Ball up

It’s starting to get cooler now and the beautiful cycle of seasons continue to reveal itself in its wonderful splendour. The warmer days are ebbing away and the days are noticeably shorter now.

So yesterday arvo, after an elusive start, the sun came out and warmed up the parks very nicely as Tress and I took the little guy for his walk. It was wonderful to see him bouncing around, trotting and sniffing as he followed us in our walks through first the oval and then to the surrounding areas.

I was reflecting on how we’re in a good place now, if we were focusing on achieving some form of nirvana, in the blissful sense. Our busy-ness is centred on basic life stuff and what please us. We’d work, rest, find some recreational activities that suit our preferences for peace and quiet (generally) and avoid hard work unless it’s necessary. My hard work now comprise putting in a full day’s work each week day in the hip and raw neighbourhood of South Melbourne. I’d read on my commute, plug in headphones for my arvo walk and otherwise spend the rest of each day in my office in the fringe of the CBD. The hard work now is mainly in the sense of ploughing through the largely unsexy labour of managing the legal risks of a struggling and disliked enterprise. Tress has probably a lesser challenge in that regard but from our chats each day, the “heads down bums up” approach applies equally for her as for me.

I guess the reflection is a result of Peter speaking about “God at work” in St Alf’s yesterday. He talked about that 3 years ago, when I was asking impatient questions about my work, when I was in Canberra. This time around, I am much less restless and I wonder if my wrestle between wanting to do more for God and seeking a more settled, predictable and comfortable lifestyle is more a sign of my tendencies to keep looking up from the steps in front of me, or from some other impulse, long rationalised away, to step out into a more direct mode of serving.

When we came back from our walk and I was cooking the week’s lunches, being busy with an activity I enjoyed dialled down the reflection and dialled up the living. Later in the evening as Tress and I sat down to rest up to finish the weekend, I tried, unsuccessfully, to shoehorn the line in Lennon’s song, “Beautiful Boy” to make it describe what’s happening in my head. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” doesn’t quite cut it when I’m not actually making any plans at all, other than a daily plan of ensuring I turn up for work.

Life happens anyway. For the winter/cooler months, that means footy and more coffee. The Hawks were in Tassie and chalked up a messy win over the Saints. We watched the game on tele at home on Sat night, after spending the morning on my MX5, which had to go into the workshop for some tyre works. Later that arvo Tress and I worked the garden and then I cooked a warming pork rib congee for both of us. Yesterday while I cooked the week’s lunches, we had on tele, the competitive game between the reigning premiers and the Pies. Tigers romped home in the last quarter (as did the Hawks against the Saints) after a feisty tussle.
Maybe all I need worry about is contesting the next ball or the next kick. Footy simplifies life that way. One game at a time may be a tired cliché but it can be a useful guide to let one do the carpe diem thing. Maybe I’d just try and master that.


A Surprise Birthday Party

I got into Tullmarine last night. We’ve had a wonderful week in Klang, surprising my mum and celebrating her birthday together with her siblings and their families. Enoch and his wife flew in from Singapore. Enoch has a really busy practice (as a urologist) so having him do this was special. David and Jean were the chief plotter. They planned everything, down to keeping mum at home and only leaving home in time to get to the restaurant where everyone had been waiting.

Kiddo and Mic flew in from Canberra on Thursday night and we met them at the airport. They managed to get to the check-in queue when we were there so we checked in together. We got into Klang on Friday morning and caught a cab to Tress’ parents’ home. From there we went for a very hearty bah kut teh brekky before checking into our Air BnB condo unit as the crow flies from Tress’ parents’ home.

The surprise dinner party was on Saturday night so we had to wait to see mum. So after unpacking and freshening up at the condo, we waited to see my brother David and Jean his wife later that arvo at a local “drive-in” and had more stuff to eat. Then later that night it was back to Tress’ parents’ home for some home made popiah dinner.

