The Tans in 2015


2015 was a sad year for us – our beloved Flemington passed away in August and we are still grieving.  He was our third 'child' and we loved him to bits.  He brought so much joy and happiness to our lives for 14¾ years, filling a void in our empty nest after our boys left home. The nest is empty again!  But we are wary of committing to another pet after the heartbreak of seeing Flemington's final painful months. 

The combination of age and arthritis caused him to slow down considerably during his morning and evening walks, and he spent most of the day sleeping.  In January, tests revealed elevated liver enzymes and a large growth in his liver.  A discussion with the oncologist persuaded us to simply monitor the tumour to see if it became bigger or remained static, rather than risk complications from surgery with anaesthesia for a biopsy sample. 

In August, his skin developed pustules, ulcers developed in his eyes and he started coughing.  The ophthalmologist found that the tear ducts had completely dried up and his eyes had to be treated throughout the day and night. Over the following 2 weeks, his health deteriorated rapidly (even though the eyes and skin sores improved) and he had difficulty breathing and eating; eventually he stopped eating and became very weak. 

In the end, we could not bear to see him in so much pain and suffering and had to let him go to Doggy Heaven.

Then further terrible news that Gracie and Fu Hua's dog, Don (our favourite Singapore dog) was run over and killed by a recklessly-driven car.

We only had 2 trips this year: in June we went to Singapore for a week for Arthur to attend the 50th anniversary of Raffles Institution 1965 cohort. Then in September, Cheryl and her mother Esme joined a tour commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Singapore after WWII, followed by a trip to Thailand principally to follow the horrific journey of Esme's brother Tony, a PoW who died while working on the Thai-Burma DeathRailway.  Both tours were very enlightening in the facts revealed on the conduct of war.  The Singapore visit also allowed Esme to spend time with another brother who had recently been diagnosed with a very serious illness.

Our sons, Greg and Nick, and their families went to Hong Kong in November as part of celebrations for Greg's 40th birthday.  They spent a few days in Disneyland and visited Macau.  Nick and Peta then flew to Singapore where they boarded the cruise ship Virgo for Fremantle.  Meanwhile Greg, Andrea and children remained in HK for a week, then Singapore for a few days and visited many theme parks, zoos, museums, exhibitions (including Star Wars at Changi Airport). The grandkids had the best time, and this holiday will be a highlight of their lives.

Ainslie is growing up very fast and her cheer-leading skills are improving; Rhys is in kindy and is ready for Year 1 next year – he is quiet and his knowledge of vehicles and science is impressive.  Blake is at an adorable stage – he can walk and run very confidently and he is attempting to talk; he is also cheeky and smiley but stubborn as well. Nick and Peta started new jobs and also ventured into property investment.  Esme, at the behest of her other daughter, Charmaine, moved to Adelaide, but she came back to Perth to look after Flemington while Cheryl and Arthur went to Singapore. Arthur bought a new bicycle while Cheryl was kept busy with her cake baking and decorating hobby and duties as secretary of the body corporate of a strata complex.


Our Year in Review