Cuz in Canberra and NFP again?

Jonathan and Ruth have been in town, with little Micah of course. On Monday night I went to see Jonathan who was at their old house in Mawson. They’re in town to try to fix the house and prep it for sale. Jonathan was busy pottering around when I dropped by and I didn’t want to take up too much of his precious work time so after a quick chat I left.

Last night I drove over to Garran, where they’re staying with a friend. Ruth and Micah were there while Jon plugged away in Mawson. Micah was asleep and he looked absolutely adorable, tucked under a blanket with a dummy in his mouth. He is nearing 6 months old now and I’d not seen him since his full moon. I said to Ruth he looked like 6 chek – something Tress told me before, and Ruth said many said the same thing.

I got back home, made my lunch, and spoke to Tress on the phone. Kiddo and Mic then came back and we sat and talked a little bit. Tress and I had been talking about Ruth, Jon and Micah as well as LBJ – but mainly we were talking about this organisation called Worldshare. The CEO and I had been talking and exchanging emails. I had responded to an ad for a Bequest Manager by way of an email inquiry, more so than an application. That was several weeks ago.

It turned out the CEO had in mind a part time role of only 1.5 days. I’m also not entirely certain I’ll do better at Christian NFP a second time around, for reasons I already described in a previous entry. So I had parked that aside, prayed about it and left it alone. The call from the CEO yesterday and his emails stirred and recalled that thread. He said he could expand the role to be at least 3 days and also would not mind making it full time for a while, until I find another part time role. I said to him in an email this morning that I’d still pray about it and in the mean time, I’d apply for other part time roles. If my application(s) land somewhere it’d be interesting development in terms of confirmation of some sort … maybe. Otherwise, this would remain parked I guess.

This waiting exercise has hosed me down into a calm wait-and-see person – more so than in the past – but it’s still keeping my thoughts occupied.


Cycle of blurred and focused views

Last Friday was a wee blur sort of a day. I had done a day trip for work to Melbourne the day before, and when I got back to Canberra, I felt zonked out. When the cab dropped me off at home, I got out of my work clothes, changed into shorts and tee, and had a snooze. I felt drained.

Later that night Kiddo Mic and I went out for dinner at Belco and Kiddo too said she didn’t feel too well. Her thesis is due for submission today and I guess she has had a few bumps dealing with the ravages of the tides of pressure as the waves flow and ebb in recent weeks.

So after a zombie like Friday I went to my boss’s office just on 4pm, and said to him I was leaving and heading to Melbourne. I went home, picked up LBJ and his stuff, and made that drive back to Melbourne. My mind was on Kiddo and her thesis, as well as on the book I had been reading. That day trip to Melbourne on Thursday had us on the tarmac for half an hour as we waited for air traffic in Melbourne to clear up. I took that time to plough on with the book I had started reading the night before. By the time I landed back in Canberra on Thursday I had reached the half way point. It must have been months since I ploughed through a book that way. Timothy Keller’s book on work (Every Good Endeavour) is I guess the right book at the right time sort of reading for me. So as I hummed down the Hume, my mind was drawn back to what he wrote.

We got back to Melbourne just on 11pm, and LBJ looked at home – and was pleased to be back in Melbourne again. Tress had done a quick instant noodle for me (at my request) with a beautifully fried egg on top. I devoured it, and was pleased to also note a little box of chocolate truffles. Tress had gone out for dinner with Jason, Mel and the Hipos and Mel picked out the chocolates at the place where they adjourned for coffee. As usual, I longed to be in Melbourne for these reasons – to be with Tress and amongst old friends.

