Cold Back

It has been cold in recent days. I think for a second time in maybe 4 days the papers are reporting we’ve had the coldest June day in the last 20 years. I guess climate change sceptics are probably smiling now.

I had a reasonably miserable weekend and it wasn’t just the cold. I did my back in on Friday. I suspected it was the night before, sitting on a couch at Susan and Matthew’s home for the church small group meeting, which slowly got the back caved in. But I get a bad back episode 1-2 times a year anyway. The trigger could be anything or nothing at all. It just comes when it wants to, mercifully just 1-2 times a year.

So on Sat morning as we lumbered through a very cold morning I was walking around funny and feeling stiff and not happy. When we eventually made it out of the house late morning, we went to the Nunadwing home centre. I had wanted to get one of those slow/pressure cookers to cook some winter warmers and both The Good Guys and Harvey Norman were having financial year end sales (as is every retailer Down Under). We walked away from The Good Guys with a model which on the face of it, was a steal. We made a $70 savings, which appears to have been maybe a touch under a third of the “RRP”.

We then lunched at Madam K’s (who had put up the prices) and then went to get some groceries. Later that night we took a drive to Tullamarine to pick up S & YL who had been back to Malaysia. We got back home, watched the last quarter of the Saints stealing a win against the Cats (yay…) and then watched a movie on Netflix (Tom Hanks’ Road to Perdition).

Early on Sunday morning I watched the Euro 2016 Croatia v Portugal game on my iPad. It was on TV too but it was again very cold and it was far easier to remain in bed, doona pulled well up to under my chin, with the iPad tucked just above the doona.

My back was marginally better when we left home for church.

We usually sit in the far right section of the church hall (left, if you’re looking from the pulpit) but yesterday morning when we got in a touch after 10am, that section was completely deserted. It could be the cold, or it could be the school holidays but there wasn’t a soul  in that section so we sat in the right side of the middle section instead. Our usual corner soon filled however but not before a few people came up to us to rib and remark/ask “what’re you doing in this section?”.

Peter continued with his “Fruitfulness on the front line” series, which we had missed twice because of our holidays to Oahu. After church we decided to  go to a different joint for lunch, partly because Madam K had put up her prices substantially but also partly because many had been putting up FB posts on a new joint off Doncaster Road. We decided Madam K was still better, and Tress and I stopped by on the way home, to get a couple of takeaways for later in the week…

After a bit more groceries shopping – for cooking the week’s meals on the new cooker – we walked the little fellow, which I enjoyed a lot. It has been so many days of wintry conditions – wet and cold – that although it was still cold, the drier and sunnier afternoon made for a very pleasant walk. We got home, we both had a coffee and did some office work on our laptops, and then I cooked and Tress did some ironing. We went through our respective tasks listening to the Hawks v Gold Coasts Sun game on the radio. Hawks won and went to the top of the ladder, as the Swans had a bye this week so they sat on second place.

Masterchef on TV was very entertaining, with teams serving dinners on pods on the Melbourne Star. As we sat watching the teams frantically working on their dishes, the smell of my chicken/mushroom/pumpkin “risotto” wafted through the home. Winter comfort…bad back notwithstanding.


Late recall and …why blog…

Tress and I went to bed late last night. We had been to Tullamarine, dropping off a couple who had to make a trip back to Malaysia. S’s mum passed on and YL his wife messaged us yesterday morning to cancel a weekend coffee appointment we had made earlier.

We first go to know YL in a most fortuitous way. I was looking at suits in a departmental store where she worked. She was very helpful and we soon made acquaintance and somehow along the way, we got to know her family. It has been maybe 3-4 years now and just before we went away for our holidays last week, we talked a bit about his work, her health and a few other things. They also helped look after LBJ last week when we were away.

On the way to Tulla, I sort of mentioned my own experience when my father passed on and we had to make the dreaded trip back to Malaysia. That was almost 10 years ago now. I was making a bad attempt to help S better prepare his journey home as I remembered mine was emotionally distressing. YL must have picked up some vibes from S as she changed subject and I picked that up instantly and followed her tack. But later when we got home, it made me recall my journey back to Klang.

