Reflections on 2015

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Wow – it’s December already, and Christmas is only a few days away.  Yikes – where did the year go?

2015 started with some lovely family time – Connor and Kyla came across from Brisbane and we had all the grandkids together. All the Grandkids Jan 2015

On the home front things have been good.  Kyla has settled in and has added spice to our lives.  She and Joshua are wonderfully close and the two cousins keep us on our toes.

My travel has been pretty hectic – as evidenced by the TripIt stats:

2015 Total
Trips 24 166
Days 171 1139
Distance 336,448 km 1,621,588 km
Cities 34 70
Countries 11 22

Highlights for me were visiting the Taj Mahal, QCon  London in March and getting to Thailand and Malaysia for the first time.

On my way to London I stopped in Grenoble and had a night in Paris before taking the Eurostar – my first trip through the Chunnel.  Definitely more relaxed than flying between cities.

Fondue in Grenoble

Paris by Night

For my birthday Spence and his lovely family took me to Bletchley Park.  It’s sad when you see computers you actually worked on in a museum.

I wrote my first programs on punchcards

 

In March the Agile Alliance board meeting was in Wellington – the only face to face meeting we’ve had that I didn’t need to travel to.  It was great being able to host the event, we had an open space event before and Arthur cooked us an amazing meal on the Monday afterwards.

Agile Board in Wellington

In April we took a trip to Taupo and Tauranga.  Serena and Abigail came with us and we had a great time catching up with family in the Bay of Plenty.

 

Kyla, Joshua and I went river rafting on the Rangiteki River, level 4 rapids.

We survived the rapids

Grandad's girls

Big news on the family front was Melody getting together with Hayden, and the two of them promptly deciding to have a child.  The baby is due in early January, so we’re heading across to Brisbane to greet the newest granddaughter.

Melody & Hayden

Jade and Cam came down to Wellington in May to meet Abigail.

JAde, Cam & Abigail

Cyberview Resort in Malaysia

Abigail turned one in July and Scott’s family came across from Melbourne for the event, as did Melody and Hayden.

Abigail's First Birthday

In June I was in Thailand and had a chance to do a very brief tour.  I definitely want to go back.

Agile 2015 was in Washington DC, and I did some sightseeing there one evening.  Thanks Sharon for being such good company.

The Lincoln Memorial

Thailand

In September I spent an amazing week at Menlo Innovations learning about the Menlo Way and how they really have created an environment of joy in work.  It was truly inspirational and I’m trying to bring the ideas and philosophy into my own work and the workplaces I come in contact with.  Richard, James and the Menlo team truly live the values and are wonderfully generous in sharing their ideas.

In the same trip I visited Minneapolis and Des Moines – thanks Angela, David, Kent, Lisanne and Juao.   Then on to Portland for an Agile Alliance board meeting and open space event.   We were defeated by the overwhelming sweetness of Voodoo Doughnuts!

Voodoo Doughnuts

In November I went along as a (grand)-parent helper when Kyla’s class had a trip to Kapiti Island.  It was a great day out, even if my legs swore at me for the next week!  I flew the next day to Thailand for the Agile Tour and was definitely hobbling around the conference.

Looking back at Paraparaumu from Kapiti Island

SoftEd has opened an office in Singapore, which means I’ll be spending more time in that part of the world.

This year I’ve done quite a bit of conference speaking, including being invited as a keynote at Agile Tour Singapore – I do enjoy the great variety of people I get to meet at conferences and have made many new friends in different places this year.

Next year I will be speaking at Agile India in March and have submitted proposals for Agile 2016 and Agile Australia – I’m sure more will emerge 🙂

My last trip for the year was to Brisbane and Saudi Arabia.  It was great to meet with a small agile community in Riyadh.

 

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

On the family front, Steven, Serena and Abigail are flourishing and it’s wonderful to see Abigail growing so happily.

Mom has moved to a rest home close to us and whenever Serena comes to visit Abigail and her NanNan get into all sorts of mischief together.