On Saturday, we drove to a shopping mall nearby (Setia Mall) to get a lego set for Eunice, Victor’s eldest daughter. Eunice is only a year younger than Kiddo but due to a neurological disorder when she was very young, her intellectual development had been stunted and she remains very young intellectually. She asked us for lego sets everytime she sees us so that is our go-to prezzie for her. We decided however to only get it in Malaysia as it costs the same if we got it here and getting it there saves us the trouble of carting it on board the flight with us.

At Setia Mall, we bumped into Timmy and his wife. The we-fie he took didn’t make it into social media as we asked him to keep the pic under wraps to avoid spoiling the surprise. We got the lego set, as well as some other stuff and then got back to the condo to rendezvous with my siblings before the surprise dinner that night. Sim and Daniel drove up from Penang and it was great to see her again. We had received news of her cancer diagnosis just as a week earlier. Thankfully the diagnosis was early and treatment could be scheduled pretty quickly. So this dinner party and our being there for it, were very fortuituous and we were very grateful to be able to see her before treatment began today.

At the dinner, we had a wonderful time of catching up with mum’s side of the family. The family hadn’t been together to this extent for a very long time. It was probably the most complete reunion we’ve had for years. Certainly for our immediate family, with Kiddo and Mic also there, it was the most complete reunion todate for us. We also had Ah Kim, my late Ah Ku’s estranged wife, at the dinner and as I talked to her and reminisced those days when she was working in my late grandfather’s coffee shop tending a “chee cheong fun” stall, those days of toiling in the old coffee shop brought only fond memories. Somehow, the hard times (they must have been the prevalent occurences) had been almost completely shaded. When I said to her my fondness for chee cheong fun was birthed there, I could see the joy in her face. It was good just to see her again, as her estrangement from my uncle had meant we hadn’t seen her for many years. To see the joy on her face, on her realisation she brought joy to another all those years ago, was a big fat bonus.

It was just as rewarding talking to each of my other aunties and uncle that night, as with my cousins and their children. All the pesky experiences of getting past immigration/customs at both Tulla and KLIA, the humid conditions, the battling through Klang traffic, the niggling bits and pieces about the condo – none of those elements mattered as I mingled, talked, at and drank and took pictures with everyone that night. Tress, Kiddo and Mic looked like they enjoyed the occasion as much as I did and so I guess the chat with David several weeks ago which lead to our plans to come together, had all been worth the while. All I hope (and pray for) now is that Sim’s surgery and the rest of her treatment will be effective and she will recover from this illness in no time.

Back at the condo after the dinner way past midnight, we turned on our mobiles and exchanged pics and only went to bed well after 1am. We still managed, somehow, to make our way to KCMC the next day. We caught up with more people there. KCMC was different each time I was back there. This time, the main hall, which had become the meeting hall of the English speaking congregation, had had a makeover. It now felt more like a theatre. Personally I liked it less, as there is now no natural light streaming in, like it used to before. Maybe the path to all air-conditioned settings had brought this about, but it felt far too insulated from everything else. It felt as though the church was cloistered, and disconnected from its surroudings.

After KCMC, we went to a local restaurant and met again with the family, joined this time by Tibby, the only one from my late dad’s side of my family we met this trip. We had also bumped into TL and his family, who had moved to NZ over a year ago. They too, were back in Klang for a break. Later that night we had dinner with Tress’ family and then went back for a family pic. That dinner was in a fancy restaurant with delicacies and gourmet soups but the family pic was again, something special.

