St Alf Men’s Event & Berkeley’s Descent

After what seemed like a long dry spell, the heavens opened up on Friday and along with a spell of hails, the rain bucketed down. We were about to leave for dinner with Jason and Mel in one of the local joints and had to wait for a window of relatively slower pour to open up to dash out.

The rain continued through the night and when we woke up on Sat morning, the skies were still very dark and overcast. It was still threatening to be a very wet morning, which wasn’t good as there was a St Alf’s men’s group event at the Mullum Mullum Creek.

Tress and I had a coffee as the rain came again, and when it was time to leave, I decided to go ahead. When I pulled into the car park on Tindals Road, the rain abated a bit and before too long, many more showed up and soon there were about a dozen of us waiting to do the walk towards Beasley’s nursery and café, which was 4km away.

A bunch of us then took off, and when we got to the café, I was really heartened to see that a very big group had turned up. There were about 15 cyclists, maybe 20 walkers, and a number who came simply to have coffee with everyone else. It was a really good morning and when I walked back to the car park (a return 4km walk) I felt a better connection with my fellow walking men. I’m glad I didn’t let the poor weather stop me earlier that morning.

I got home, got cleaned up and went out for lunch with Tress. We then went for coffee and waited for the game between Adelaide and Hawthorn. I had watched Richmond beat Carlton on Thursday night and Geelong upset the Pies the night before, in a see-saw game, in what looks like another good season of footy.

We had to leave for a dinner with a bunch of Malaysians, in joint out in whoop whoop land, by 6pm so I had to follow the Hawks game on the phone, as Tress took the wheel and we headed for the dinner. True to form, this Malaysian event didn’t start until some 40minutes had passed the stated starting time, and it was loud, with speeches peppering the night. The food was good however, and the atmosphere was generally quite fun so it was a terrific night out.

Sunday was quieter in comparison, our rostered duty at St Alf’s notwithstanding. Talking to some of the men was easier after the Sat event so there’s a lot to say for participating in non-Sunday events. I hope Tress signs up for the tea thing on 2 April, with the ladies.

Late yesterday evening, as Tress was out for her ethereal pursuits, the little fellow jumped onto the couch where I had parked myself to watch the Giants annihilate the Bombers. He looked at me, and pawed me every 30 seconds or so. I guessed he wanted to go out and when I said to get his lead, he jumped down from the couch and trotted to where the lead was, waiting expectantly. He and I went out and even though it was very windy and still a bit warm, it was ao great walk – especially when Tress joined us a little later. The little jedi was visibly happier, bouncing around as we walked through parts of the neighbourhood I hadn’t been to for a while.

Later that night, Tress rang her parents and the conversation was trying. Much has been happening in the household with two convalescing and soon to be octogenarians, a disorganised 40-year old plus spinster that is in urgent need of a private consultation with Marie Kondo, a young family with a mum who is a keen interior decorator and is constantly seeking renovations or touch-up’s to the house and still cooks and provides food for another family a few hundred metres away, with a house that is also breaking down and needs much repair. It all sounds too much and as is often the case, I wondered about this price we pay for moving away from our home town/home country, all those years ago. The helplessness I felt when I hear of all those life challenges around those who matter most to us.