At the rest-home Christmas party they had a group of bikers taking people for rides – needless to say both Mom and Kyla took full advantage of the opportunity.

NanNan on a Harley

Kyla Close BehindI got to catch up with Matthew, Colette & Conner and Melody & Hayden in Brisbane – they’re all well and thriving.

Jade and Cam are doing great in Auckland, as is Robert.

Arthur and Nicole are also thriving – Arthur is still at Ortega Fish Shack and spoils us with his culinary prowess whenever the come and visit.

Joshua did very well at school this year and is headed for great things.

Kyla also brought home a great report, and she’s decided to stay with us next year too – doing her high schooling in New Zealand.

Cressida is well, still struggling with the loss of Chris but coming through it.

Arnold is engaged to Sam(antha) – the two of them make a lovely couple.  Sam is looking for work in Wellington and will move over here when she finds a suitable role.

To end, Nancy and I wish all who celebrate the holiday a blessed and merry Christmas and everyone a wonderful 2016.

 

 

I took this photo from the beach close to us – it symbolizes why we love living where we do.

Sunset over Kapiti Island

So, what happened to 2014?

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Wow – it’s December, in fact Christmas is only a week away!  Where did the year go?

Well – Tripit tells me that I’ve travelled 312762km, been to 12 countries and 28 cities this year, which means way too much time sitting in aluminium tubes breathing recycled air!  Only four flights to go (I’m in Riyadh and start the 40 hour trip home in about 8 hours) then I will have finished travelling for the year.  I finished the last course for the year a couple of hours ago and I’m one working day away from a few weeks off, staying home!

It’s been a pretty full year for the whole family – some pretty significant events and some great times.

We started the year taking the three younger grandkids away for a whirlwind trip around the North Island – Taupo, Rotorua, Hobbiton and river rafting on the Tongariro River.  It was great to spend time with them, and we’re looking forward to another adventure together in a couple of weeks when Connor & Kyla come to visit again.

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At Hobbiton

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Them’s Hobbits them is

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Looking out over Taupo

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Mt Rhuapehu in the background

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We started out dry

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But didn’t stay that way for long

A big change for 2015 is Kyla staying behind with us when Connor goes home – she’s decided she wants to experience being a Kiwi and will be living with us for the next few years to finish her schooling in New Zealand.

At the same time Arnold and Joshua have moved in with us as well, so the house is full again. It’s great having family around.

After the grandkids went home in January it was back to work, my travel started with a trip to Jeddah, Orlando and Vancouver – the first of three circumnavigations of the globe this year.

Jeddah is an interesting and very different city.  I was teaching at the Islamic Development Bank, an organisation with a truly humanistic vision dedicated to improving the quality of life of people in the Islamic world.

Orlando was work on the BABOK and an Agile Alliance board meeting, then on to Vancouver to work with Steve, Susan, Chris and Dave on an eLearning course for Agile Business Analysis.

February was the second circumnavigation – Riyadh, then London for the QCon conference then on to Austin, TX and home.

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Big Ben in March

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View over the Thames

In March we were privileged to be present at Lee and Mike’s wedding in Auckland- they are wonderfully happy couple and it’s great having Lee in NZ, even if they did desert us to live in Auckland.

The happy couple

The happy couple

It was great to be there with Lee & Mike

It was great to be there with Lee & Mike

The wedding party, including folks from SA on Skype

The wedding party, including folks from SA on Skype

April was Brisbane & Saudia Arabia for two weeks, Nancy came with me and spent the week I was in Riyadh with Melody.

For me the travel highlight of the year was the trip Nancy & I did together in May where we went to Tokyo, Prague and Vancouver – it was wonderful to be able to take time to see the places together and enjoy some us time.

The beginning of June had us hosting Mom’s 80th birthday bash – a jolly good time was had by all and she was thrilled with the party.  Family and friends came from far and wide and it was wonderful to be able to share this significant milestone with everyone. Having Elthea visiting at the same time was extra special.

