people staying, but now that Luci's friend is joining her after the reunion, we are down to 14 (my friend, Annie, is still coming, provided there is room - doesn't look as though that's a problem). So there will have to be a minor adjustment once we are all finally here - the kitty can deal with that. However, there's still a possibility that someone may want to fill the extra places. Rob, did you say that you had a couple of people who may want to come? Mike, will Cathy be able to come up with you? Greg, would Libby like to stay? Janie, would Gilbert? Obviously, they can't all be a "yes", but one or two would complete the number.

Now, for the travel plans, so far. As Sue said, she will be coming to me on Tuesday and we will set off, with Annie, on Wednesday, picking up Francie on the way (around Coventry) and meandering our way up, to arrive on Friday. As I will have some of the kitty money already, we can drop off our stuff and then find somewhere to shop for the initial provisions to get us started - don't worry, we won't go hungry!

If anyone has dietary preferences, or intolerances, please let me know so that we can shop accordingly. Then it will be something easy to toss together for our evening meal, as we'll be wanting to spend our time better occupied than in the kitchen!, and cereals, bread, spreads, eggs, etc. for breakfast - any suggestions will be very welcome. Rob, you've done this many times before, so you can give us a few tips, please.

Drink preferences would be useful, too. Beer, wine, and whatever spirits.

After the first day, maybe we'll have a "cook team" rota, so that one or two of us don't end up doing all the catering. Or I'm sure we'll come up with a plan.

After the reunion, I think Sue will be jumping on the train to get back South in time to get her flight, and Luci will be taking up the spare place in the car for our drive back down. Francie will stay until her flight back, then Luci and friend (Bev) will fly with me on Tuesday to Spain to stay in my apartment for a couple of days, before getting the train up to Paris, where I will stay with them for the weekend. Then it's back to work for me.

That's all I have time for, but I think it's enough to take in for now.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

From Scott and Sue Cosby, 30 May 2007:
To Glasgow arrive 24 Aug. Flight GMS726 (Flyglobespan.com airline) Arrive 7:30pm. Spending night in Glasgow and flying next morning 25 Aug. for Alicante, Spain to visit Peter Cavanagh (since he isn't coming to the reunion).
Leaving Spain for return to Glasgow on 7 Sept. Flight GSM126. Arrive Glasgow at 12:55pm.
Planning to rent a car and drive up.
Depart Glasgow 14 Sept. At 9:30 am to return to Florida.
We would like to share rental car BUT we must leave for Glasgow 13 Sept. As we are flying out at 9:30 in the morning.
Looking forward to seeing the 'gang'.

From Sue Batten Guelpa, 23 May 2007:
I don't have my itinerary with me (might have to unearth it from the large "to file" pile on my desk at home just now). However, basically, I leave Canada for the UK on Saturday, Sept. 1st and arrive at Mary's place for the drive up to Scotland on Tuesday, Sept. 4th. Upon leaving Scotland, I need to get down to London and leave for home on Sunday (I think!) Sept. 16th.

From Ray Hobson, 27 May 2007:
Looks as though things are getting under way; I have booked my flight to the UK with Emirates. I am flying into Gatwick on the 15th August; will be staying with one of my old school mates in Leatherhead, which is about 15 miles south of London. Will be going up to see my sister-in-law and her kids (my brother passed away in 2000), from the 30th August to the 7th September, they live in Stockport just out of Manchester.

I shall take the train to Stockport, and then may hire a car for 10 days to get to Gargunnock and back, or would be willing to share the cost with someone coming up from London, they could call into Stockport on the way. I could pick them up at Stockport station, or if they are driving they could pick me up either way would have to know if anyone is interested in this option in order to coordinate the pick up.

After Gargunnock I will be going back to Stockport for a while and then onto Leatherhead. I did have ideas of going back to Oz via Canada, but have since learnt that my daughter is expecting her first child in early October, so will be going back with Emirates on the 29th September, in case it comes early!

I had an e-mail from Mary asking about colour slides, and would I be bringing any, the answer is a definite no. However I shall be bringing 2 photo CD's with all of my slides and Barbara's, which include our travels after leaving Siafu in Nairobi, the bus up to Addis, the trip around Ethiopia with you, Francie and Maureen, then another trip around Ethiopia where we walked up to Lalabela, and then went onto Eritrea, and back to Asmara. We then flew to Kassala in the Sudan, went by banana truck across the Nubian Desert to Khartoum. I then had this stupid idea of travelling down to Juba and catching the ferry back up the Nile. We did accomplish this but it was a hell of trip, as there was still a war going in the southern Sudan, the train service was appalling, and the roads shocking. After getting back to Khartoum we caught the train to Wadi Haifi on the southern end of Lake Nasser.

