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I don’t think I’ve seen as much of Melbourne or Victoria in a week as I had last week. From our “backyard” along Canterbury Road to out along the Surf Coast towards Port Campbell, from St Alf’s a suburb away to the Yarra Valley, from the markets in South Melbourne and city fringe to the wonderful autumnal splendour of Woodend and Macedon Ranges and right through different nooks and crannies of the CBD, including the vast shopping precinct of the South wharf, hitherto an greenfield to yours truly – I’ve been to more places in Melbourne and its outer reaches within a week than at any time in the past. To top it all off, I went to these places with my brother David and his wife Jean, who were finishing up their antipodean holiday after Kiddo’s wedding, a couple of weeks ago now.

Tress was with us earlier in the week on Monday and Tuesday (Anzac Day) and could only be with us again over the weekend so for 3 whole days, I played tour guide and host to our Malaysian visitors.

It was a wonderful week. I got to spend time with David and Jean, slept in, ate (very) well and went to places I loved visiting (with the exceptions of Crown Casino, which was only a quick 5minute walk around, and the South Wharf DFO). The flipside was I skipped my daily readings and my routines were parked and driven by my visitors’ needs and wants. That wasn’t always a bad thing as it truly felt like a privilege to be attending to them.

David my brother had been very sick in early January 2016, and in a couple of instances at that time I did not know if I would get to spend time with him again. When he eventually came through we all felt a great relief. When I went to KL for a week’s work last year, we both made it a point to catch up and he/they sounded really excited about their visit for Kiddo’s wedding. I guess it often takes a major jolt for us to shake off the inertia that numbs us into inaction in our relationship building space.

They left on Sunday night and landed safe and well yesterday morning. So from now I guess our lives return to its normal cycle and I’m sure at some point – possibly not too far away – the monotony and the drudgery will surely kick in. Winter will soon be upon us and with the Hawks not so happy, footy will only provide a limited respite.

On the arvo before David and Jean left, we took them to a shopping centre as Jean was looking for a certain footwear. Tress mentioned she wanted a certain type of winter coat and she got one and she mentioned it would come in handy when we visit Canberra. I wondered about that as I wasn’t sure I’d make another trip anytime soon, especially given our last trip there included some issues I had about us rooming in Kiddo’s new home. I’m also not sure we can presume to make our lodgings there in their home, when we visit. Anyway, that coat looked great on Tress and 3 days hence, I must admit I’m much less uptight about making another trip to see how the newlyweds are fairing. So I looked it up and the next school holidays will be from 30 June – pretty cold time for south Canberra, in the “cold plains”. I’m sure Tress would enjoy that new coat then. Maybe that could be a no frills respite for us.

With the last of our guests having left Aus, life hopefully reverts to some form of normalcy. Yet, normal isn’t always best, my preferences notwithstanding.