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The Streets from Tawa

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The Erasmi

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Barry & Nola

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Steven & Nicole supervising the cooking

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Serena & Janice – Mother in law bonding


Arthur, Joshua, Serena, Roxanne, Alex

Cousins & their little auntie: Arthur, Joshua, Serena, Roxanne, Alex

Scott, Tracey & Nola

Scott, Tracey & Nola

Arthur & Nicole

Arthur & Nicole

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A special cake

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Zandra & Basil

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Pete, Mom & Elthea

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A disreputable bunch if ever there was one

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Sonia & Hunter came down from Auckland

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Dad & Daughter

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The Hastie Men

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Another dangerous grouping

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With Jade

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Left & Right Sock

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Jackie came from Brisbane, Jade & Cam from Auckland, Caren causing mischief

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With my wonderful wife

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With the worlds best neighbours (Dana & PJ) and long time friends (Antony & Jacinta)

Later in June I went back to Riyadh for a week.

In July the years biggest blessing happened – Serena gave birth to a beautiful, bouncy baby daughter.  Abigail.

In August it was back to Orlando for the Agile 2014 conference.

In January I’d done some shopping in anticipation of our newest princess arriving.

September had me in Chicago for an Agile Alliance board meeting.  I ate genuine Deep Dish pizza for the first time.

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View from the meeting room

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Chicago architecture sure is interesting

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Deep Dish Pizza – oh, so rich!

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More interesting architecture

One benefit of all the flying is you occasionally see an amazing sunset or a great view of the mountains.

Mt Taranaki at sunset

Mt Taranaki at sunset

Sunset over Auckland

Sunset over Auckland

At the end of October I was back in the USA to talk at the PMI Global Congress in Phoenix, AZ.  A group of us ran an agile business analysis and product management open space telling the PM community about the benefits of both agile and good business analysis.  The PMI Business Analysis practice guide was announced at the conference and launched in December.

Convincing PMs of the value of business analysis and agile

Convincing PMs of the value of business analysis and agile

November was another big trip – Singapore for the Agile Singapore conference then on to Bangalore and finally to Pune to keynote at the Agile Pune conference.

In Singapore the conference speakers stayed at the Marina Bay Sands hotel – an amazing building which was evidently the most expensive building ever built when it was opened (cost over US$4BN, and paid for completely within 5 years from the profits at the casino).

I had a memorable evening with Richard Sheridan (author of Joy, Inc and founder of Menlo Innovations) and Linda Rising.  Watch out for an InfoQ article of our conversation.  They are two truly inspirational people and it was great to spend some time with them, as well as the speakers and attendees at the conference.

On the Saturday Richard, Linda and I walked around the Gardens by the Bay – another truly impressive venue.

SoftEd were sponsors of the conference, Dan, Kathy & I manned the stand

SoftEd were sponsors of the conference, Dan, Kathy & I manned the stand

The Marina Bay Sands comples

The Marina Bay Sands comples

The view from my room

The view from my room

The infinity pool on the 57th floor

The infinity pool on the 57th floor

View from the 57th floor

View from the 57th floor

Surreal artificial trees - they help keep the domes temperature and humidity regulated

Surreal artificial trees – they help keep the domes temperature and humidity regulated

View over the gardens

View over the gardens

Looking back at the Marina Bay Sands

Looking back at the Marina Bay Sands

You can take a lift to the lost world!

You can take a lift to the lost world!

Intrepid explorers

Intrepid explorers

Interesting sculpture

Interesting sculpture

Christmas in Singapore

Christmas in Singapore

In the garden

In the garden

From Singapore it was on to Bangalore for a week and then to Pune for the Agile Pune conference, where I met up with Linda again.

This trip to Riyadh has been the end of my travels for this year, heading home with a day stop in Brisbane to see Melody and have a BBQ with Matt & Colette before the night-time flight back to Wellington.