On Monday Tress’ dad and the both of us went to a bank to sort out some accounts held by Tress’ dad but which he had – casually – designated us as beneficiaries. We/he had to sign wads of papers and in between all those meetings and signings, we had lunch in a local coffee shop. That night, David organised for us all to meet at a “mamak” stall near mum’s house and Kiddo and Mic treated us to a dinner of roti’s and teh tariks and all sorts of accoutrements that came with that cuisine…

On Tuesday we had a quieter day. We caught a movie (“A Quiet Place”) as we noticed movies cost about RM10 a person, whereas the local Hoyts usuall charged about AUD20 each. We also did some shopping at the same mall, and later that arvo we had lunch at mum’s where May prepared a really good home cooked meal. Goh had also been home for a couple of weeks as he was in between jobs so it was a good lunch together. Later that night we had dinner with Tress’ family again and then we said our goodbyes as we were leaving early the next day.

As I zipped through Tim Winton’s “The Riders” on the plane yesterday, I thought about how fortunate we’ve been these past few days. As they always do, these holidays made me think about what-if’s. Had I not made the move all those years ago, I wondered how the present would have turned out. I’m not sure there was any regrets necessarily, but I wondered none the less.

Contrasts and conundrums

On the way home after the game last night, I said to Tress we live in a city where contrasting experiences can be such a wonder – one can start a weekend listening to a public policy campaigner/social reformer articulating religious philosophical views, and ending it by singing your team song with thousands of people in the mighty MCG.

After work last Friday, I took my usual Tram No. 12 but instead of stopping at Spencer Station, I stayed on till it got onto Victoria Parade at East Melbourne. Tress made her way from Blackburn Station and navigated her way through the Metro train network to get to North Richmond, where I was waiting for her. When she finally got of her train, we walked to the venue of the talk we were going to start our weekend with.

It wasn’t the sort of talk one wants to end a week on. We were listening to Ryan T Anderson talk about transgender activists and the public policy implications. I had been looking out to get a reasonably priced copy of Anderson’s latest book, “When Harry Became Sally” but I keep finding delivery costs add unreasonably to the already high prices of books here in Australia.

I had read Anderson’s earlier works, back from 2015 and when the same sex marriage legislation was being voted towards the end of last year, and found his arguments compelling. So it was good to listen to him on Friday night.

Equally impressive was the new Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Martyn Iles. He cut through the issues and, I thought, hit the nail on its head when he suggested it was all about the created wanting to be the creator. That the Genesis description of Adam knowing the truth was really saying Adam determining what truth ought to be, was a thought I had heard back about 30 years ago now, when I was a frequent audience in the Campus Bible Study lunch time talks delivered by Phillip Jensen. To hear a young looking new MD of the ACL say the same thing 30 years later, was strangely refreshing.
We got home a bit after 10pm and after nibbling on some late snacks we went to bed.

On Saturday it was blowy and wet and the temperature was barely reaching double digit, when after a quick and paltry breakfast, I headed to St Alf for some sweeping duty while Tress vacuumed the home. When we got back, we did some grocery shopping, before heading to lunch and then returning to cook the week’s lunches (my chore) and to iron (Tress’). It remained very wet all day so we could do bugger all in terms of gardening so we kept to indoor activities. Just as we were finishing our chores, we had yet another “order” from Malaysia so after couple of quick phone calls to outlets like Myer and JB Hifi, we headed out to beat the closing times of those outlets.

We managed to get the stuff Ben wanted Tress to get for him and it had become dark by the time we were done and got home.

After cleaning up from the cooking and portioning the lunches for freezing, we settled down and could finally have some down time. It was Saturday night and we had declined a dinner party in a friend’s home so we could catch this down time in a busy weekend. We caught some Chinese ancient wartime flick on Netflix, and then retired for the night.

On Sunday after St Alf’s we went home, and I quickly wiped down the grimy MX5 while Tress did some packing. We then headed for the MCG in what remained grey, wet and windy conditions. The weather forecast had promised conditions would clear up but the sun kept away. At the G, the first quarter kept the scoreboard equally grim for the Hawks and my quick couple of beers were the only positives.
Somehow the Demons wilted away and Hawks came back and looked far stronger. We finished with a thumping victory, reversing the first quarter deficit to romp home in the next 3. We got home just after 7pm, Tress did the smoothies for this morning’s brekkies and we were hoping to catch the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on TV after that.