On Saturday after brekky at home we did some work tidying up the gardens again. The hedges have grown thick and tall and needed much elbow grease as I trimmed and tidied those lush greens. Hedges trimmed, lawns mowed, driveway/deck swept, I gave the car a quick wash. Warmer months mean more moths and other insects and the grille and the front of the car was enmeshed with matted moths. Together with other grimy bits the car looked awful and needed a good cleanse. I wondered, as I drove back last night, whether some of those grimes were from bits and pieces of kangaroos and other road kills…

We finished the work just after 2pm. By the time we were seated at Madam K’s just after 2.30pm, I again felt zonked and thrashed. After lunch we did some shopping. While walking around at FHC Kiddo rang to say they were at Officeworks printing out her thesis. Pointy end… I asked if I could read her work. I just wanted to read and know what she had been working on in recent months. When we finally headed home for some much needed rest, we had the Netflix on and watched “India’s Daughter” – a documentary on the horrendous attack on the late Jyoti Singh in New Delhi on 16 December 2012. After that I said to Tress we needed to watch something less grave but after watching the news we ended up watching Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy in The Last King of Scotland – another movie on the ghastly depravity of man. It had been that kind of evening…

At St Alf’s on Sunday we heard Kara Martin from Ridley College speak on work being God’s gift to us. Reading Tim Keller’s book was prompted by Peter’s email a few weeks back, about the new sermon series on work. Kara’s talk was the first. I’d miss chunks of this series, as usual, but going by Kara’s talk and Tim Keller’s book I’m guessing the trajectory of this wouldn’t be too far off what’s starting to form in my head now. Putting it into practice would be the challenge.

LBJ followed me back to Canberra last night. We got in just before 8pm, having stopped at Murrumbateman for the little fellow to run around and do his thing while we still had daylight. After unpacking and settling LBJ down, Kiddo and Mic came back as I was on Skype with Tress. The next few weeks would be interesting and hopefully better than the past few weeks. Like other things and previous experiences, I’m again living through cycles of cold dark lonely days and warm, light and familial ones.

Hopefully things would pull more into focus and the listlessness and restlessness would ebb away.

Why am I away…

This past weekend, I came into the office on both Saturday and Sunday, and did a bit of work.

Kiddo came in with me the whole of Saturday. She is at the tail end of her honours thesis and needs to continue to find fresh launch points to edit her work. We walked in in the morning, did our work and then went to a Turkish place at the Lyneham shops for lunch and then came back to do some more work before leaving just before 6, as it started to rain lightly.

On Sunday Kiddo came in too but left after a short while. I too left just after 1pm, went to do some grocery shopping at Jamison and then went home for some lunch. LBJ and I then went for a long walk, and when we got back I did some ironing, prepared my brekky and lunch for today and then settled down and talked to Tress on the phone.

That’s when it happened.

Hearing everything that Tress went through from Friday night, I wondered, for God knows the umpteenth time, why I’m here away from her.

Tress left Myer after more than 10 years. In that time she had made so many friends and left such a trail of fragrance that her departure became a really sad moment. I should have been there for and with her. As I should have been in Melbourne with her for my 50th birthday. I have missed all these significant milestones in my life because I have made this decision to take up this role in Canberra. Again, I don’t know why. Maybe I was just too miserable not having a job and the idea of a job, even if it was 700km away from Tress and home, sounded like an ok idea. Especially if it meant linking up with Kiddo again.

All I know is after speaking with Tress on the phone, I lied down on the lounge floor, listening to some soulful stations on Pandora. LBJ ended up lying just next to me. I missed Tress so much I felt like just returning to Melbourne and let the work trail end wherever it finds itself.

I’m back in the office now, continuing with the work I came in to do over the weekend. Tress is in her new office at Port Melbourne, starting another chapter in her life – and I’m not there for and with her. Again. I’m not sure I know what this phase is all about…

Seafood salad lunch

I’m bored. I need to take a few moments away from this tedious document I have been asked to work on.

Maybe I’ll work on describing the recipe for my lunch today. A seafood bean salad.

