Long Weekend, Leave Plans

As an employee, one has to love the March/April period. There is a Labor Day long weekend, Good Friday/Easter extended weekend and then there’s the Anzac Day holiday. However, there is a drought in May and then in June there’s the Queen’s birthday before the long dry spell all the way to Cup Day in November. So really March/April is the best time in terms of public holidays.

Yesterday was Labor Day so we had a long weekend and it was truly one of the most relaxing weekends (other than the Christmas/New Year break) we’ve had for a very long time. On Saturday however, we kept ourselves busy with St Alf stuff. In the morning I met up with John B, a highly respected doctor. He has been looking after the church ground and recently he asked for help to clean up some main access areas on Saturday mornings so that on Sunday, those high traffic areas are cleaner or neater. A bunch of us responded so that we need only rock up once a month to sweep or hose down some areas. So I met up with John who showed me what needed doing. He had been there earlier in the week however so there wasn’t too much to be done and I was home within the hour.

Back home, I continued with some ground keeping tasks – feeding my lawns and various other parts around the house with “Seasol” and raking/sweeping up leaves from the gum trees at the front.

Tress vacuumed while I was pottering around with my tasks and after that we went out for some lunch before readying ourselves for more duty later in the arvo. We also dropped into the Nunawading library and we picked up another Tim Winton book and a few movies.

We both signed up to be part of the “Dinner Tonight” teams. These teams set up and serve dinner on Saturday nights to disadvantaged or marginalised people. The dinners are provided and hosted at New Hope, just further up the street from St Alf’s. So we met up with the rest of the team at 4pm, and proceeded to set up the tables, chairs, table cloths, cutleries etc – the idea is to let the diners have a chance to eat properly on a properly set up table. We get to sit down with them to share a meal together and engage with them. It was a very satisfying experience and I learned much. I met a guy (“Douglas”) who taught me a thing or two about sensitivities of dealings with these folks. Before he left, he asked if I was going to be there again and I said I wasn’t rostered again until July. I hope to see him again and be more engaged with him.

We got home a bit after 7pm, walked the little guy a little bit, and then settled in for the night watching one of the movies we picked up from the library.

On Sunday after St Alf’s we decided to catch a movie. Tress’ boss had given her a gift card last year in June, which is good for a couple of gold class tickets at Village. That gift card is due to expire in June so we decided to use it before it gets too close. The problem was I didn’t have anything I wanted to watch. Gary Oldman as Churchill would have been nice but no cinema near us was screening that. The only thing that remotely interested me was Black Panther but I’m so tired of anything that has anything remotely connected to identity politics and so while BP is really only a superhero yarn, the undertones of black issues, no matter how remote, was sufficiently disengaging. I scanned the list of available movies and we decided on “12 Strong”, a yarn based on a true story of American soldiers in Afghanistan as an early response to 9/11. It was quite a yarn and the action scenes were quite fun.

We then went home, walked the little guy, then just chilled the night away.

Yesterday, we wanted to either go do some bushwalking or just drive to the beach
but it was a grey, cloudy day, threatening to rain so I offered Tress a chance to do something totally against form. We haven’t been to Chadstone for years and the development which made it an even bigger shopping hangar than it already was, only made me even less interested. However, we (I) was so relaxed I thought I’d give Tress a chance to drag me there. She jumped at the offer so we went and walked through the very large shopping floors. I had expected a less busy environment given it is not sales season and many would have been out of town for the long weekend. I think I was right but even then the place was buzzing.

Back home, we walked the little guy again and I also kicked the footy with a boy who was at the oval with his dog, which made me feel every bit of my lack of fitness. We’ve made some friends at the oval – all dog loving people – over the years and we continue to meet new people. I wonder if I will ever have the desire to delve deeper into these encounters, and not forego the opportunities.

Back at work this morning, I discussed my leave plans with my boss. Tress and I had hoped to spend some time with her parents in June and Tress and her dad had been excitedly making plans. So it was a bit of a bummer when my boss said he too would be away for much of June. With the legal team reduced to just my boss and I, we have had to manage our leave plans more closely. I’m supposed to find a replacement but that person would be too new to the business for both my boss and I to be away at the same time. I hope we can work something out and maybe we can still go away to be with Tress’ parents before too long.