Tyres, Cool Summer and Verdi

            Last Friday I enjoyed the benefits of working through the holiday period, for perhaps the last time as this week would probably see the grind returning to full flight somewhat. I had to get the tires of the SUV changed last Friday. A regular service about 4-5 months ago had the workshop ring me to say the tires were gone – no more threads – and I was advised to get new ones. My drives were no longer than 10km at the most. Most days it is just a 4km or so trek to the train station. The 10km drives were mainly to church in Blackburn North or occasionally, to Jason’s home in Wheelers Hill where it is probably a bit longer. The point was I didn’t need new tires.

Tress and I would soon be trekking up to Sydney however, and drive down the coast back to Melbourne – so those new tires needed to go on. Tress had gone to the Forest Hill K Mart tires place some time ago and they’re ok price wise so I went there. Matt – the owner operator – was also a decent and friendly guy so it got changed last Friday and we’re set now for our drive up to NSW.

Those tires sort of got a warm up session as we drove up to the Mornington Peninsula again on Saturday and went to the Red Hill market. Half of Melbourne must have thought of the same thing because about 2-3km from the market, traffic was backed up and cars were snaking in towards the car park, alternating between standstills and first gear speeds. The atmosphere was fantastic however and we spent a few hours buying and eating, and taking in the scenes of the produce and products on display. We left early in the afternoon and cars were still backed up trying to get in, when we were leaving.

We got home and I started prepping some food for the dinner at Jason’s while also watching the cricket.

At Jason’s we caught up with a family who moved to Melbourne about 2 years ago and we met them when we were at the Lifegate Church. Their boys have grown and it was pleasing to see how their older boy was no longer reserved and no longer looked uncomfortable. He was engaging and wanted to be part of the conversations. It’s strange how in a space of little over a year, a teenage boy changed so noticeably in his demeanor. It was great to see. We talked for hours and it was nearly midnight when we left and right through, those boys listened and though they did not say much, it was clear they were engaged.

As usual, when I missed my bedtime window (usually between 9.30 and 10.30) I find it hard to go to sleep. So I sat up and watched tele – Harrison Ford’s K19 was on and I had forgotten it was a Kathryn Bigelow movie until the end credits rolled. Tress sat up with me and we only went to bed after 1.30.

After church on Sunday, we took Kiddo for some shopping. She needed some clothing stuff so we went to the Westfield at Doncaster and had lunch there too. We went back in time to continue with the cricket and with England having just lost 2 wickets in their second inning I suspected we were in for a finale to the Ashes series, even though it was only the third day of play. It turned out to be another England debacle as the 2013/12 Australian summer saw the dethroned world champions suffer a humiliating 0-5 defeat. The last time this happened was back in 2006/7 when Messrs Warne and Company were riding a crest just before some of the Aussie greats retired.

It was all over pretty quickly and after prepping some food for this week, and with the weather outside really miserable (strong gusty winds, dark skies, rain…) I started on a 2014 plan to renew some interests in opera. Or at least arias and choruses. Verdi’s Nabucco – especially the chorus of the Jewish slaves – was my pick and I was reminded of how beautiful opera music is. I wonder if I can watch or listen to more of this stuff this year.

Although it is barely halfway through the summer, I have mentally wound back my holiday season mood and started to wonder what 2014 would bring work wise. So, when we get back from our NSW excursions, I’d crank up on work and Verdi and Co. Something to warm the cockles of my heart when winter returns, I guess.