First get some beans. A can will do. In fact that is the whole idea of a workday lunch. It must be in a can. The nutritional values of beans out of a can aren’t inferior to beans which thumbed their rounded noses at such a wonderful convenience. It costs far less than beans stored or managed in other ways and the contents remain protected and unblemished by time and other elements which usually render food less palatable.

Care must beBeans exercised when lifting the ring that is attached to the container as it is known to come off quite easily before completing its task. Like an elderly man is wont to do with respect to some bodily functions.

Open can beans
This step is delicate. Lose the ring and you’re in strife. Open the lid too much and you’re in strife too but the next day.

You do this by gently lifting the ring just a few millimeters before inserting your index finger through the ring. Once firmly in the ring, hold the index finger down firmly onto the edge of the ring before embarking on the next, delicate step of slowly but firmly pulling the ring away from the edge of the lid, ensuring no jerking action is involved. Do this in one slow and continuous action and you will see the lid coming away from the can, revealing beautifully canned beans.

Do not remove the lid all the way. Pull the ring back about half way, just enough to drain some of the liquid and later, scoop out some of those lovely beans.

You want to remove the liquid as otherwise the salad edges closer to a casserole, which I often pretend it to be when I don’t perform the next step with the care it requires.

Once the lid is open for about a centimeter or so, slowly push the lid back to keep the beans in the can as one pours out some of the liquid. Drain beans

You don’t want to pour out all of the liquid because the tenet of a workday lunch of this sort is economy. This requires retention of say one half of the content of your now opened but ready to drain beans, for use in another workday down the track.

Slowly drain about just under half of the liquid. Drain it straight into  the sinkhole. Take care however, to aim the draining at the center of the sinkhole. Otherwise you mess up the sink and it sets you back in terms of one of the secondary objectives of a quick, economical and convenient workday lunch which is to minimise mess and cleaning up. It also saves you a bit of dosh in terms of detergent etc.

With the required amount of liquid drained, gently tip out some of the beans (about half) into a container. You can if you wish, use a teaspoon for this. The washing up is fine as the spoon can be re-used for mixing/tossing anyway.

Beans in container Leave the beans in the container and stand back. Have a look at the first element of your salad. Make sure it does not have too much of the liquid that was in the container as it may otherwise look, taste and act more like a casserole.

Once you are satisfied it is moist without being wet, set it aside by leaving it in the container without the lid on. This will further dry the beans.

When safely set aside you may then proceed with the second (and final) element.

This is a seafood salad so selection of seafood is essential. You can use shellfish but the country of origin of such products is questionable these days. Hygiene and integrity or purity of product can now leave consumers in doubt.

For this recipe I have selected a fish.Can tuna

Some may say this fish is suffering from fish stock stress from as a result of over-fishing or comes with the stigma or perils of commercial fish farming.

What trumps these considerations however are the principles that govern and dictate the choice of a workday lunch.

The elements of cost and efficiency override concerns of social responsibility for everyday consumption as one otherwise becomes spiritually pure(r) but never gets past a smugness that borders on a weak bank.

This fish is economical and in the form I have chosen, it comes with all the advantages I have described for the first element.

The canning process is far superior to bread slicing technology man often attributes to be the best invention.

In this form, you also have the advantage of choosing the flavouring, which in turn further achieves the objectives of economy and efficiency. There is no (or less) need for seasoning or dressing. Depending on the beans you have selected, you may want to choose something which adds some spice and sweetness to the salad, such as sweet chili. The selection is easy as the flavour is also emblazoned on the can. Like I said, canning is a wonderful invention.

However, the can means you apply the same amount of care and respect to this element as you do for the first. Repeat the process of carefully extracting the can tuna

Again – as before – gently lift the ring that is attached to the can and then give it your finger. Insert that finger through the ring and gently lift it so that the lid opens ever so gently. Then with a firm and sure stroke lift the ring to pry open the lid. Open the lid as much as possible without completely tearing it away from the can. Leaving the lid attached to the can will again save you some time and effort in terms of cleaning up and discarding the can.