That closing ceremony turned out to be an utter dud, with long rambling poetry, second rate entertainers and precious little suggestion that it was a closing ceremony of a sporting event. No athletes were on sight – after about half an hour, we switched off and checked out. This morning as I caught the news while doing my exercises, that closing ceremony copped some beating from all reports. I guess when artists and ideological driven public servants seek to foist their agenda on ordinary folks, we can just walk away and say thanks but no thanks. There is a point where we flip the bird and say go away. I want so much to say this to Malaysian politics now, who appear to have hoisted the Machiavellian Mahathir as a messiah to manoeuvre the demise of Najib Razak.

While scrolling through Facebook last night (and the night before), I was reminded of the activities we were busy with this time last year. It had been a year since Kiddo’s wedding. She and Mic were in Sydney to celebrate the event and they sent some pics for us. One had Kiddo leaping mid air in front of the Sydney Fish Markets. She looked really happy. I thought to myself I had very few happy moments in that spot. I spent 6 years of weekends in that place, often from 5am to 5pm, to fund my student years in Sydney. I was seldom happy there. Those weekends were miserable at that time, but at this moment in time, I feel like they were godsends. Life can be like that – misery and happiness are never absolute experiences. They can become relative and miseries of yesteryears can become proud and happy moments of the present. These contrasts can be conundrums but I’d just revel in them, as I revel in this city of Melbourne that gives me such a weekend.

Digging-in time

We received some news yesterday, regarding an illness of someone we care deeply about. It took me aback and I found myself in that unfortunately now familiar territory, of disbelief. It was a stark reminder that life can be so transient and God’s immutability is the only truth we can hang on to and drive us ahead while we walk this earth.

Much prayers and hard work in terms of belief, encouragement and pushing on, would be required. This morning as I said my prayers for Sim, I felt immense sadness and yet I am very encouraged by her steadfast faith in our Lord. I hope she would get the treatments she need and will be well again.

Finding a path to tread

We had our usual weekend except we did a whole bunch of stuff on Saturday so on Sunday we were relatively relaxed and chilled out.

Saturday, we took the wagon for a regular service and we wanted to look at several properties in the area, so we zipped around in the little MX5 to do that. I enjoyed it heaps but I think Tress would have preferred to traverse the eastern suburbs in something a little bigger. That was all in the morning and when we picked up the wagon around noon, we headed back, then to lunch and in the arvo, I did the cooking for the week – something I usually do on Sundays.

I guess on a weekend like that when no external causes impeded our personal plans, we felt freer. While the freedom allowed us to indulge in our personal causes and agenda, the greater benefit was it freed up my mind to think about where we are and where we are – I am – heading. United came back from 2-0 down to beat City and postpone the latter’s celebration of winning the league while Hawthorn ran out of time to claw back the 4-5 goal deficit and lose out to the reigning premiers. We did a bit of shopping and looked forward to our short trip back to Klang. These personal indulgences didn’t settle me enough to stop me thinking about where I am and where I’m heading.

Tanya C was one of those who made our initial visit to St Alf’s a whole lot friendlier. She’s a friendly and outgoing person and she had the lectern last Sunday for the prayers. It was a bit of a rambling range of issues, but I guess that sort of prayers sort of reflects the state of Australian – it cannot be just a Melbourne thing – society. The press and social media appear to have lost a grasp of why public figures – sports persons and politicians chiefly – appear to be behaving badly and listlessly, such that often ordinary citizens would probably just throw their arms up in the air in exasperation and check out from public discourse altogether. It is so hard to have a clearly thought out line of narrative and all that desultory cloud only grinds in all the more, the sort of hopelessness it can engender.

I feel very disengaged now. I feel as though I have given up hoping the world would turn to the good and right, that fewer things would be so undefined or its rightness or wrongness spelt out.

