(A Really Good) Queen’s Birthday Weekend


The Queen’s birthday is the last long weekend Melburnians have, before a long stretch of work period without any public holidays. The next one after that is the Melbourne Cup, which is in November.

We had visitors from the capital city with us this time. It meant we didn’t have a “break” but it was a terrific time none the less.

Kiddo and Mic came down and stayed with us for the long weekend. Accompanying them was Milo, the little fearless terror that darts and zips through the house from end to end. He first met our little black jedi last Easter, when Tress and I went up and stayed in their house.

They arrived on Sat night. Earlier, we had spent the day with Mic’s parents who had come down to visit us and their other relos here in Melbourne. They are very polite people, which was terrific as well as problematic. We had trekked into town with that cretinous metro train service plaguing our journey. Bus replacements with nary a notice meant our trek in took longer and was a more frustrating ride. When we got in and had lunch with them, we then took them to the Carlton gardens nearby, to soak in what was a beautiful sunny day. We got to know each other a little better but right through lunch and at the gardens, they alluded to wanting to drop into our home. They didn’t say it and frankly I just didn’t get why they’d want to, but Tress was on to it like a flash. I thought the whole idea of wanting to come to our house was curious – we had met, spent a few hours together; what was to be gained with coming to our home? Had we known their whole intention/purpose of coming to Melbourne was to visit our home, we wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of trekking into the city, especially with that bus replacement crap.

So they came later that night, and we did up a soup and bought some pizza for them, a dinner which we all ate together – Tress and I, Kiddo and Mic, and Mic’s parents together with Mic’s youngest sibling. And the fur babies of course. It was nice, my sense of “that’s all so weird” notwithstanding. They had taken Uber for the ride in and back from our home, and I thought I sensed a hint of expectation for us to provide that ride too, which I steered well away from. Funny how after years of leaving Asia, our Asian sense of unspoken expectation still hovers, windows tightly shut.

On Sunday, we did our usual St Alf’s and lunch thing but again, it was really good to go through all that routine together with Kiddo and Mic. Taking Milo and LBJ for a walk at the oval later, was especially nice. Later that night, we indulged in our favourite past time as a family – playing gin and keeping scores. Yours truly did a “slam” on them a couple of times, which meant Kiddo was going to buy lunch the next day… 🙂

On Monday, we trekked into the city again, this time to look at the terracotta warriors that had been lent (by the Chinese government) and shipped to the National Gallery of Victoria. Only less than a dozen of those bronze relics were on display (together with works by a Chinese artist, Cai Guo-Qiang) but it was a wonderful experience. We had driven in and parked at my work place, then trammed to the NGV. We then had a really nice lunch – courtesy of Kiddo – and wandered around the city, again soaking up a nice day. We again ended the day with walks at the oval, letting the fur babies run around and drinking in the fresh air.

This morning I had to abandon my usual routine – of exercises, reading, putting away dishes, etc., as Milo was asleep in the lounge. I took the opportunity to sleep in on a workday, waking only 20 minutes before I left the house. The capital city visitors would leave some time this morning. I found myself looking forward to our next get together, this time Tress and I and LBJ trekking up north, hopefully some time next month.

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