Big Roundabout in Canberra (topical metaphor)


I’ve had my first full weekend in Canberra since the move just less than a month ago. I had been returning to Melbourne the 3 weekends before. While it was restful physically, being away from home in Melbourne wasn’t restful in another sense. I was glad Jonathan and Ruth (with little Micah) visited Tress on Saturday. I guess it gave her something positive for the weekend to focus on/revolve around. Things have been happening at her workplace too. Resignations and redundancies have caused re-organisation of reporting lines. Her boss had resigned and she now reports to someone she had had to work a little bit on to get him across some work issues so it’s kind of awkward I guess. I think the overall sentiment of a retailer struggling and the specter of tight cash flow is just as big a dampener than anything else – maybe more so than anything else.

Alone here in Canberra, I filled the weekend with errands and activities, mainly of the housekeeping variety. Well, alone in the sense that Tress isn’t here, of course. There’s kiddo around which is a great compensating factor. In an odd sense that made me feel even worse for Tress. I’m sure she wishes she could be here with Kiddo and I.

I went for a run on Saturday morning, taking a leisurely route to the National Botanic Garden. I only went for the run around 9 am, as it was very cold again earlier in the morning. Then it was laundry and vacuuming and then I took a ride to Canberra Center –  partly as a continuing familiarization activity and partly to do some grocery shopping. Kiddo and I had arranged to meet later for lunch before she went for a movie with Micaiah so we met up at a dumpling house in Canberra Centre, just next to the Papparich restaurant. After lunch I went home, and after putting away the grocery, made myself a coffee and then sat down for an online test. This test is what prompted this particular journal entry…

It’s been a very mixed journey to date. Aussie Post had had a role brewing since February. My recruiter started talking to me about this potential role back then but things took some time and on the same day I was offered the Canberra role, he actually texted me to say they (AP) was finally ready to interview. I rang almost immediately and spoke to him and could only laugh at the irony of the timing but the logistics of moving to Canberra with this AP thing brewing away were very confusing in my mind. Waiting on the Lord brings interesting times but this messes with my idea of God’s leading in ways which only a positive attitude can deal with. The recruiter threw me the bird in hand line, an idea which I had already clung on to, being desperate to return to work. I hadn’t been working for nearly 3 months at that stage and I was going a bit nuts. So I actually met the AP lawyer (who would be my manager if I’m offered the role) the Friday (15/5) before I left for Canberra the following Monday (18/5) morning.

The second interview with that lawyer, another lawyer (who leads a different division) and a business GM happened earlier last week. It was via Skype which threw me off a little bit. Being interviewed at home wasn’t ideal – it didn’t put my mind in a right place. Also, the online test was a bit odd. I had forgotten to take my reading glasses home so struggled a little bit with my usual glasses, which while is a multi focal pair, aren’t the glasses I usually wear for work stuff. At the end of the test (just over 2 hours) I was exhausted, relieved and was a little confused.

I’m confused because I don’t know what to make of the whole thing.

Except for the fact that I’m away from home in Melbourne and more importantly, being away from Tress, I’m liking it here in Canberra. The work is interesting, colleagues are very nice, I have my own office and I work very reasonable hours. I get to work inside 10 minutes and return each night feeling “clean” because I didn’t have to trudge through crowded stations, platforms, trains and heavy traffic to get home so I have more time and mental space to enjoy the evening at home each night. Everything is within 10 minutes ride and the further places are within 10 minutes drive. Kiddo and I decided to get out yesterday arvo for some sun and fresh air and it took us all of 10 minutes to get to the Old Bus Depot at Kingston. All these are making Canberra quite pleasant.

Other than Tress, the things I miss are Scruff, the home garden, the bigger spaces at home in Melbourne, church, Madame Kwong and some friends there.

It is also confusing because I want to do the right thing by the NBA. They incurred time and money to get me here and the understanding is I’d stay a year (contract duration). I had a chat/catch up with Jason before I left and he very helpfully (being in Public Service himself) assured me people in the Public Service come and go all the time and often new starters leave after a very short while. Apparently should I leave after only a very short while, it’d be a common scenario – something people in the Public Service see and do all the time. This was very helpful to know but it still bugs me should I be offered a role and decide to accept it. This is all assuming I’d be offered a role. That is by no means a given. I guess if I wasn’t offered the role I’d be happy to stay on in Canberra but then again the hope of being able to go home and be with Tress again has to be put on hold.

With all this in mind, after the test I went for another ride around the area. Kiddo, Micaiah and I later watched “Downfall” (again)…

On Sunday I went to Crossroads church in Braddon (only a few minutes ride away). Marcus Reeves preached on Colossians  2 (cleverly/cheekily titled the Supplements Scandal) and I met a family who were also straddling Canberra/another city (Sydney/Coffs Harbour). I guess my experience of getting in and out of Canberra is a common one, shared by many in Canberra. Mostly, people come to live in Canberra entirely for work related reasons and leave their lives in other cities on very temporary basis, picking up fragments of home whenever they return.

I rode to Canberra Centre again after church, then went home, did some ironing, cooked lunch and then watched the first half of the Collingwood v GWS game before going out to Kingston with Kiddo. When we returned, I went out for a walk around Haigh Park, headed towards Black Mountain, and returned after about an hour when it had just turned dark. After fixing my brekky and lunch for the next day, I settled down to watch some telly (MasterChef) and exchanged FB messages with Tress. Watching live footy at the G and being with Tress would be great but walks around Haigh Park and rides around the CBD are also very pleasant.

The other thing about Canberra is its roundabouts. They’re large and it takes longer before one gets out of a roundabout.

This one would take a while before it becomes clear which exit I take to get out of a roundabout and which direction I’d be headed for.

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