Across Lake Nasser to Aswan, passing the temple of Abu Simbel on the way, from Aswan we travelled through Egypt, wonderful train system compared to the Sudan, stayed at the Valley of the Kings, saw Karnak, and then Cairo and Alexandra, flew out to Cyprus stayed a week and then caught the ferry to Haifa, and went around Israel from top to bottom. You could do it in a day it is so small, but of course there's so much so see it took three weeks. We used the local train and bus service it was excellent. From Haifa we went to Rhodes and then onto Myron's( Delos) Piraeus, and back to London. Got back in July. Barbara took off on a trip around Scandinavia; I got a job and worked for three months. Barbara came back from her trip and got married in August. Maureen was at the wedding in Blackpool. In October took off on another overland expedition to Katmandu with Swagman, after Kathmandu we made our own way down through Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java and Bali) then back to Oz.

I got a bit off the beaten track there the real subject is how do we show these pictures. I did suggest to Mary that we could hire a TV for a week and someone could bring their DVD player. We wouldn't need an aerial for the TV, or if someone has a large screen lap top computer, you could view them on that. I also have these pictures downloaded onto an MP3 player which has a 30gig hardrive, so you could look at them without either devices but the screen as you can imagine is quite small. I am assuming here that other people have their slides on similar media.

I also mentioned to Mary that it would be necessary to buy a few essential items for Saturday breakfast and Friday night, such as coffee etc., but no canned mackerel pike I have defiantly gone off that for breakfast.


From Greg Packer, 17 May 2007:
At this stage I am landing in London around 4th Sept. I haven't decided yet whether to fly, drive or train to Scotland but after checking map and seeing the distance the House is from Edinburugh I will either hire a car there or may even drive from London.

I am happy to pay the car hire costs from London and the week up in Scotland if anyone wants a lift.

I would leave London on the 6th Sept.

When I return to London I am staying another 2 weeks, one with my daughter in London, the other with friends who have a LARGE B&B in Devon.

Looking forward to the trip and seeing a lot of Scotland as well.

Am off to Tibet again late June for more horse and cart trips around the countryside.

This time there is 6 of us including Libby and one of my daughters.

From Luci Edwards, 16 May 2007:
My friend is not coming to Scotland so that frees up a spot. I am flying into London on Sept 8 and then flying to Edinburgh where Mary said she would pick me up. I am going to be in Paris the week of Sept 22 to 29.

From Rob Stephenson, 16 May 2007:
I have just made by flight plans which may be of interest to you as some coming from the US/Canada may wish to do similar bookings:

Icelandair Flight 630 Thursday 6 Sept. Depart Boston at 9:30pm. Via Reykjavik. Arrive Glasgow Friday 7 Sept 10:25am

Icelandair Flight 543 Friday 28 Sept. Depart Paris at 2:15pm. Via Reykjavik. Arrive Boston 6:35pm

TOTAL COST: $560.52 plus Molly's $25 fee [Molly Kottke here in Jaffrey. Village Travel. 1-800-448-9946. E-mail: travelwithmolly@aol.com. She'd be happy to help you out.]

Although I haven't booked it yet, I will be picking up a rental car (to accommodate a total of 4 people) at the airport, so some of you might want to share that with me. I know I will be going to Dundee and perhaps to Aberdeen area and elswhere aroundScotland, all day trips. Get in touch with me if you're interested.

From Mary Cavanagh, 4 May 2007:
My email is still far from right, and keeps throwing me off-line or taking ages to connect . . .

When I sent my last mail, it seemed ages until the end of May - but I guess it's not so far off. I've just received money from Sue and Scott, as they're off galivanting throughout May, and wouldn't get another chance to send it, but they are the only ones so far.

Anyone who wants to bring their slides is welcome to - that's going to be half the fun - but if it gives you luggage problems I'm sure there will be plenty of other people's to see. I still have to make some arrangement for how we will view them, since I don't have a projector. I need to find out if Mike has one, or else we'll have to hire one from somewhere nearby (maybe Stirling) when we get there. Pete has lent me the slides . . . and I'm going to get them copied onto a CD, then, maybe, it will be easier to hire a DVD player and screen (more in vogue than projectors these days). They'll also be easier to carry. If that seems a better proposition when I start checking it out, I may suggest that others do the same. [What do you think, Rob?]

Anyway, I'd better go. It's a good idea to give your work email as an alternative. I hardly get chance to do anything other than work when I'm in the office, but, just in caseI go silent again, I can be contacted on: mlac@ptcsystems.co.uk.