Nancy’s had a year of experimenting with new artforms and foodstuffs.  She’s been mixing spices and making delicious blends and then did a “weedwalk” class where they learned to forage for edible plants (some interesting salads and flavours in the cooking), learned Shibori fabric dying  and did a portraiture course.

Unfortunately Shadow passed away at the end of 2013 and the home was too empty without a feline presence so Rafiki (a seal coloured Burmese kitten) came to join us in the middle of the year.

Rafiki

Rafiki

The rest of the family are all well – Jade and Cam are thriving in Auckland.  They’re not coming down to Raumati over Christmas as they are heading to Melbourne for a holiday.

Serena, Steven and Abigail are happy in their home and family.

Cressida is doing well and got engaged to Chris early in this year.

Melody is making some major changes in her life – moving to a country town in Outback Victoria for a complete change of pace and environment.  She plans to be settled in her new lifestyle early in 2015.

A winery lunch with Melody

A winery lunch with Melody

Matthew and Colette are doing well in Brisbane, there was a rumour of a possible stint in the USA but nothing more has been said yet.

Matt & Col

Matt & Col

Arnold is “in a relationship” with a lady he’s been playing online games with for a few years.  Sam is visiting us this month and they’re wonderful together.

Joshua’s finished his first year of high school with high marks and a good report.

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Connor and Kyla are doing well at school and in their extra-mural activities.  Connor is in the air cadets and plans a career in the air-force, Kyla is doing gymnastics and loving it.

Connor & Kyla

Connor & Kyla

Robert is doing well at his job, there was some concern about the business being shut down but new owners are taking over and all is safe.

Arthur is doing a wonderful job as a chef at Ortega Fish Shack – we’ve eaten there a couple of times now and every time been amazed at the quality and flavour of the food.  We all get the benefit of his training and experience when he and Nicki come to visit on a weekend and he takes over the kitchen.

Arthur at Work

Arthur at Work

So – that’s the story of our year.  It’s been a busy and joyous one with the addition of Abigail to the family.

All that’s left is to wish you one and all a blessed and happy Christmas and all the very best for 2015 from Nancy, Shane and the whole mob in Raumati.

Here’s a very different Christmas carol for you to enjoy:

Where did the year go? Wishing you one and all the very best for 2014!

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Wow – it’s December, where has the year gone?  It feels like just last week I was writing our 2012 Christmas  message and looking at the blog log there have only been two entries posted this year.  I promise to try and be a better correspondent next year.

TripIT tells me I’ve done 30 trips, 28 cities, 8 countries and 193 days away this year, which might explain why I’m feeling ready for a break.

At this time of year we reflect on the things that are important to us, and right up there at the top of the list is the value we get from friends and family.  It’s true that with the hectic pace of life we don’t pay enough attention to maintaining the close relationships, years can go past without us seeing each other, but know one and all that we value and care about you.

In my travels I’ve managed to catch up with quite a few of our friends in distant lands, and have made more as I’ve traversed the globe this year.  The opportunity to get face to face is one I cherish and wish we could do more, but even if we didn’t meet in person the social media definitely make the world seem smaller and keep us aware of what’s happening in each other’s lives, so please continue to connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Looking back over the year some of the highlights for me are:

  • January in Floriniapolis, Brazil.
  • Walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in February
  • Finally getting to the Wellington 7’s
  • Great time at Murdoch James wineries
  • Working with a great team on the ICAgile VMBA track.
  • Interesting artworks and a relaxed weekend in Newcastle.
  • Celebrating a special birthday with Moira
  • Meeting up with good friends in Vancouver
  • Spending time with our wonderful children, at home and away
  • A restful weekend at Yallangup
  • Catching up with old friends and making new ones at Agile 2013
  • 100+ Agilists line dancing at the Wild Horse Saloon
  • Watching a show at the Grand Ole Opry House
  • Nashville on a Saturday night
  • Getting the the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama
  • Seeing the Americas Cup village, even if the racing was cancelled that day
  • Some amazing sunsets when driving between Wellington and Auckland
  • Good meals with good friends
  • Hayes Mansion in California
  • Watching our grandchildren growing up
  • Getting to drive a Tesla (even if only around the parking lot)
  • Another successful Arts Trail for Nancy, Caren & Derek
  • Actually stopping in Dubai en-route to Riyadh
  • And now being able to stay home for a whole month!