Using the teaspoon you had used to remove the half can of beans, remove all of the fish from the can.

You may in the interest of cost and efficiency, place the fish straight into the container with the beans. Spread it out over the beans as much as possible. This will save you time in a later step. It also helps you see if you need to say, dress the fish and beans with say, some olive oil to add some moisture and texture to the salad.

tuna in container

Finally, give the salad a mix. Stir it well but don’t over work it, particularly if you use beans which are soft and delicate. Sometimes I use other legumes such as lentils which is fine and would allow you to stir and mix all you want.

It really doesn’t matter what legume you choose. They all make you do the rudest thing and provide not much difference in nutritional values. Taste matters but again, remember the context. Context is king and often makes one look far wiser than one really is. This is work lunch we’re dealing with. In my case it all starts and ends at my desk. No one sees or knows what happens but yourself. And it is all over within 10 minutes (depending on what you read on the internet at that time).

With little between them the choice of legumes really comes down to cost. I often get mine for a dollar a tin. Ditto the seafood.  The result can be very satisfying.

mix well

I’ve made mine dry enough to still call it a salad so I ensure the dish is well stored in the fridge at the office until it is time for service.

No need to plate up. Glassware is clean, hygienic, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing. The notion that one starts to eat with one’s eyes cannot be harmed by this recipe plated up on glassware.

Keep it closed and refrigerated and Arthur Balfour! Or, to put it more conventionally, Bob’s your Uncle!

keep well

Recall I said we keep half the beans for the next time? With only half a tin used each time, my lunch is often a very economical dollar and a half.

That allows me room for dessert.

I choose a seasonal fruit. Although, with global trade enhanced by the great Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement now in place, the term “seasonal fruit” seems to be losing its impact. We had strawberries through winter and with temperatures now soaring into the high 20’s or low 30’s I still get sweet juicy oranges. And economical too.
DesertA whole bag (of say 6 fruit) can be had for a mere $3.

So with half a dollar for dessert which is sweet, succulent and makes you go like no other dessert can, the total cost of a very easy, nutritious and complete lunch is a mere $2.

I should say the time I have taken to write/make this entry is the entire amount of time I have taken to prepare such lunches this whole entire week, combined.

Feel free to try and share this recipe…

Newbie Con

My workplace convenes the occasional “knowledge forum”. Some , such as when new government policies or procedures come about, require mandatory attendance. I have even presented such a session. Others do not.

Invariably, the mandatory ones are less interesting than those which aren’t. This morning I attended one of the latter.

Ken Nollet is a specialist transfusion medical doctor who does work in Fukushima Medical University. He came to talk about management of blood supply in emergencies. His prime examples were the 9-11 terrorist attack in New York and – of course – the earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima. The talk was titled 9-11 to 3-11.

It’s one of those talks which reminds me how little I know about my present “industry”. Much of what he referred to by way of products involved, escaped me. Terms like HLA (human leukocyte antigen), autologus transfusion and other by-now-semi-familiar terms were thrown around and seemingly understood by everyone else, made my head spin. I was constantly playing catch up I felt like such a terrible newbie. While thankfully the 4+ months I have been here has educated me a little bit about things blood related, yet for the umpteenth time, I felt both privileged and like a con. What am I doing in a place like the National Blood Authority, when my knowledge of the health sector, let alone the blood sector, can barely fill 3 lines in any resume I can conjure up for this role?

I feel privileged because all the knowledge I’m absorbing on a daily basis, has been fabulous to know. It’s almost always fascinating stuff. I seldom felt like I’ve had a dull day, as a result. Hearing for example, how Japan has one of the highest (or is it the lowest) HLA ratio (because it is such a homogeneous society) compared with the US or European countries turns on several light bulbs in my head at once, By the same token however, I feel like a con. I often feel my contribution is so negligible I probably need to be the paying party for the tuition I receive on a daily basis.

