Mixed Sentiments


It was one of those totally forgettable weekends. Maybe that is why this entry will attempt to recall more details. 

At the office, I moved into a general open plan pod on Friday arvo and after settling all my stuff at my new desk just after 5, I took a couple of pictures for Tress, then went home. I had very mixed feelings. I was losing heaps of privacy. I guess being in my own office in the last 6 months has heightened the sense of solitude – the defining experience of my life in Canberra. Solitude is a funny thing. While on the whole I’m not one for seeking out company and am generally happy with a book, a movie, a walk, a music album or any solitary activity, it is only enjoyable if it is a choice. When solitude is not a choice, it can be oppressive. You want to break out of it and whatever helps towards that end, you tend to reach out and have a go. The 1-2 months I invested into trying to get into a small group at Crossroads was an example of that attempt to reach out and break out of an increasingly oppressive solitude. Being moved into the open plan space is like a complete opposite of that experience. I feel as though I have been made to seek out company, solitude snatched out of my clutches. I guess on balance if asked to make a choice, I would under my present circumstance, choose to be seated in an open plan desk just to cease being alone. It’s odd – being made to do something is less favourable even if by choice, one would have done that thing voluntarily.

 Back in the apartment I was surprised the little fellow wasn’t home. Kiddo had taken him out so I simply had my usual quick and dirty dinner of instant noodles (“mi goreng”) on a bed of spinach topped with an egg, Kiddo and I then spent a quiet evening at home – Mic was apparently out for dinner with his friends – before we both went to bed early. I had so many mixed thoughts and feelings in me I was neither much fun company nor good conversation companion. In any case Kiddo said she was tired – she had come back from Sydney pretty late the previous night and was up early that morning.

Saturday morning after taking the little fellow for his walk I went to see a property in Scullin. It was pretty ordinary. Then it was to Belconnen for some grocery shopping. I asked Kiddo if she wanted dinner so I planned to cook dinner at home. Back home, after another quick and dirty lunch of the same stuff ( I have perfected the combination of the unholy trinity of mi goreng, spinach and poached egg) and after marinating some chicken for dinner with Kiddo and Mic, I attacked the tasks of vacuuming, wiping, laundry and generally just cleaning and tidying. I put away heaters, did another round of laundry of bathroom mats and such other items. Then it was a long walk with the little fellow before returning to the apartment to cook dinner.

 Kiddo Mic and I sat down to a dinner of roasted chicken breast marinated with lemon pepper spice and fish sauce, on a bed of tang hoon (mung beans glass noodles) tossed in a sauce from deglazed chicken roast pan, and a cacophony of sauce dashes and a salad of baby spinach and bellino tomatoes. I spent the rest of the evening in front of the telly while the kids were on their computers.

 Sunday I went back to the Good Shepherd Anglican church in Curtin. It was my third time there and the pastor’s wife came up to say hello – she must have noticed especially since Tress Kiddo and I were there just last Sunday as well. After church I went home, warmed up some leftover from dinner the previous night and after lunch did some ironing. When that was all done and the laundry all folded away I swept the balcony and then took the little fellow the Lake Ginnindera dog park. There’re separate fenced off areas for large and small dogs as well as the large circuit so we spent an hour there before going back to the apartment.

 After blitzing up the smoothie for brekkie the next day (this morning), I sat down in front of the telly and did a video phone call with Tress. We’re used to this now. It’s all such mixed emotions. There’s a part of me that is happy I wasn’t back in Melbourne this past weekend. That is the part of me that aches terribly on Sunday arvo’s as I pull out of the driveway of our Melbourne home to hit the 6-7 hour trek back to Canberra. The thought of there being another 10-11 days before I could be with Tress again, and seeing her all by herself in that house is always a bit of a pain and being here these past 2 weekends meant I didn’t have to go through that. Obviously on the other hand the 36 hours or so I’d get to spend with her each fortnight is the period I always look forward to every single day.

Solitude and company. Private office and open plan. Joy of togetherness and pain of separation. Mixed, contrasts – complementary? – appears to be the theme.

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