So – a busy year, good times and plenty of places.  All that’s left is to wish you one and all the very best for a fantastic Christmas (for those that celebrate it) and health, happiness and prosperity in 2014.

With love and best wishes to all

Shane & Nancy

Winery Tour 031

ICAgile VMBA 001

Newcastle Trip 129Newcastle Trip 023Moira 50th 023Vancouver 005P1030222 P1030218IMG_1934 P1030268Raj Catherine Shane #2 SoftEd teamIMG_1974 IMG_1976 IMG_1984IMG_2040 IMG_2013 IMG_2025IMG_1995 P1030543P1030666P1030717 P1030750 P1030745 P1030746 P1030754P1030774IMG_2063 IMG_2080 IMG_2094IMG_2115 IMG_2113IMG_2107IMG_2209IMG_2145 IMG_2278 IMG_2339 P1030785 P1030823 P1030809 P1030823 P1030787

End of Year Greetings from Raumati

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It’s that time of year again, summer is here in the Southern Hemisphere and we’re about to take our annual vacation.

As always at this time of year we pause to think about all the good things in our lives, and to reflect on the year nearly done.  We’re fortunate to be part of a global community of close friends and family, and we appreciate every one of you.

Our year has been a busy one.

Shane has been travelling like a mad thing, again (to which the response is “nothing new there” :-)) The work with the Agile Alliance has given me the opportunity to work with some wonderful people and travel to interesting places over the last year.  I’ve also been working in the IIBA team writing the next release of the BABOK, mainly working as a distributed team which means plenty of early morning phone calls, and late nights editing material.

It started with a trip to the USA, during which we had the chance to see Cousin Paulien.  Then in March I was off to Saudi Arabia, closely followed by West Coast USA in April.  In June we took a break and had a wonderful time cruising off Queensland, August was the Agile 2012 conference in Texas, closely followed in September by Baltimore and Vancouver (with a nasty immigration experience thrown into the mix).  Around all those have been regular trips to Australia and Auckland, so I’ve been home about a week a month this year.

I continue to be very happy and content at Software Education, working with some fantastic people.

Nancy became the Bionic Woman this year, her left knee was replaced with a titanium prosthetic in July.  The surgery was painful, and the recovery has been slower than she wanted, but the result has been fantastic.  She’s able to walk around without pain and is steadily getting her fitness back.

In November she, Caren & Derek took a stand at the Arts Trail, selling their wares – they were very successful, nearly selling out of stock.

Arts Trail  On the family front we are all well – Cressida is healthier than she has been in a while and is doing OK.  Arnold and the boys are thriving, Robert is now 22 and working in a local cafe, Arthur’s 19 and about to start a professional chef’s course and Joshua is 12 going into his last year of primary school.

Early this month we went to Brisbane for a week and saw the family there.  Matthew & Colette are doing well, no date for the wedding yet.  Connor is 13 and starts high scool next year.  We attended his graduation event from primary school while we were there, and proudly watch him get the class prize for Philosophy.  Kyla is 10, and thriving.  Melody is very happy in Brisbane, about to move to a unit where she can keep a pet (so we expect to get another grand-dog soon).

Serena & Steven are doing well – they are both working for Weta Digital now, and have been working crazy hours – they’ve both got credits for work on The Hobit and love their work there.  A wedding date has been set for 1 September next year.

Jade and Cam are wonderfully happy together in Auckland.  We’ve had a number of opportunities to catch up with them through the year and it’s a pleasure to see them together.  Wedding bells are on the horizon, pending the legislation change in NZ for sex marriages.

