Tress left work on Friday night and headed straight to the airport. I picked her up from Canberra airport and we headed home to start a magical 10 days.
On Sunday morning Tress and I drove up to Sydney. At the Kingsford Smith airport, we parked and waited at the arrival lounge with excitement. Eventually Sim and Mum appeared. Hugs and greetings exchanged, we climbed into the car and drove back to Canberra, stopping at Goulburn for a bite to eat and take snapshots of the Big Merino.
On Monday after some sightseeing at the arboretum and the old parliament, we bought some groceries and had a home cooked Christmas dinner at home. It felt special and I was very glad we could do that.
Tuesday was the highlight. It was Kiddo’s graduation day and she had successfully earned a PhB so we were very excited. We gave Kiddo her graduation/Christmas present – a dress watch, which was a bit big so we went to Belconnen to have it re-sized, and also got her a bouquet of flowers and a soft toy (a doggie). Later, we started hanging around outside the Llewellyn Hall just after 1pm, excitedly taking photos. The ceremony started at 2pm and when Kiddo had her name called out with a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts (NUS) I felt truly special.
After the ceremony we headed to the Kingston foreshore and had a celebratory dinner at the Wild Duck restaurant, which turned out to be part owned by a Malaysian lady. I had suggested that restaurant because apparently that was the locale for political whispers and Machiavellian manoeuvres, especially by the likes of the present PM Turnbull. The food was good and the service was very friendly and spot on so I had no complaints. I think we all enjoyed the occasion.
On Wednesday morning Tress flew back to Melbourne and for the next 3 days I took Mum and Sim for sightseeing across Canberra. The War Memorial, Parliament, Cockington Green, Brodburger, Fyshwick and Belconnen fresh food markets… I think (hope) they enjoyed the experience.
Tress flew back in to Canberra again on Friday night and on Saturday morning we drove up to Sydney again. We stayed overnight at the Shalom College in UNSW, and took the opportunity to show Mum and Sim the neighbourhood around UNSW, particularly Kingsford. We also drove to Coogee Beach to take in the bustling summer scenes on a Sydney beach suburb. On Sunday morning it was time to bid Mum and Sim farewell as they returned to Malaysia. Tress and I then drove back to Canberra.
It was very warm yesterday when we came back to Canberra. After yum cha lunch with Kiddo and Mic at Belconnen, we returned to keep cool in the apartment.
The bigger/extended family in Malaysia are away in Fraser’s Hill for a family reunion and some have been sharing photos of activities and I was struggling to remember the names of those young people – kids of my cousins. I drew a family tree to map my knowledge of those names and after that I sat down to specifically remember and be grateful for the gushing streams of blessings we have experienced in recent weeks.
Kiddo’s PhB – my new job in Melbourne – Kiddo attending a positive interview for an exciting role – Mum, Sim and Tress in Canberra for that very special week – finding a new roommate for Kiddo in very quick time – me selling my bicycle for a healthy sum – Sim finding the lost bunch of keys to the apartment at the back of the car –Tress finding very convenient accommodation in Sydney (Shalom College in UNSW) –… I said to Tress we are experiencing a period of the 7 fat cows depicted in Pharaoh’s dream in Genesis.
It has been a very memorably wonderful week. I am very grateful for God’s wonderful blessings, especially with the timing of several events. He allowed those difficult months to go through – letting me go through the press – so that this past week becomes so heightened and focus in the overall sense of gratefulness and being blessed.
I thought of the timing especially.
Had I found work in Melbourne earlier, I would not have been here in Canberra during this special week. Being here in Canberra allowed me to “quarterback” logistics involving Mum, Sim and to a lesser extent, Tress. These include the apartment as had I left Canberra earlier we would not have had the privilege of sharing the apartment together through the week. As it turned out, the timing allowed me to see them return to Malaysia and then have a few days to tidy things up before I leave Canberra one last time, to return to Melbourne to start the new year afresh. I am looking forward to the Christmas break with Tress now. It would have been even better if Kiddo was coming along but she’ll have a wonderful time with Mic and his family in Tassie I’m sure. I look forward to being with Tress – and with LBJ of course – knowing we can plan our lives being together from 2016 on. It has been an intriguing 2015.