I’d often thing I’d need to simply and wholly turn to the word of God to regain the compass one needs to navigate through life. That I’d start to go beyond just reading it every day, and be bold enough to live by it, totally. I saw over the weekend – it could be a twit from someone like John Dickson or a Facebook posting of Tim Keller – that to believe in God is not quite the same thing as to trust in God. I read his word everyday because I believe in God. I’m not sure I can step out to trust in God as much as I read his word. Maybe that would help me better engage with this world and not be frustrated and disillusioned by the apparent pointlessness of how it is playing out. Maybe having a lamp and light wouldn’t mean anything unless my feet needs to find its next step on a path.

Louise Milligan and George Pell

End pages of this week’s Media Watchdog by G Henderson

Due to popular demand from avid readers, MWD reprints the eleven questions which Louise Milligan declined to answer concerning her book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell (MUP, 2017). Instead of answering Gerard Henderson’s questions, Ms Milligan sought the protection of her publisher – the formidable Louise Adler. Ms Adler told Hendo that Ms Milligan’s book was a beauty – so there – and no correspondence would be entered into.

On 27 March 2018, Louise Milligan was called as a witness by Cardinal Pell’s defence team in the current committal hearing in the matter of Christopher Reed v George Pell. She was cross-examined for an entire day by Robert Richter QC at the hearing in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court which is presided over by Belinda Wallington, the Supervising Magistrate for Sexual Offences.

And so, it came to pass that Louise Milligan reported the first day of the Cardinal Pell hearing for the ABC TV News Breakfast program on 26 July 2017 – and later on spent an entire day as a witness on the third last day of the hearing on 27 March 2018. How very ABC – since the taxpayer funded public broadcaster denied that Ms Milligan had a potential conflict in being a party to a case which she was reporting on.

In any event, here are eleven questions which were sent to Ms Milligan on 6 June 2017 – they remain unanswered:

At Page 4, you refer to the allegations concerning (then) Archbishop Pell’s alleged sexual assault of a choir boy at St Patrick’s Cathedral sometime between 1996 and 2001 as “George Pell’s ugly secret”. How is this statement consistent with your comments, following the publication of your book, that Cardinal Pell is entitled to the presumption of innocence? Also, what is the justification for writing at Page 227 that some of Pell’s accusers “will” be cross-examined by the Cardinal’s Queen’s counsel? – since he has not been charged.
In view of the serious allegations in Cardinal – and to the fact that you acknowledged on the ABC TV News Breakfast program on 17 May 2017 that your book is written “from of the complainants’ point of view”– what is your policy about anonymous sources?
For example, Cardinal contains references to “one senior member of a religious order” (Pg. 20), “another Royal Commission source” (Pg. 41), “one of the most senior priests on the Curia of the Melbourne Archdiocese at the time” (Pg. 51), “one Church official” (Pg. 88), “officials in the church” (Pg. 281), “a friend…who is a mother in the neighbourhood” (Pg. 290), “someone who works around the Royal Commission” (Pg. 297), “the father-in-law of an ABC journalist” (Pg. 313), “people who knew [George Pell] in his Ballarat days” (Pg. 329) – and more besides – plus the occasional “many”. The allegations at Pages 88 and 281 – which go to George Pell’s character – are most damaging. But they are unsourced.

In view of the serious allegations in your book, do you believe that it is professional to allow anonymous individuals – none of whom claim to be victims – a chance to condemn George Pell in such a way that a reader has no chance of judging their credibility or motives?

