Spring and hopes of a friend


For just a day, the newly ushered-in season put on a glorious show. It was sunny and the skies were blue on Saturday. It was only the second weekend of spring and I had sweeping duties at St Alf’s and Tress had a dental appointment so we were both out the door early on.

After about an hour at St Alf’s, I got home and started clearing the patch on our front lawn where the lavender plants had died or were dying. The recent rain made the ground soft and easier to work on. Soon, the green bin was filled with deadwood and twigs of the ex-lavender plants. I got rid of the weeds too, along with the roots of the lavenders, and then turned and mixed the soil to get it ready for new plants. Tress then got home and joined me in the work, and moved and replanted some succulents from along the back fence.

With the patch done and prepped I moved on to other tasks, soaking up the wonderful weather.

I got some seasol onto all of the plants on the front, got some feed and weed on the lawn, and got Tress’ car washed. I would have done more work, on the side/back lawns etc, had it not been a special day for Alex and Li Har.

Our dear friends had planned a “thanksgiving service dinner” and we were making a dish to bring along. A “sambal egg” dish is something I know and liked but I had never cooked it before. I had googled the recipe and I’ve an idea, but I wasn’t sure I could make it work. So we reluctantly stopped working just after 1pm, and went shopping for the stuff we needed for the dish. We got to the Chase and actually bumped into Alex and Li Har – they were buying another dish which they were going to serve for the dinner. We were told there would be 30+ people… as usual, their parties are nothing if not big…

We got home, made the dish, and got ready to go for the party.

When we got to their home, rows of chairs greeted us, along with Alex decked out in a formal shirt and khakis – not his usual jeans and t-shirt. It was going to be a “service” of sorts… he got everyone seated and shared his journey with the small crowd. TT Quah, an old friend we hadn’t met for a while, was also there along with Maudrene his wife. Eddie, Vivienne, Li Lin and Kok Eng and several other old friends were also there. It was good to catch up with all of them, as we sat down to enjoy his boys leading in prayer and reading several psalms. The dish went down well too and I had barely a half a glass of red – from the nice bottle I brought along – so the night was thoroughly sober and proper. It was memorable too. I later quipped, recalling a text Julian their third boy read, that they both had very fine arrows (a la Psalm 127)

Jason and Mel were also there and we had caught up with them for dinner the night before too, as we often did. At the little Thai restaurant not far from our home, the proprietor had delicately asked if we could finish early as she had double booked our table. Initially taken aback, I was ok with it a little later and we took the opportunity to visit Jason and Mel’s new home after an early finish to dinner. They had only moved into their new pad a week earlier, having moved out to demolish and subdivide their lot more than a year prior. We sat down at their new dining room (open space) as I observed their coming to terms with a more compact, less expansive abode. They looked happy and took pride in their new home, which was great to see.

On Sunday, after St Alf’s, Tress had a birthday party to go to and I headed out to the local Bunnings to get the plants (a different variety of lavender) I wanted to put into the patch on the front I had cleared up and prepped the day before. I also got some other stuff and then headed back to the Chase to get some veg to roast for the week’s lunches. The weather has returned to being wet again and it rained for most of the day. Somehow however, a small dry window opened up and I quickly got those new lavender shrubs planted, watered and tidied up the patch before I started on the cook. Those baby lavender looked pretty as I looked on later last night, as the showers persisted and the light faded away. The weekend was ending on a grey note but those pretty flowers are showing promise of lighting up a colourful spring. A promise not unlike Alex’s and Li Har’s arrows.