And oh by the way, the honourable speaker suggested allegations of cover up on the issue of how high and/or harmful residual radiation remains in Fukushima, is hogwash. One can of course remain cynical but I believed him…

Busy weekend and “will I ever come near Moses”…

After 2 weeks with Kiddo and I in Canberra, Tress returned to Melbourne on Friday night. We drove back with LBJ, having left work a touch early that Friday arvo. After an initial panic about where the Melbourne home keys were, we pushed off, stopped at Gundagai for a bit and then reached home late – around 11pm. It had been hot and gusty in Melbourne when Tress had been away so the home was a bit messy and “dirty”.

On Saturday morning we took LBJ to the vet and got a list of treatments done for him. His right eye does not produce any tear and is prone to inflammation. We got that treated, gave him his jab, got some heart. worm and flea all-in-one tablet and after paying a hefty bill, took him home and gave him his eye ointment. Tress and I then went to see Simon our hair guy. Haircut done, we went for lunch and then headed home to work on cleaning up the house.

Thankfully the weather held up and the threatened storm did not arrive till late – after all the work had been done and LBJ even had a walk. Lawns mowed and tidied up, driveway swept, house vacuumed, car washed, LBJ walked, we did some grocery shopping, picked up our new glasses (my multifocals needed tweaking and Tress needed new sunnies) and then later we headed to church for the dinner and talk on climate change and environment etc.

There were 3 speakers. Ian Hore Lacy and Peter Fagg are still at St Alf’s whereas Chris something had left St Alf’s in the 90’s and now tutors at Melbourne Uni on climate change. His reliance on the IPCC was a bit shaky and his citing stats on refugees in general and using that to link with climate change was a bit curious but other than that the talks went well. I particularly liked Ian Hore Lacy’s point about speaking in terms of God’s creation, its use and care, and loving our neighbours (globally – 7 billion of them).

We helped out a bit after with the cleaning and left church just after 10pm. We were a bit pooped by then and headed for bed pretty quickly.

We decided LBJ would come back to Canberra again with me so Tress could have some time with her colleagues at Myer on her last week there. Next week she starts a new job – after more than 10 years at Myer. She could use some distraction free time that week too, so LBJ came up for the drive yesterday arvo. He and I got into Canberra and pulled into our apartment just after 7.30pm.

Kiddo had cleaned the apartment pretty thoroughly. With her being so busy at this time with all those essays, chapters and revisions to do – her taking time with chores like that was amazing. She really is becoming a mature, independent and responsible person with overall balanced development.

That clean and tidy apartment, the warmer weather and lighter day meant the return to Canberra didn’t feel as bad as past trips. Improvements notwithstanding I still think of Melbourne so very fondly and still wished there is work there for me. I said to Tress after church yesterday, that I’d love to do any work – not just legal work – in order to be able to remain in Melbourne. While I’m grateful for the work I now do, being in Melbourne with Tress remains a far more attractive idea.

On the way out from church yesterday Peter the minister spoke with us briefly and asked if I wanted to participate in a forum – short 1-2 minute per person thing – in one of his sermons in the next series on work etc. It’s things like this which made Melbourne so much more of a home. Much as ICC/Lifegate had been our community for years, St Alf’s has over the past 2-3 years, become a fantastic replacement and notwithstanding the efforts needed to start new relationships and all the pains that involved, it has evolved well. Being at St Alf’s feels like coming home every time I’m back in Melbourne. I guess that went a long way towards making me feel the way I do.

I said to Peter yesterday, that the over-arching lesson over the past 6 months or so had been on the theme of waiting on the Lord. The wait continues and as I continue to read His word, listen to podcasts on NT Wright and Co, listened to and read talks and sermons and articles, chatting with church people etc, I am none the wiser. The antennae feels keener and more receptive but as yet, there has been no signals.

