St Alf’s Camp 2

Last Friday I took up an offer from the boss to take the day off. I sort of worked from home in the morning, and in the arvo, we got ready for the St Alf’s camp at Phillip Island. I picked Tress from work after 1pm and we went for lunch in a Japanese place near our home. We then got home, packed, dropped the little fellow at a dog sitter, and then drove off to camp.

The traffic along the M1 was very heavy and we didn’t get to the camp site till well after 6pm. The next 2½ days were filled with lots of conversations with people we seldom get the chance to talk to, as well as the excellent (albeit expected) teaching from Paul Barker, a Bishop in the Melbourne diocese.

Some of those conversations I caught were over a long walk through the Woolamai Cape on Phillip Island. It was a 7km trek starting from the Woolamai beach, trekking up towards several lookout points. On the way down from one of those points, while talking to Prosper, a Rwandan who moved to Australia nearly 20 years ago, I stepped on a mound of sorts and rolled my left ankle. It was painful for a few minutes but I tried to walk it off and for a while, it felt like I succeeded. We returned to the campsite before 5pm, and that night over a session of fun quiz, I didn’t feel any discomfort.

The next morning however, the ankle became very sore and I could barely walk. I took an anti-inflammatory, applied some volteran gel which I providentially brought along, and managed the pain somewhat but it wasn’t reduced enough for me to ask Tress to seek out Peter, the senior minister, to get someone else to do the communion assistant task which he (Peter) had, the night before, asked Tress and I to help out with.

The camp wound up a bit after 1pm, and we made our way back to Melbourne, picked up the little fellow, and went home a bit after 4pm. I stayed home yesterday for the foot to recover better, and it was good to just sit out the day before returning to work today.

Being back at work today, after 4 days off, felt a bit unusual. Maybe it was because I still limped around with a less than perfectly healed ankle. Perhaps more likely the cause, is the sense that somehow, the workplace feels very stripped down, with less and less people. My boss and his team appears to be taking on more tasks as people from across the business leave.