It is at times like this I’m glad I keep this blog going. This entry reminds me of a few things, which I must hold dear. The sensation, experience and overall state of being at that time in my childhood home for my last sighting of my late father lying in state would have been far easier to fade away had I not kept this blog and made that entry.

I need to be more diligent in keeping this blog going, making records of events, people and experiences that touch me.

Back from Holiday…

Tress and I arrived home just a bit after 1am on Sunday morning. We had left the hotel, a block or so from the very lovely Waikiki beach, 9.30 that (Friday) morning. All in, the numerous exchanges and transfers, the 10 or so hour flight from Honolulu to Sydney, the transit in Sydney, the 1 plus hour Syd/Melb flight and then more transfer before the drive home from Tulla, had taken close to 20 hours. So when we got home we simply changed into our jammies, and hit the sack.

As I was waiting in the boarding area in Sydney trying to stay awake, I suddenly remembered why I had preferred local holidays recently. A destination like Hawaii sounds terrific but we jumped through so many hoops to get there and back. It is all so tiring and I often preferred to holiday without so many hoops to jump through.

Hawaii was lovely. We spent most of our time in Waikiki – swimming, walking on the beach, eating and shopping. There were a couple of days we trekked outside Waikiki – once towards the west to Pearl Harbor, and once to the east and north, to places such Sunset Beach and the Waimea Valley. It was very nice just wondering around in shorts, thongs or boat shoes, and spending time barefoot on the beach and swimming in warm waters.

For Tress’ special celebration, we had a lovely dinner at Morimoto’s in The Modern hotel in downtown Honolulu, next to the cove/marina. Morimoto made his name as an Iron Chef USA, and the food in his restaurant was very good. I think Tress enjoyed it and it was memorable for us both.

I guess the hoops – especially to make Tress’ special celebrations memorable – were well worth the efforts.

After sleeping in on Sunday morning and going through cups of coffee, we picked up the little black jedi from Doncaster. It was lovely to see him again, as well as the Tong family who helped look after him. We then got to Bunnings to pick up some DIY stuff to fix some things around the house, got some groceries and then went home to fix the house and try to make it feel like we’re home again.

Uncle Marloney and A Hooi dropped by late in the arvo and we had a quick chat, and poked around Uncle Marloney’s new set of wheels.

This morning from the moment I got into the office, it was work, work and work. It is only now, a bit before 5pm, I decided to put this entry up. The rest of the week will be even busier and my memory isn’t as reliable as it used to be, so I thought I’d write this down before I forget even more details.

I also started the NT this morning. I had finished reading the whole bible again just before we left for our holiday (having started maybe September last year), and I thought I’d read through the NT again. As I was walking on the beach on the day before we left, thinking what a lovely place it was to be in, I said to myself that if I wasn’t seeking the Lord’s direction as to where and how to serve, I would give serious thoughts to settling down to a lifestyle of warm beaches and carefree days. But life is or should be about serving others, just as Jesus did. It has to be about how to make His Kingdom come on earth and for His Will to be done here on earth just as it is in Heaven. I wanted to read again, how Jesus made a difference. I want to be like him and make a difference by serving others. I don’t know how or what that would look like. It could mean I simply need to keep working and make the most of what is in front of me. Maybe if I am faithful in this, He would let me serve Him in some other ways.

The rest of the year would likely be hard yakka but it  is what I have wanted and what keeps me sane. Work and a settled rhythm of life can be as peaceful and warm and refreshing as those lovely coconut tree lined beaches of Waikiki.

Dealing with issues

A new article popped up on The Gospel Coalition website this morning:

Mirrors my thoughts.


I said to Tress yesterday, I’m having to work at how I’d deal with same sex couples. Inevitably, some will have me cross their paths as they will mine. This is what I’d do…

  • I will invite a same sex couple to my home for dinner, coffee, drinks (whatever) as I would any other couple.
  • I will have fellowship with a same sex couple in church, in a home group, and in any other church or church related meetings – as I would with any other couple.
  • I will socialise with a same sex couple as I would with any other couple.
  • I will attend a social event organised by a same sex couple – whether in their home or in another venue – as I would that organised by any other couple. What I haven’t worked out however is whether I would attend that event if it’s a wedding…

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