What is your position on memory? At Page 101 – when rationalising an inaccurate description of George Pell by one of his accusers – you write: “Memory does strange things when it comes to visual descriptions of people”. Yet, elsewhere in Cardinal, you accept as accurate the recollections of individuals who have seen George Pell on television in recent times and claim that this is the person they came across 30 to 40 years previously.
What is your position on the use of direct quotation marks? At Page 47, you place in direct quotes the recollection of a critic of Cardinal Pell who relates – word for word – a conversation which Pell had with her cousin. This despite the fact that (i) the alleged conversation took place over two decades ago, (ii) the woman concedes to being in the room next door to where the conversation took place and (iii) Pell was (allegedly) determined that the person could not hear what he said to her cousin. This would be uncharacteristic behaviour – in view of the fact that you maintain Pell has a “steel-trap mind” and would be unlikely to speak so loudly that he could be heard between rooms while (allegedly) attempting to have a secret conversation.
Likewise, in Chapter 6 – on the basis of hearsay upon hearsay – how do you construct the precise words that (then) Fr Pell used some three decades ago? Is this professional journalism?

What is your attitude to time? At Pages 129-130 you write that Cardinal Pell was fit enough to turn up at an event in Ballarat “just before he gave video link evidence” from Rome to the Royal Commission on account of not being medically fit to travel to Australia. Cardinal Pell was in Ballarat in March 2015 and he was due to give evidence to the Royal Commission in December 2015 – nine months later.
This is an important point – since you imply that George Pell suddenly developed a heart condition which prevented him from flying from Rome to Australia for hearings of the Royal Commission. So, do you believe it accurate to state that March 2015 is “just before” December 2015 – and insufficient time for a 73 year old man, who already had experienced two heart attacks, to suffer a further deterioration in health?

What is your evidence that the Catholic Church could afford to splash around $20,000 a day on Allan Myers QC as legal counsel before the Royal Commission for Cardinal Pell? (Pg. 131). Were you told this by the Catholic Church and/or Mr Myers? Or did you just make this up?
In view of your sustained criticism of the (then) Bishop Pell’s handling of Fr Peter Searson in Melbourne when he (Pell) was an auxiliary bishop – why did you fail to mention that, when he became Archbishop of Melbourne, George Pell sacked Searson and refused to abide by a Vatican decision that he be re-instated? (Pg. 260). Was this a deliberate omission or did you forget this fact – which was not challenged before the Royal Commission?
In dealing with the decision of former Judge Alan Southwell QC’s finding that Phillip Scott’s complaint – with respect to an alleged assault in 1961 – against (then) Archbishop Pell was not upheld, you write: So, in the end, the character assassination of Scott was successful – it achieved its aim – to keep Pell as Archbishop of Sydney. (Page 103)
The clear imputation is that Judge Southwell’s decision was affected by the (alleged) character assassination of Mr Scott which occurred outside the hearing. What evidence do you have that there was any causal relationship between the alleged character assassination of Mr Scott in the media – and Judge Southwell’s decision? Do you believe that Judge Southwell would have been so unprofessional as to allow media reports to influence his finding? If so, what is your evidence for this assertion?

On Page 19 you write that George Pell “infamously shared the [Ballarat East] presbytery with [Gerald] Ridsdale for a year.” At Page 142 you (incorrectly) state that Gerald Ridsdale shared a presbytery for a year with Paul Bongiorno in Ballarat East. It was, in fact, Warrnambool where Ridsdale and Bongiorno shared accommodation – as the evidence before the Royal Commission makes clear. Why is (then) Fr Pell’s accommodation with Ridsdale “infamous” – but not (then) Fr. Bongiorno’s accommodation with Ridsdale?
On Page 15 you write that “one seminarian in Pell’s year seems to remember Pell and [Anthony Salvatore] Bongiorno going on holiday together one summer”. (Emphasis added). Do you maintain that what an anonymous source “seems to remember” warrants quoting in what is presented as a serious book of contemporary history?
Do you believe that such words as “if” and “perhaps” are warranted in what is presented as a professional work by one of the ABC’s leading investigative reporters?

