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Earliest names in the Hall family tree



The Pontifex family can be traced back to as early as 1550. If this is correct, John Pontifex is Corinne’s 9th great grandfather (Corinne’s father is Arthur John Hall, his mother was Annie Woods, her mother was Anne Pontifex). 

The earliest Pontifex in the family tree we have been able to trace is John Pontifex (1550-1589) who lived in West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. The family stayed in Buckinghamshire until around 1800.

According to a Pontifex family legend, their family was descended from Pope Martin V, originally Oddo Colonna (1368-1431), a Prince of the house of Colonna. He was married and had two sons who went to England and took the name Pontifex, of the Pontiff. 


Corinne’s grandfather Fasham Venables, was previously Fasham Nairn King before he adopted his stepfather’s name. The Nairn family can be traced back to 1670 in Kent, England.


Remington, Hobbins, Hadley


These ancestral names of Fasham Venables (previously Fasham Nairn King, Corinne’s grandfather) can be traced back to the mid-1600s, and were all in Warwickshire, England.


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Hong Kong and Shenzhen China






Following our Japan trip in May 2017 we all returned to Hong Kong, after which Craig and Sonia headed home and Wendy and I headed to Shenzhen in China. 

I have mentioned both these locations as a result of previous travels.  They form what is effectively a single conurbation divided by the Hong Kong/Mainland border and this line also divides the population economically and in terms of population density.

These days there is a great deal of two way traffic between the two.  It's very easy if one has the appropriate passes; and just a little less so for foreign tourists like us.  Australians don't need a visa to Hong Kong but do need one to go into China unless flying through and stopping at certain locations for less than 72 hours.  Getting a visa requires a visit to the Chinese consulate at home or sitting around in a reception room on the Hong Kong side of the border, for about an hour in a ticket-queue, waiting for a (less expensive) temporary visa to be issued.

With documents in hand it's no more difficult than walking from one metro platform to the next, a five minute walk, interrupted in this case by queues at the immigration desks.  Both metros are world class and very similar, with the metro on the Chinese side a little more modern. It's also considerably less expensive. From here you can also take a very fast train to Guangzhou (see our recent visit there on this website) and from there to other major cities in China. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News




On the morning of May1st 2016 I jumped, or rather slid, out of a plane over Wollongong at 14,000 feet.

It was a tandem jump, meaning that I had an instructor strapped to my back.


Striding Confidently Before Going Up


At that height the curvature of the earth is quite evident.  There was an air-show underway at the airport we took off from and we were soon looking down on the planes of the RAAF  Roulette aerobatic display team.  They looked like little model aircraft flying in perfect formation.  

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Opinions and Philosophy




In my novella The Cloud I have given one of the characters an opinion about 'goodness' in which he dismisses 'original sin' as a cause of evil and suffering and proposes instead 'original goodness'.

Most sane people want to 'do good', in other words to follow that ethical system they were taught at their proverbial 'mother's knee' (all those family and extended influences that form our childhood world view).

That's the reason we now have jihadists raging, seemingly out of control, across areas of Syria and Iraq and threatening the entire Middle East with their version of 'goodness'. 

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