From Mary Cavanagh, 30 April 2007:
There are still several grey areas. Mike is not sure whether he will be able to stay the full time, but is happy to pay for the week. It all depends on when they will be settling their daughter in at university, and they won't know for sure until sometime in August, I think. There was talk some time ago that Cathy may like to come up and join him if there was space, or possibly stay nearby if not, but I don't know whether that may have changed. I'll have to get an update from Mike. My thoughts were that, if Mike (and Cathy) are not able to stay for the whole week and Gilbert could slot into the unused days, it could work out between them, but that's all very uncertain at this stage. Also, Cheryl and Dave aren't able to stay for the extra days as they had already booked their flights, so, alternatively, Gilbert could perhaps stay over that first weekend. My feeling then would be that, as Gilbert would be taking a place that someone else had effectively already paid for, he could contribute something to them as compensation.

There are loads of alternative suggestions floating around in my head, but to go into any more would be too confusing. It seems we will have to wait until nearer the time to finalise things and iron out any creases. I don't know the name of Luci's friend, sorry. Annie (Barnard) is fully aware that she will only be able to come if there is a spare place. Although she would like to come and share in our nostalgic meanderings (she swears she won't get bored with looking at slight variations on pretty much the same slide show, as well as listening to everyone's reminiscences - time will tell!), she understands that Siafuites naturally come first and will drop out if necessary.

Another thing which has been bothering me a little is how we will view the slides. I don't have a projector, so, unless Mike has, we'll have to make a plan. Will they still be slides? These days it seems more and more of us have had them transferred into some other medium (e.g. DVD). Does that mean possibly hiring a DVD player and screen as well as, or instead, of a slide projector, as there is no T.V. at the house? Not being very technically minded, I don't know what would be the best solution - any ideas?

From Mary Cavanagh, 26 April 2007:
Firstly, it seems I didn't confirm to everyone that we have extended the booking, and it is now from Friday 7th September to Friday 14th. I was sure that I did, but, if so, it's in cyberspace - no-one received anything from me. So I apologise most humbly!! I paid an additional deposit to hold the extra booking but, as everyone needs to pay the balance before the end of May anyway, I didn't ask for contributions towards it. We'll sort it all out together.

Next - great news! - Janie Habla is now coming too!!

As well as that, Luci is coming with a friend, who'd like to stay, and I have a friend (Annie) who'd like to join us for the week. So, if no-one has any objections, that will make 15. If Gilbert (Janie's husband) may stay for a couple of days, and there was some talk ages ago that Cathy (Mike's wife) may come up with him, that's a full house! (Even a bit of a tight squeeze, but neither are certain at the moment). Meanwhile, assuming that no-one minds the two non-Siafu insurgents, with a total price of 2,850 between 15 of us, that works out to £190.00 per person.

I'm sure there were lots of other things I wanted to say to everyone, but, for the moment, I'll be glad just to know that you received this. Then I'll know I'm back in contact with the outside world!!

From Janie Alston Habla, 25 April 2007:
Have made the big decision, am coming to the reunion. Can't wait to see you, have to work out a way to look 22years old again!! Gilbert might come for a couple of days if O.K. with all.
Hope you are well, fading fast tonight, just wanted to let you know. Will be in touch very soon.

From Francie Walls, 16 April 2007:
I'm glad to see that you know of two people who may be interested in coming. Luci apparently has a friend who'd like to come, Mary has a neighbour who's just said she's very interested, and if there's still room Mike said that Cathy might want to join us. So there's a good chance that we'll end up with a full house!

From Greg Packer, 4 April 2007:
Could you please let me know what are the actual dates for which we are renting house and is it for full week? I can then book my flights. I will arrive in London about 3 or 4 days before and by the looks of it catch a train up to Scotland unless others wish to hire a car with me. I probably would like to train it up and hire a car in Scotland after the get-together. I will be going back to London for a few days then probably to Devon for about a week . I have friends who have a large B&B in a quaint village near Okehampton next to Dartmoor!

From Luci Edwards, 22 March 2007:
Well, I made a bit of a booboo in organizing my life—not uncommon these days! I am the Regent for our local chapter of NSDAR and the chapter has invited the President General for a visit. She has accepted and we have arranged some events for her. I will have to attend at least the first one on September 7— DARN. So my plan at the moment is to catch a 2200 flight on Sept 7 and arrive in Scotland about 1845 on Sept 8. So I won't be able to drive and get there in good time. Will already miss 24 hours! I could drive back to London if that would help out. I have lots of time on the back end and will pay for my first night anyway.
We will get this all sorted out. I was so looking forward to meeting at Victoria Station!

From Luci Edwards, 6 March 2007:
I am planning to rent a car somewhere but I think it might be less expensive to fly and rent in Scotland or maybe not. Mary might have a better idea of that. If we rent big vehicles and don't all have tons of luggage, renting in London might be a good idea as the cost will be shared—6 to a vehicle would be the max. I think 8 was tough even 30 years ago. I will be staying with cousins in London as my base so could arrive early and arrange for pick-ups at the airport. I like the idea of dilapidated landrovers, chicken supreme and roast goat.