While Louise Milligan declined to answer Gerard Henderson’s eleven questions – she was all too willing to enjoy soft interviews by her ABC colleagues on ABC programs. Like Ms Milligan’s appearance on the ABC Radio 774’s The Conversation Hour program in Melbourne where she was interviewed by ABC star Jon Faine and former Democrats’ senator Lyn Allison on 15 May 2017. Here is a photo of that occasion, which coincided with Law Week in Victoria.

That’s Louise Milligan in the middle, Magistrate Belinda Wallington on the left and Lyn Allison on the right. The photo was taken outside the ABC’s Southbank studio in Melbourne.

Until next time.

Cool lent and hot Hawks

Often, the Lent season starts me thinking about the Holy Week and what I might do for the season, particularly on what I might consider giving up that week, so that Good Friday and Easter sort of gets better traction and it can be more meaningful for me.

This year however, for a range of reasons possibly, Lent, Holy Week and the Good Friday/Easter sort of just came and went without me giving it much thought. Those reasons probably centre on work and the fact that I have become more absorbed in my work than I care to admit. So, the long weekend has become more a rest from work than a time for me to reflect on what Jesus experienced as man under siege. Maybe things have cooled a bit, but I’m hanging in there, and waiting, and reading, and praying and, as much as I can, acting.

After work on Thursday, we went to do a bit of shopping as I wanted to do a curry dish the next day for Saturday’s lunch with Ruth and Jonathan. Kiddo and Mic came down from Canberra early Friday arvo. After a quick breakfast, I cooked the curry. When that was done, Tress and I drove up to Tullamarine and all four of us then headed to Port Melbourne where we had lunch in an Indian restaurant. The banana leaf rice menu has been on our radar for a while so Tress thought it’d be a good opportunity to have a sticky beak. We wouldn’t – I particularly – think of trekking across town, traversing Melbourne, for a meal so a return drive from Tullamarine gave us a reason to make that trip.

After lunch we headed home and for the rest of the day, we simply caught up and spent a bit of time planning our trip to Malaysia. We also went to a local Asian grocery store – only these shops are open on a Good Friday – to pick up some stuff for me to cook for the lunch on Saturday.

The next day, I spent the morning cooking while Kiddo, Mic and Tress went to the shops. Ruth, Jonathan and little Micah then came around 1pm and we spent the rest of the day catching up over lunch. It was wonderful to also spend some time at the oval and the adjoining playground, as it was a sunny and cool day.
On Sunday after St Alf’s we came home and had leftovers for lunch, before heading into the city just for a walkabout and catching nibbles. We had an early dinner in a popular dumpling place in the Emporium and then headed home. We had been playing cards each of the past 2 nights, so we continued with that very enjoyable activity.

On Monday, Kiddo went to get a hairy, then we had lunch at Westfield before heading out to Tulla again, for the Canberrans to return to the capital city. We got back in time for a quick walk for the little guy before the Cats v Hawks game. I was glued to the tele for the next 3 hours, captivated by the battle royale that has come to define Easter Monday footy. The cats had an assembly of midfield stars dubbed the holy trinity – the combative Selwood, the explosive Dangerfield and the mercurial Ablett – which the Hawks had to contain. Contain them we did, as Mitchell and McEvoy lead a very effective team to a pulsating 1-point victory, the only second time in recent years, where the Cats didn’t have the better of us.

We had been watching a series on Netflix, called “Wild Wild Country”, which chronicled the bizarre exploits of the orange people in Oregon in the early 80’s. It was an interesting series, but I wondered why it became such a hit on Netflix. I do recall however, the funnier guys in school who used the Bhagwan as a joke and in a recent tv show a few years ago, the Sheela line of “tough titties” on the Australian 60 Minutes got some airplay. Other than that the whole orange people episode was no more than a forgettable flash for most people. Maybe the Americans are different.

This morning as I got off the tram and walked towards the office, I noticed daylight was already upon us. Soon the days will end earlier, and it will get dark earlier as the warm days fade into memory. I hope winter will be kind on us this year.