So that’s our year in a snapshot – busy, busy, busy and happy, happy, happy.

The pace of life means we don’t get to see you as often as we would like, but that doesn’t mean you are forgotten – dear friends and family wherever you are in the world we think of you often and hold you close in our hearts.

All that’s left is to wish everyone who reads this the very best for the holiday season, many blessings, and a healthy, safe and prosperous 2013.

With much love and good wishes

Shane & Nancy

Scots Ball 2012

Greetings and Salutations at the End of 2011

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It’s been a big year, and we finally have a chance to slow down and take a much needed break.

Since the last yearly missive (https://shanehastie.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/seasons-greetings-from-raumati-beach/) Nancy & I have both been pretty busy.   For me it’s been another good year with Software Education (www.softed.com), I’m incredibly fortunate to work with a great group of people doing stuff that I really enjoy and care about.

Nancy and Caren have been busy with their new venture – Fascination Creations (www.fascinationcreations.com)  making mixed-media artworks, wearable art, fascinators, jewellery and hair accessories.  They’ve made work for commissions and exhibited three times over the year, one exhibition included a fashion show.  “Put a little glamor in your life”

 

In March we celebrated my 50th birthday with a Scots themed party at home – thanks to everyone who came along, and for all the good wishes.  Friends and family came from all over the world, and it was a wonderful evening. A jolly good time was had by all – https://shanehastie.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/a-great-party-thanks-to-everyone-who-came-along/

We ran the SDC conference in March and had a fantastic time with the speakers.  We took a trip to Kapiti Island (embarrassing to admit that we have lived in the Kapiti area for 15 years and only visited the Island for the first time this year).  If you get a chance to come out this way then I strongly recommend a visit to the Island – we had a great time.

The year has been full of travel for me – in the first half it was the usual Australia & NZ trips, and then things changed from about August on.

Unfortunately Nancy’s knee has been problematic and has prevented her from travelling much with me this year.  She had surgery in November, and was give the go ahead to travel this week by the specialist to hopefully she will accompany me on some of the trips next year.

In May I had the opportunity to teach in Hobart (Tasmaina) for the first time – a fascinating place: https://shanehastie.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/delight-in-hobart/

I attended the Agile 2011 conference in August and stopped in Turkey (one day to see Istanbul) and Israel on the way to deliver a training course in Tel Aviv.  The story of the trip unfolded over a series of entries in my travel blog:

At the Agile2011 conference I was elected to the Agile Alliance board of directors, which means board meetings in the Northern Hemisphere four times a year.  I’m also a volunteer on the IIBA (www.iiba.org) Core Team writing the next release of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge and have been working on the Agile Extension to the BABOK (http://iiba.info/AgileExtension) – a sucker for punishment.

One of the great things about the volunteer work I’m involved with is all the great people I get to work with on a regular basis.  It’s wonderful how many passionate and positive people there are involved in both the Agile and Business Analysis community around the world.  It’s a real privilege to work with them.

The remainder of the year was hectic – September there was an Agile board meeting in Rome, and I stopped in Paris on the way to spend a couple of nights with Karl and Theresa (thanks for the great hospitality).  It was wonderful to spend a bit of time with them – the last time we caught up was in Chicago in 2010.

In mid-September we had a chance to get away together for a weekend, en-route to delivering a course in Hamilton.  We spent a lovely weekend exploring parts of the Waikato we hadn’t seen before. https://shanehastie.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/a-restful-weekend-in-the-waikato/

From Hamilton Nancy flew home and I flew to Saudi Arabia to deliver some courses and presentations there.  A really interesting and enjoyable trip in a brand new environment for me.  I made new friends and learned a lot my the time there.  https://shanehastie.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/my-first-visit-to-saudi-arabia/

In November I made some new friends in Brazil – my first trip to South America.  I was invited to give the keynote talk at the first BA Brazil conference in Porto Alegre.  I was treated fantastically and really well looked after – thank you to everyone who I met there. https://shanehastie.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/a-great-week-in-porto-alegre-brazil/

