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.

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