I read (in Numbers 11-16) this morning that with Moses, God spoke directly whereas to others it was in riddles and visions etc. (Numbers 12:6-8).

Moses was special. God was doing special things through him. He was meek and obedient and feared the Lord. He was Class A material whereas I remained a non-material. Moses was Norm Smith premiership flag winner. I’m not even learning to play local village footy.

So maybe waiting on the Lord is going to take a whole lot more work and I might never hear or receive that signal and simply tumble along. Recent readings also reminded me of how the Israelites moved only when the pillar of cloud (day) or fire (night) moved. When those pillars remained stationary the Israelites stayed where they were. I know I’d probably never hear from God directly but at least the prospect of seeing a pillar of cloud or fire settle or move could be a possibility. Till then, wait on I guess…

World at large – still waiting

Some time last week the CMA Connect alert I have been subscribing to for years, caught my eye for just a brief moment. I emailed the contact and had a chat with the person running the place. It turned out to be a role of up to 10 hours per week. He asked me to think about it and I said I would and would revert over the weekend. I emailed him over the weekend saying I wasn’t keen as I’m looking for something more substantial than 10 hours a week. I probably need easily 30 hours – ie closer to 4 days a week as I would otherwise be bored.

Stanley rang earlier this morning and asked me to continue thinking about it, saying he felt I was suited for the role. I told him my concerns – about a role which had 1.5 days work – and at the end of our conversation he said he could extend the role to fill up to 3.5 days. I said I’d think about it.

In reality I want to work in Melbourne to be with Tress and it didn’t matter what work that involves. That’s sort of what I’d been praying about. Alternatively if somehow my current Canberra role becomes a permanent one very quickly, I’d have assurance of an option for Tress to relocate to Canberra on a permanent basis. I just can’t see how I’d be happy for the days ahead, if I simply continue being here by myself. I can only be at ease/peace if I know the next 6-7 months would not be just a sentence of some sort, being “released” – free to be with Tress again at the end of the sentence – but would instead be a prelude to some permanent option which can include Tress being part of it all.

Having said that I’ve always been keen on a role in a ministry sort of capacity. Steer didn’t end well for a host of reasons. Kiddo coming to Canberra, the whole chapter surrounding Lifegate at that time, etc. It wasn’t a bad experience but it wasn’t what I’d look back with fondness or pride. I want to avoid such a misstep again. I’m not convinced at this stage, that I can do this – ie avoid such a misstep – at this point in time. There is still so much which hasn’t landed – ie still up in the air –  I’m just not able to see clearly yet what lies ahead.

Waiting? Yes, still.

Hawks triumph. Warming Capital, Transient Home.

Kiddo, Mic, Tress and I were at the Chong Co Thai restaurant in Kingston on Friday night. Mic had generously bought me a voucher for my birthday a couple of weeks ago and Kiddo had bought a decent bottle of Pinot. It was a balmy night and it was a great way to finish the week.

Saturday – Grand Final day – we went out to get some grocery etc in the morning and in the afternoon we got ready to watch it on television. Watching it on a tiny 32 inch thing didn’t dampen the excitement too much. I was nervous about how the Hawks was going to deal with gun forward Kennedy and champion midfielder Priddis. As it turned out, Hodge and Company were magnificent. Hodgey’s goal at the start of the second quarter – from the left hand pocket, an impossible angle, he kicked it with the outside of his left foot and it threaded through the uprights for a goal that signaled the Hawks was gunning for the 3-peat with everything they had.

3-peat it was. When I bought my membership at the end of last season I had hoped to be in the draw for the Grand Final tickets if we made it. We made it, won it and I watched it in a tiny apartment, on a tiny 32 inch tv, in a city which had maybe half a dozen Hawks guernseys on show all day. Such is life. For the umpteenth time I wondered about this detour/forked road I’m in and wonder what this all means, where all this is taking Tress and I, and Kiddo.