From Mary Cavanagh, 4 March 2007:
It makes complete sense to me, especially as we had talked about the uncertainty you were faced with, regarding the term start date, when we met up last summer. Do you still think that Cathy may come up with you? It looks as though Luci may want an extra place for a friend, so if Cathy comes that would make the number up to 14. Of course,one or twoof the "possibles" may decide they can make it after all too, so we could perhaps fill all the places, which would be great.
The only peopleI haven't heard from yet are Sue & Scott and Cheryl & Dave, but I don't foresee a problem from them, so I'll probably go ahead and confirm the extended booking tomorrow.

From Mike Madgin, 4 March 2007:
I would be happy to pay a greater amount for extending the Reunion booking for a whole week, even though I may not be able to join you/everyone for the whole period. Let me explain. Hopefully, Mandy will start university in September but we will not know which one until the exam results are known in August. All terms start sometime in Sept but the dates vary; this means Cathy and I cannot plan for taking Mandy and her luggage to university yet and, if very unlucky, the start date may clash with some of the Reunion. I think the possibility therefore of extending the reunion increases the chance and time I will be able to join everyone.
I like the greater flexibility the extension provides and fully support the idea--hope this makes sense!

From Mary Cavanagh, 4 March 2007:
That means we've had positive responses from all, so far. The only people who haven't replied yet are Sue & Scott, Cheryl & Dave, and Mike. I feel fairly confident that S&S and C&D will be in favour, but I'm not so sure about Mike. I may try to give him a ring to see what he feels. What do you think, shall I go ahead and firm up the extension? Or wait until we hear from everyone? It seems unlikely that the weekend will suddenly get snapped up by someone else, since it's remained available for all this time, but I know how bizarre life is, and it's just the sort of thing that happens to me all the time!

From Luci Edwards, 3 March 2007:
YES for me and I am prepared to pay for one room as I may have someone traveling with me. Good for you in suggesting this change.

From Ray Hobson, 3 March 2007:
I have no problem with this additional stay. What time  will we be able to get into the house on the Friday [4 pm or after], and what time do we have to leave on the following Friday [by 10 am].
I shall be with my sister-in-law and her family in Stockport the week prior to this, so was thinking of taking the train to Edinburgh or Glasgow (hope it does a better job of staying on the track than last week). It is about a two hour trip. But then of course getting to Gargunnock could take a while. Have you any idea how everyone else is getting there?

From Francie Walls, 3 March 2007:
Mary and I were talking about driving up, maybe taking 2 days (Mary says her car needs to get out more), and I know Lucy was thinking of renting something that would hold a few people - was that in London or Scotland, Lucy? That way we'd have a couple of cars with us so that we could wander around a bit (if we ever stop talking long enough). So there may be a lift for everyone if we can organize it time-wise. And if not, the train sounds like an easy way to do it. (Daughter Erin suggested that we rent a couple of landrovers, preferably old dilapidated ones with an obvious tilt to them!)

From Rob Stephenson, 3 March 2007:
Of course, one could meet at Victoria Station where it all started. But Francie wouldn't be able to find us and it would be the wrong station for Scotland anyway.
When I went to Gargunnock last time, I flew into Glasgow, rented a car and in a couple of hours was in Gargunnock's great pub waiting for the our group to arrive. There is train service to Stirling, the nearest town, from Edinburgh.
Where do things stand for extending the stay to a week? Even if some couldn't do that, the rest could still do so if willing to pay a bit more. Some might not want or be able to stay for a week but could stay longer than what we have now and could either pay for an entire week or a prorated amount.
I'm attaching a photo of one of the living rooms at Gargunnock just to tantalize you.

From Sue Batten Guelpa, 3 March 2007:
I'm OK with the "backwards extension" - it all makes sense to me!
Barbara - great photo! Greg - nice looking family!
Lucy/Francie - we need to talk about travelling "up" to Scotland - has anyone got travel plans yet? or is everyone still in "planning mode", like me? It all looks different now, if we extend the reunion dates. Call me, or e-mail.

From Greg Packer, 1 March 2007:
Thanks for email.
As I am probably travelling by myself and will also visit London for a week and Devon for a week, I have no trouble with the arrangements and am prepared to pay the full fare even if I miss a day.
Libby and I are off to China and Tibet for four weeks in July so it looks difficult for her to get more holidays so soon after, but I think I will be back in UK early 2008 to see my daughter or possibly daughters.
Basically after all that I vote YES.

