From about 1pm yesterday, the drive along the Hume became less boring. The Hawks conceded the first goal to the ladder leader but soon resumed control of the game, as they lead in each quarter and finished off the Cats with a 4 goal margin. It couldn’t have been a better cap to finish the wonderful few days we were away.
We had left Melbourne last Wednesday morning soon after 7am, to drive up to the nation’s capital. It took a while to leave the city and get onto the Hume – some 45+ minutes. We then stopped at Wangarratta for a break and bite and then pushed on, and arrived at Kiddo and Mic’s place a bit after 3pm.
Catching up with them has been really nice in recent months. Seeing them grow to become lively, responsible and engaging adults brings me a level of peace for which I am deeply grateful. Seeing them fully engaged to live healthy lifestyles was a huge bonus. They eat and exercised well, remained fully engaged with their work, and continue to be involved with the church they’ve been part of since their uni days.
Kiddo did a salad for us that first night, as Mic had a work function. It was very satisfying and delicious. The little black jedi also perked up from the time we got into the house, as Milo, Kiddo and Mic’s toddler labradoodle, reacquainted himself with LBJ, particularly his sumptuous ears. LBJ tends to get a yeasty ear and Milo seems to enjoy lapping up what must be a vegemite type of flavour as he gets stuck into each cavity.
The next few days were filled with walks, coffees, meals and conversations that helped us reconnect with them, temporarily beating the tyranny of distance. I used that last phrase as a clumsy segue to Blainey’s new book, which I was gifted with by Kiddo. “Before I forget” is Blainey’s latest book – a memoir that may be a first of two volumes. I had read a review (not unbiased) of that in The Oz and had thought of getting it, so it was a pleasant surprise to have it in my hot little hands.
On Saturday, when Mic could at last join us in the daytime activities, we took a drive into the city and took a walk through the Australian National University. The main grounds of the campus had been rebuilt and Mic and Kiddo wanted to show us what they looked like. We walked through the area, including a town hall/auditorium type of space that used to be the Manning Clark theater, where the 50th anniversary of the landing of the moon was being celebrated.
Later that morning, we caught the new-ish light rail on Northbourne Avenue and traveled towards Gungahlin. We stopped to have a big lunch in a Singaporean styled café, which has become a hit amongst Malaysians and Singaporeans in that area (Gungahlin). When we walked through the Marketplace in Gungahlin town, I said to Tress it kind of felt like Point Cook. Certainly, the demographics felt similar. We returned to the CBD on the light rail, drove back to Monash, and took our fur friends for a walk, before going for dinner in a really nice restaurant (“The XO”) in Nurrabandah.
On Sunday morning, it was very cold again (a “feels like” minus 4deg) but we braved it and took our 4 legged friends out for a walk again, before returning to a quick breakfast, pack-up and say our goodbyes. On the way home, just before the footy came on in the radio, Tress and I were again talking about planning for our next catch up over Christmas/New Year. We had talked about it after dinner earlier in the week with Mic and Kiddo and to find ourselves planning for the next catch up as soon as we wound up our current one, says a little. Go Hawks!