Kiddo and Mic came down from Canberra on the 21st. They flew in, took the Skytrain from Tulla to Spencer and I met them there to take the train out to Blackburn. We had a few days of catching up, went to the Christmas Eve carols at St Alf’s which ended a minute before midnight, and on Christmas Day we trekked up to Woodend to spend the day with Ruth and family. Caleb, Cariss and Cooper came down a few days prior and Jonathan’s brother and his son were there too so it was a good day with lunch as an extended family of sorts. I had roasted a whole turkey that same morning and Tress baked a cake and we also did a salad, a noodle dish and a (bought) ham and Ruth had prepared loads of food as well so it was all a very good feed.
On Boxing Day we trekked the opposite direction and went out to Phillip Island to catch up with Mic’s family. Tress had again baked a cake and I cooked a similar noodle dish and we brought some other foodstuffs as well. We caught up with them in a home they had rented for the week, having trekked down from Canberra on an 11-seater bus – similar to the one I drive for the Manningham Salvos. We left after a couple of hours with them, and went to an early dinner. We were all very hungry then and Mic must have enjoyed the bottle of Pinot Gris I picked up at DM close to the restaurant, as he continued imbibing when we were home later, playing cards to wind up the night.
The next day as Tress and I busied ourselves to get ready for the drive up to Canberra, Kiddo said Mic had been unwell the night before. We waited as long as we could and when we finally left late in the morning, Mic was better but he was still visibly less then optimum. We got to Kiddo and Mic’s home in the evening and Mic stayed home while the rest of us had a quick dinner near the Hyperdome and then retired early for the onward drive to Sydney the next day.
Mic was much better when we drove to Sydney and we got in just after 2pm and quickly settled into the property at Bondi, where we were to camp out for a week.
Other than a day’s visit to the city, we pretty much camped out at Bondi the entire time. As usual, while in the city we did some window shopping but mainly took in the harbour views and enjoyed a quick drink in a café on the quay.
The property we stayed at was an enjoyable 15 minute walk to the beach and Tress and I took regular walks there and back. We also did the Bondi to Bronte walk, which Tress suggested – it was a magnificent 2km stretch of unbelievably beautiful views. We also did walks the other way to Bondi Junction, for food and (window) shopping. For New Year’s Eve, Kiddo and Mic shouted us to a fantastic tasting experience in a restaurant on Hall Street, just a stone’s throw from the beach. We walked the hilly path back after dinner and that again felt great.
We left Bondi on the 3rd, went back to Tuggers for a couple of nights and then pushed back to Melbourne on Friday the 5th.
It was a really good break and I felt we got to know the couple better. Kiddo has morphed into a wonderful wife and young professional who is passionate about her work. Mic is a wonderfully caring person and I have liked his sense of humour. My dad’s joke landed well several times and we had great laughs – mainly while playing cards. Mic, like Kiddo, also appears to be passionate about his work so that’s really good.
When we got back to Melbourne, it felt quiet again. I cleaned the cars and Tress did some laundry when we got back on Friday. Sat was a stinker – it hit 43deg at one stage so all I did was send my suits to the dry cleaner and gave our little guy a much needed bath. We spent the rest of the day just loitering in a shopping centre.
Sunday was much cooler and I did some mowing and cleaning up – mainly sweeping and tidying – as well as cooking again for the week’s lunches. That was the start of the feeling that we’re back to our normal routine again. The break’s been great – especially time spent with Kiddo and Mic. I found myself suggesting to Tress that we spent Chinese New Year with them…
While Tress and I love where we are in Melbourne now, there were moments when we were walking in the Lake Tuggeranong area, that I felt we could make a life nearer to Kiddo and Mic. That might all play out in Melbourne too I guess – they could move down here – but in as much as I’m contented with just Tress and I in our home across the oval where pooches have a ball, being together with a bigger family is something I can easily get used to again.
I’ve also been asking the Lord what I can do in 2018, to serve Him better. I have restarted reading from Genesis again and re-reading now of Jacob’s strategy to deal with his estranged brother on returning from Laban’s schemes, I wondered if like Jacob, I could have an encounter – a wrestle – to be sure I have God’s presence leading me some place in the days ahead.