To cap off the year I went to Bangalore in India for 12 days.  Another new culture and great people.  An added benefit of that trip was spending some father-daughter time with Melody, she works for the company I was doing the training at. https://shanehastie.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/bangalore-for-10-days/

In January we fly to the USA for a couple of weeks – a busman’s holiday since there is an Agile Alliance board meeting at the beginning of the trip and a BABOK 3.0 working session at the end.  In the middle we’re spending a few days with Nancy’s cousin Pauline and visiting Denver (in the mid-winter) just because we can J

So that’s the story of our year.  We’re all well, and heading into 2012 looking for new and exciting adventures.  Nancy & Caren already have orders for weddings and events for next year, Software Education continues to grow and expand into new realms.

We’re relaxing at home over Christmas – enjoying the new kitchen and relishing in a wonderful Kiwi summer.

At this time of year we get to reflect on the people whose lives have touched our own.  Often long periods go by in which we don’t see each other, nor do we communicate well, but that doesn’t mean you are not in our thoughts and prayers.  If we haven’t been in touch it’s not due to a lack of care or concern – it’s truly because we just haven’t had a chance.

We miss you all and wish you all the very best for a peaceful and happy holiday period, and may 2012 be a fantastic year for you all!

And if Google Translate worked properly the appropriate greeting should be in the list below:

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
  • Feliz Natal e feliz Ano Novo
  • Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année
  • Hyvää Joulua ja Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
  • Geseënde Kersfees en Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar
  • Happy Hannukah and Happy New Year
  •  חנוכה שמח שנה טובה
  • سنة جديدة سعيدة

With much love and best wishes

Shane & Nancy

Season’s Greetings from Raumati Beach

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To All Our Friends and Family Wherever You May Be

As another year draws towards a close we stop and think about the people who have touched our lives over the years.  Know that you’re often in our thoughts even though we don’t communicate as often as we should.

2010 has been a busy time for us, still travelling a lot around Australia and New Zealand.

The photo-gallery at the bottom of this post is a visual record of the year…some highlights are mentioned below.

Shane’s still happily working at Software Education and having a ball.

Nancy’s been able to do some more artwork, she found a pottery studio in Auckland where she can do some work when we’re there.

In January we had a party to celebrate Serena & Steven’s engagement, Melody came across for the party which was a great evening.

In February Janet & Russel Wood came out to New Zealand, and we had a great time showing them around the North Island.

In May we celebrated 30 years together, a great evening with friends and family.   Straight after the party we flew to Brisbane and shared Mother’s Day with Melody, Matthew & Colette. Then we went on to Sydney for for a week, got some great shots of the Harbor Bridge at night.

Later in May Serena graduated, another cause for a party.

In June Jessica came out to escape the World Cup chaos in South Africa.  Unfortunately she had a mishap and broke her ankle while she was here. Despite having to hobble around on crutches we had a wonderful time with her.

I went to Whakatane in June to deliver a course, and got some lovely sunset photos.

In August we went to the local Scot’s Ball with Donald & Moira and Caren & Derek.

Arthur finished school this year and had his formal ball in August.

In July Jade turned 30, then in September Serena celebrated the same milestone.

In October Jade and Cam came down to Wellington for the long weekend, another opportunity for a party at home.

In November we got back to Brisbane and spent a lovely weekend with Melody, Matthew, Colette and the children.

Nancy and Caren have been having a lot of fun making fascinators together.

Leonora has joined us for a couple of weeks over the end of this year, it’s lovely to see her.

At the end of November Antony turned 50, then the last pre-Christmas event was Donald’s 50th birthday – a major celebration where a jolly good time was had by all. Amazing that three of us who were at school together in South Africa are together to celebrate the same major milestone in New Zealand (mine is in March).

We wish you one and all a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful 2011!

All the best

Shane & Nancy