From Barbara Hobson, 1 March 2007:
After much soul searching, I am sad to say I won't be coming to the Reunion in Scotland. I am so sorry.
It sounds like it will be a fabulous get together. Even after all these years the Siafu trip still pulls on my heart strings. I guess it is all the disasters of that trip that we remember best and with hind-sight can have a giggle about.
I have even taken the trouble recently to scan all my slides into my computer. Some of the scenery is positively breath taking. No more setting up projectors and screens.... as a matter of fact I now have them downloaded on my MP3 player and can sit in the train on the way to work and review a trip I did 35 years ago. I am a sad puppy...... Indulge me though, I attach a picture of Scott, Sue and Donna which I think captures a moment in the trip.
I know you will all have a great time and I wish you all the best of fun and laughs.

From Mary Cavanagh, 1 March 2007:
Rob, Francie and I have been chatting, and wondered whether you would be interested in extending our booking to stay for a week. Rob can only do the weekend before, as he's off to his next social gathering on the Friday. So what does everyone feel about staying from Friday 7th September to Friday 14th? According to Rob, who's stayed there before, it's very accessible to lots of places, so we could combine the time spent together with enjoying our location too. As we all know, the time just flies by, and I only realised recently that, as we can only check in on Monday evening and we have to check out on Friday morning, it really only gives us three days together - not long when we've waited so long to see each other again!
At the moment there are still only 12 of us confirmed, but I'm hopeful we may be able to encourage several of the "possibles" to take the plunge & come. Still, as that is an unknown, it's probably best to talk money as it stands at the moment, then we know the worst case situation, and, if anyone else joins us, it will just make it cheaper for us - a good reason for everyone to be making contact with the others and trying to "up" the numbers!
I have now been given this year's prices and our 4 day booking is £1,447.00, which equates to £120.58 per person (less deposit paid). If we extend our stay to a week the price is £2,850.00, or £237.50 per person. It makes the "per night" price a little higher, but I checked out the reason for that and it's because the weekend price is normally much higher (weekends being more popular) at £2161.00 for 3 nights (added together as separate bookings that would cost £3,608.00!). Anyway, I don't want to cloud the issue. It's still a reasonable price for a beautiful location, so I'm sure your only consideration will be timing - how will it fit in with any travel plans you have already made, and do you want to spend more time in Scotland - and/or with each other?
Obviously this will have to be a unanimous decision, or the ones who would like to extend will end up paying over the odds, so I hope you will all be in favour of spending a little more time together and enjoying the sights of Scotland too. I've provisionally placed a hold on those dates (ever the optimist!!), but they will only hold them for 4 days, so I have to ask you, please, to decide as quickly as you can - and please say yes!
I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone.

From Jo Heathcote, 26 February 2007:
What are the dates for Scotland? I seem to have lost all the details.....so unbelievably busy! My mother's 90th birthday is on the 7th September, so I will be in England on that date.

From Greg Packer, 11 September 2006:
Hi, I am coming to UK on Oct 18th and will spend most of my 2-1/2 weeks down in Devon at a friend's place, however I have  to go to Wendens Ambo near Saffron Walden where some of my relatives came from in 1850's so would like to call in on you and also pay my deposit if I haven't sent it by then. Have been searching WHITEPAGES for some SIAFU memebers parents addresses but have had no luck with NZ Dave or Dennis as their parents have moved. Found Julie Towler's parents phone number in Galveston and will ring her in next few days; also will search Pam williams and Clive Church as I have their parents addresses. Does anyone have Judy Taylor or Donna Morgans addresses? The last I saw of Judy she was in Townsville and this was about 15 years ago.

From Mary Cavanagh, 30 July 2006:
Hi Guys, Just a quick note to let you know that when the others tried to transfer their deposits to my account, there were going to be heavy charges at both ends (I guess I should have checked that out before I so readily sent my bank details along the airwaves!), so they have sent bank drafts through the post, which I have banked here without any problem. If you could do the same, that would be great, thank you. The numbers are gradually creeping up, so we may yet end up with a full house, which will be exciting. I'm off to Switzerland on Friday for some Summer skiing, then to Spain near the end of August. Are you all back from the Caribbean yet? I bet you've had such a wonderful time--I'm green with envy. Mind you, if I'd been with you, I may have been green with sea-sickness, never having put it to the test! I'm trying not to wish my life away--it's racing by fast enough as it is, these days--but I'm so looking forward to seeing you next year that I can't wait for it to be here! I hope you are all well, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

From Mary Cavanagh, 30 July 2006:
Hi Ray, I received the draft at the weekend, thanks very much. The others also found the same as you and have sent me drafts instead of transferring the money to my account. I obviously didn't check it out before I made that suggestion! There won't be any charge for paying it in, so don't worry on that score. I'm so glad you can make it--it will be great to see you after all these years! I am going to my apartment at the end of August, but before that I'm off to Switzerland (on Friday) for some Summer skiing--something I haven't tried before, but I do love my skiing. It's a glacier, so we don't rely on fresh snowfall--just have to cope with skiing on ice! It's typical that, when I'm off to try to find some snow, we're having the longest spell of really hot weather here that I can remember--it's hard to get my head around what I need to pack. It's no wonder you don't remember Hoylake being so hot--I doubt that it was. We've had a hosepipe ban here for the past couple of months, and although I don't have a very big garden, it's hard to keep everything alive with just a watering can, especially as I'm always off here and there and not always at home. Keep an eye on the website, which Rob will update whenever we get any news on anyone else joining us.