On Sunday Tress and I took a (relatively) short drive to Gouldburn. We walked around the town, including the train station. The timing was fortuitous as the steam engine was about to take off to a place called Lynwood. We decided to go for the ride so bought 2 tickets and hopped on. Funny how having lived in Melbourne all these years we never got on the Puffing Billy but hopped on in Gouldburn so impulsively.

After the 1.5 hour ride we walked and visited a couple of churches. The St Saviour’s was magnificent and I recalled my current reading of Leviticus. Taking care with one’s work for the building of the Lord’s church has such wonderful outcomes. I know the building of the Lord’s church is really about building the saints – His children – but this outer, physical manifestation is a magnificent sight. The white sandstone on the inside, the beautiful stained glass, the piped organ – I guess St Andrews in Sydney and St Paul’s in Melbourne provide no less grandeur but the buildings all made me think of what care we ought to put into the Lord’s work. I guess if such work involves building up the saints even greater care is required. How can a believer ever become a magnificent representation of the Lord’s beauty and glory? With great care and hard work I guess.

Yesterday Tress and I walked to Canberra Centre in the morning, and caught the shuttle bus to Floriade. The flowers were radiant as always, and the hot weather swelling across the entire eastern seaboard of Oz were distinctly felt as we walked through the displays. We came back late afternoon, and it was still very hot. As I sat in the lounge in the apartment, I saw how contented LBJ was as he spread himself across the carpeted floor, with Tress and I on the couch and Kiddo at the dining table working on her essay. I had said to myself the night before, that we should go to Crossroads in ANU even though I had moved on from looking at Crossroads as my Canberran community. It was the first time we were in church as a family, since I dont know when. It felt great.

As I rode to work this morning, I felt good. The Red Cross Blood Deed notwithstanding. This document has been eating at me for weeks now. I’m constantly playing catch up to my boss and an Executive Director because the vast corporate knowledge they possess (>25 years between the both of them) always means they’re always several steps ahead of me in identifying issues and noticing necessary changes. I’m always feeling inadequate and against the ever present thought of this being a temporary role, my morale is seldom, if ever, high enough for me to feel great about work. So I guess my feeling good as I rode in this morning, had everything to do with the fact of LBJ feeling contented on that apartment floor. The family was together. As it should. Why I ever thought a role 700 km away from Tress can be a good idea, I’d never know. In as much as I want to work, I need to be with her. I long to be with Kiddo too but she is an independent adult now, one who is carving out her own niche in this part of Oz – the world – and settling into her own life path. She will probably have her own family in a few years’ time and while I hope our life paths can cross more my union is with Tress. I need to be with her and when I am, I feel different. I feel good.

I’ll continue with this feel good sensation for the rest of this week. We return to Melbourne on Friday night, before I resume my lone sojourn in the capital city next week. Even with the weather warming up now, that lone sojourn doesn’t excite.

Dorothy Boyd was right

It’s the first day of the last quarter of the calendar year. The weather in the capital city is warming up and the days are longer with the sun lingering even after one leaves work for home. It feels better but I think there are other more important reasons for the overall feelgood sentiment.

Tress has been here for the past week and other than LBJ who appears happy and contented to have all of us together at the same time, I’m almost certain my emotional (and probably mental) health has improved substantially. I guess what this tells me is I need Tress to be around. This idea that I can be away from her for up to a fortnight, 700 km away in a different city, has never been a good one. I realised that – acutely – some weeks ago I guess.

So I have taken steps – albeit baby steps, for now – to check out prospects back in Melbourne. I need to be with “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones”. Linked In and Seek web pages are now common visits for me again. I have also begun clicking on links from the website known as CMA Connect – a site which has lists of ministry related jobs. Whatever this role in Canberra may be doing to my professional vacuum or to my finances isn’t enough to justify being away from someone who does so much to make me feel more complete and at rest. I need to work but I need to find work where I can be with Tress.