2016 and My Brother


Tress and I came back from our Adelaide holidays on 2/1. It was a very lovely holiday. We stayed at Glenelg, and took in New Year’s Eve countdown at the Glenelg Beach, just off the jetty where the fireworks were on display. Unfortunately on the next day as we were about to go for a New Year’s Day dinner at one of the restaurants on the pier, we witnessed a frenzied scene. Dozens of paramedics and lifeguards were running around and we soon discovered two boys drowned. That brought a sombre end to our holidays but as we were making our way back, our minds were on another sombre matter.

My brother David had gone into hospital in Subang, not far from his home in Shah Alam, on New Year’s Eve on suspected kidney stones. Tests later showed there were no stones and his pains were thought to be attributed to a possible growth in his kidney. He then stayed in the hospital for a few days while awaiting tests and other investigations.

At the time of writing, he has left the hospital and is resting at home. He goes back in next week, for further tests. We’re all hoping the growth is benign.

Jean his wife, has been managing the situation with some stress. As always, well meaning friends and relatives swamped them with visits and questions and I’m guessing physical tiredness has a lot to do with it but she has expressed displeasure at the invasions of privacy.

I suppose they live in this cocktail of eastern communal settings and western individualism and expectations of privacy that come with that. When someone is unwell, everyone wants to be seen to be doing the right thing by asking about what is wrong and paying visits at the hospital. This clashes with desires for personal matters of health to be private. Until recently, these desires give way readily – without questions – to communal expectations. I hope Jean finds strength to deal with this difficult confluence. In the meantime, we all continue to pray for my dear brother.

Since coming back from Adelaide, we have been taking it easy. I only go back to work – my new job – next week so I have the whole week off to do stuff. I spent yesterday cleaning. I vacuumed, cleaned toilets, scrubbed down nook and crannies, wiped down surfaces and cleaned anything that looked like it needed cleaning, including the weber Q. Later I picked up some stuff to oil the deck later this week.

We’ve also fixed the TV reception problem. Since unsubscribing Foxtel a few months ago, the TV reception has been poor with some channels often unavailable. We tried a set top box but in the end we solved in simply by plugging the antennae lead direct into the TV, instead of through a DVD recorder and it worked perfectly and I returned the set top box. It was weird to use a set top box for a newish smart TV anyway.

Earlier today I cleaned up the garden and washed the car. I was so grimy at the end of that and after a shower, I felt too clean to wash LBJ – can leave that for tomorrow or later. I also planned to re-register the car to Vic plates tomorrow (reverting to ET 3777).

I was just thinking of Kiddo and Canberra. She has another step in the process of Defence employment next week and I hope she sail through to the next step. It’s been quite a few steps now so that’s been very encouraging. She’s moved into my old room at the Watson Street apartment and the pics she sent looked good.

2016 has had such a mixed start as a result of my brother’s health. I hope he gets better soon.

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