From Mary Cavanagh, 22 July 2006:
I've just spoken to Mike Madgin and he's definitely coming. He would like to bring Cathy if there's room, but they feel that the first 16 places should be for people from the trip. Very noble! Anyway, it helps to know that we will probably fill the house and keep the costs down a bit for everyone. Apparently Mike has emailed me several times, but they haven't got through (he did say that he thinks he's had a problem with his emails, but it still makes me feel uneasy). He's going to mail me again today, so we'll see what happens.

From Barbara Hobson, 17 July 2006:
I am glad the reunion is a go.
I am not sure if you got my email a week or so ago saying that I was tempted but just needed to organise a few conflicting things in 2007 (trip to South Africa and maybe the birth of my grandchild). Only 6 beds left so I had better put my skates on.

From Mary Cavanagh, 14 July 2006:
Hello everyone, Well, as you will be able to see from Rob's website (http://users.adelphia.net/~rstephenson/siafu.htm), we now have 11 confirmations, which we have decided is enough to make a commitment, so I have gone ahead and confirmed our booking, and paid the deposit. Just to reiterate, the booking is for four nights from 10th September 2007 at Gargunnock House in Scotland. The total price for the house is currently £1,413.00, although this could increase slightly as their prices will change before that date, and we have only paid a deposit, rather than the full price, which would have frozen it. This would equate to £88.31 each, if we fill the house. Come on guys, it's a bargain!! -- only the airfares and food to find on top (and possibly the odd drink or two)! And think of the fun to be had!! For those of us who are definite, the deposit works out to £47.10 per head, but if you wouldn't mind sending me a payment of £50.00 each, I will keep the £2.90 balance safely on your behalf!. The best way would be to send a bank cheque directly to me (Sycamore Lodge, Pleasant Road, Bishop's Stortford, Herts. CM23 2SJ. UK) or directly to my bank account, the details of which were in my e-mail. If anyone else decides to take the plunge, the same applies, and I will be delighted to hear from you, and to receive your money! One last request, as there seems to be a gremlin somewhere in the e-mailing system and I don't think they are all reaching their destination, could I ask you all if you would PLEASE send a response to this, regardless of whether it's "yes", "no", or anything in between, including "please don't bother me any more", so I at least know where I stand, and whether to keep you in the loop if you are, in fact, in it. Anyone I don't hear from I may have to contact by snail-mail, so please spare me that. That's all for now, but I hope to be hearing from you all soon.

From Francie Walls, 12 July 2006:
Greg asked about a deposit - he's off to China and Tibet on Saturday but can send us one when he gets back in about 4 weeks. I thanked him and said that you'd probably let people know about that, Rob (or one of us will). Heather and Hendrik: "It would be great to see lots of people again but I am not sure if we can make it." (he confirmed the address we have for them). Ian and Margaret: "Thanks for all the Siafu information. There certainly has been a lot of organisation gone into this reunion. We've thought long and hard but unfortunately we don't feel able to commit at this stage because there are a lot of changes going on at the surgery and I don't how I will be situated in September next year. Keep us informed in case we find ourselves free to come in which case we can find our own accommodation in the area." c'est tout for now. I actually think we should get up to 16 if you include the following: Greg's wife Libby Jenny Sharon and Doug Mike (and Cathy?) I wonder why Doug and Sharon haven't replied.... Mike too - do you think he thinks we know he's coming, Mary?

From Jo Heathcote, 11 July 2006:
I do hope I may be able to, but cannot commit this far out because of work. I will certainly try to make it.

From Francie Walls, 11 July 2006:
Maureen first wrote to say that they won't be able to make it unless they win the lottery, but wrote again 2 hours later to ask us to keep her informed, that she's "mildly interested", and that you never know - maybe they'll somehow manage to join us next year. More a "no" than a "maybe", unfortunately, but at least it's now in her mind. Francie

From Ray Hobson, 6 July 2006:
All sounds very interesting to me, please count me in. It also means I shall be able to look up some old friends, and members of the family , who I haven't seen for 34 years!! Looking forward to seeing you all in 14 months time.

From Cheryl Ellen, 1 July 2006:
Mary, What a great idea, yes yes yes Dave and I will most definitely be there. Dave has tons of relatives in Scotland which are always so much fun to visit and so we will do a combo trip with Siafu and the relatives. Yes, Dave is finally in Trinidad and the cicum navigation is comming to an end. II am flying to the boat next week on Tuesday and we are going to take a month to sail up thru the Caribbean islands. We have some friends (Scott and Sue amongst them) who will be joining us and we plan to be in Virgin Islands by the end of July. All the kids are flying down to the BVI and we are going to have a huge party at the end. Lovely to hear all your news as well, I am watching Wimbledon and the weather looks great. Keep in touch and keep the siafu news running!

From Scott Cosby, 2 July 2006:
Sue and I are in for sure. Just wanted to let you know in case Mary did not receive my info. Hope you're doing well and you are enjoying life. Sue retired one month age and she is loving the New life!!!

From Sue Batten, 27 June 2006:
I am so ready for this reunion--for some reason I thought it was going to be THIS year and was terribly disappointed when Francie set me straight!

Anyway, I promised my daughter I would visit Adelaide before she graduates from University next year, so I will go the long way around! She (Lindsay--some of you might remember her) tells me it is the same price! Hard to believe.

That September date works, as would almost any other date, for me. I work full time, but have three weeks leave and I'll be sure to save a few extra days this year in order to fit in all I would like to do (the bank account will give out before I do!).

Thanks, Rob, for the great web site; and thank you Mary, Francie and Luci for getting us off the ground once again.


From Greg Packer, 27 June 2006:
I will definitely be coming. I have had it in mind now for some time. I expect to also be in the UK for a couple of weeks this Oct and would hope to catch up with Mary then. I will be staying about 100km south of London. In 3 weeks time I am off to China and Tibet (2 weeks on horse and cart in Tibet ... may have to ring for a car if its too hard on the the old body). Really looking forward to seeing you. Thanks for your efforts.
PS are you sending out snail mail to others who aren't listed and do you want me to try and ring the NZ mob?

From Luci Edwards, 26 June 2006:
Count me in wherever it is . . . I'll organize the tour to see the Falkirk Wheel if you like. I will also rent a car or possibly a 'seven seater' having just done this on the recent tour of Scotland. I plan to do some research in the area either pre or post. I know the area a 'little' so I can be an airport picker upper too. Edinburgh airport is not far and Glasgow about the same given no motorway. Let me know if I can be of any help. I was sort of on-site treasurer in Quebec and can do that job again and come more prepared if you like (unless of course there is an accountant out there). I can hardly wait and I do hope can grow yet again--it is just sooo much fun!

From Mary Cavanagh, 25 June 2006:

Dear Siafuites,

Well, after much delay, I'm finally contacting everyone I can to try to arrange a reunion here in the U.K. next year. Rob and Francie have been helping with ideas and Rob has done a great job researching possibilities for accommodation. He has found somewhere in Scotland, which you can see in greater detail on the website he has set up for the reunion - http://users.adelphia.net/~rstephenson/siafu.htm.

As you will see from the website, Rob has actually worked much harder than I have, so far, even though this was supposed to be my project this time! I always seem to be pressed for time, one way or another, but, when I get all your positive responses, I'll be galvanised into action and this will become my overriding priority. Although I have only made it to one reunion previously, it was such a great time catching up after all the years, reminiscing on the trip and updating each other on our lives since, that I can't recommend it highly enough to those of you who haven't yet, and don't need to say anything to those who have, as you are already hooked! September is a good month for several reasons--the weather, always unpredictable in U.K., is usually pretty good; fares are lower than mid summer; there's more availability for various entertainments as the season nears the end (end September is when lots of outdoor features close), with the possibility of discounts--as I'm sure that, having made it over here, you'll be making plans for more than just the few days of the reunion!; it gives more than a year for us to get our pennies together and get ourselves organised. The venue Rob has found in Scotland offers good accommodation at reasonable prices, and we would need to make a confirmed booking as soon as possible as it gets booked up quite early, so I'd appreciate your response as soon as possible. One possible downside is that it only sleeps 16 and I'm hoping that there'll be considerably more of us than that, so we may have to have a re-think if there are lots of people coming - oooh, I'm getting all excited already, and I haven't even sent this out yet, but I really hope you can all come. Just think, some of us won't have seen each other for 35 years!!! If anyone wants to come, but has a problem with the venue being Scotland or the timing September, please let me know as soon as you can, as, if we need to change plans, we would need to do something very soon. I'm really looking forward to hearing from you all and, now that I've set the wheels in motion, when I get a response from anyone I'll contact you individually. I hope to hear from you soon.



THOSE WHO WILL BE AT GARGUNNOCK IN SEPTEMBER:
1.       Francie Walls.
2.       Mary Cavanagh.
3.       Rob Stephenson.
4.       Luci Hunt Edwards.
5.       Greg Packer.
6.       Sue Batten Guelpa.
7.       Ray Hobson.
8.       Mike Madgin.
9.       Janie Alston Habla.
10.    
11.    
12.    
13.    
14.    
15.    
16.    
PART-TIMERS, Definite or Possible
1.       Jo Heathcote is planning to come for Monday night 10 September.
2.       Carl Lindbloom (friend of Rob's)--Wednesday, Thursday nights. Definite.
3.       Jennifer Speirs from Edinburgh may stay a night. She did trans-Africa at the same time and travelled with Rob and Francie from Nairobi to RSA.
4.       Ann and Charlie Royce, who will be at next houseparty with Rob and will be touring 7-14 September, may stop in for a night or two.
5.       Greg's daughter and her boyfriend on Friday night 7 September.
6.       Claire Bean and Marny Gannett, friends of Rob going on to Auchinleck. Possibly Thursday night, 13 September.
CANCELLATIONS:
Scott and Sue Rivet Cosby (sadly have had to cancel; get well, Scott).
Dave and Cheryl Ellen (sadly have had to cancel).
THOSE MILDLY INTERESTED. KEEP ME POSTED:
1.       Barb Hobson
2.       Maureen Monkley
3 & 4.       Heather and Hendrik
5 & 6.       Ian and Margaret



TRAVEL PLANS: [As your plans develop, let me know and I'll add them here.]

Name
To Scotland - Date/Time

To Scotland - Flight, etc

Upon leaving Gargunnock

Homeward Leg - Date/Time

Homeward Leg - Flight, etc

Renting Car? (4 probably needed)
Francie Walls Picked up by Mary, Annie, Sue near Coventry Wednesday 5 September. Arrive Gargunnock Friday 7 September Back to Bishop's Stortford with Mary and Luci on Friday. Staying with Mary until 16 September. Back home on 16 September No
Mary Cavanagh Driving to Scotland leaving Wednesday 5 September. Picking up Francie near Coventry. Arrive Gargunnock Friday 7 September Driving back to Bishop's Stortford with Luci and Annie then to Spain with Luci and friend Bev on Tuesday 11 September Train from Spain to Paris later in week Will have her own car. Driving from Bishop's Stortford
Rob Stephenson Depart Boston 9:30pm Thursday 6 September, arrive Glasgow Friday 7 September 10:25am. Will meet up with Janie in airport and drive to Gargunnock. Icelandair Fl 630/430 via Reykjavik To Auchinleck House in SW Scotland for 1 week, then to South of France, details yet to be arranged Depart Paris 2:15pm Friday 28 September, arrive Boston 6:35pm Icelandair Fl 543/631 via Reykjavik Yes, total capacity 4. Ford Fiesta via Hertz. 2 weeks for £210.62. Pick up noon 6 Sept; drop off noon 21 Sept.
Luci Hunt Edwards Arrive London Saturday 8 September, flying to Edinburgh, arriving ca. 6:45pm. Picked up by Mary. Depart Scotland with Mary, to Paris 22-29 September
Greg Packer Arrive London ca. Tuesday 4 September. To Scotland in hire car with daughter Megan and her boyfriend. Depart Scotland, staying 2 weeks in London, Devon Will hire car.
Sue Batten Guelpa Arrive London Sunday 2 September. Drive with Mary to Scotland Tuesday 4 (perhaps Wednesday 5) September To London. Fly home Sunday 16 September No
Scott and Sue Cosby Sadly, have had to cancel because of Scott's neck injury
Cheryl and Dave Ellen Sadly, have had to cancel because of business doings
Ray Hobson Arrive Gatwick Wednesday 15 August on Emirates flight Train to Stockport, perhaps car to Gargunnock Back to Stockport Fly home on Emirates Saturday 29 September May rent or willing to share
Mike Madgin
Janie Alston Habla Will fly Emirates from Australia to Dubai, overnight there then fly onto London, change planes and fly to Northern Ireland (Belfast) stay with friends there from the 1st Sept - 7th Sept. I can get a flight landing in Glasgow at 11:55 am on Flybe from Belfast City on Friday morning the 7th September. Will meet up with Rob in airport and drive with him to Gargunnock. Returning I will go to London on the 14th by train or car if there is space available, stay a couple of days. Fly home to Melbourne on Sept 20th.
Jo Heathcote Depart Southampton 9am Monday 10 September. Arrive Edinburgh 10:30am Return to Southampton Tuesday afternoon 11 September Will rent car at airport to get to Gargunnock
Carl Lindbloom Depart Philadelphia Tuesday 11 September. Arrive Glasgow Wednesday 12 September at 8:35am. USAir Going on to Auchinleck House with Rob. Renting car through Hertz at Glasgow Airport.