Gardening, Hymn Singing and Charizard Hunting


On Saturday, I had planned to clean up the gardens, as the James Sterling had gone crazy in recent wet months. I could see they had gone bushy and looked as though they had been put on steroids. So after a quick brekky, I got stuck into the task and attacked the hedges. Clippings from just the stretch down the western side alone, nearly filled up the green bin and I had to leave the back stretch undone – for next time – as the lawns still needed to be mowed. Tress in the meantime, cleaned up inside the house, and vacuumed before heading off to her ethereal activities’ “Community Day”. Those activities of hers have chalked up many kilometres of walking and made her numerous new friends so they have been really good for her.

I wound up the work just before 1pm, Tress came home and we headed for lunch, and then proceeded to a very interesting arvo.

St Alf’s had planned an arvo of traditional hymn singing. With our Methodist background, we didn’t need much convincing to pen the event in our diaries. So after lunch, we headed for an arvo of “lusty and courageous” singing.  Tim Dehn – a former ABC presenter – often featured prominently in St Alf’s well attended Christmas Eve services and he masterfully guided the attendees through an arvo of hymn singing. After a big week at work and a full morning of domestic work however, Tress and I were tired and we left at 4pm, just as the penultimate hymn was sung.

We got home, walked the little guy, and came home to finally settle down for some down time. I watched the “Attack of the Clones”, the second of a planned Star Wars weekly screening which started the previous Saturday, and began to sip on a very delicious Verdelho. Seeing Anakin Skywalker building up a steam of anger and bitterness to begin the journey that would, in later episodes, carry him to the dark side of the force felt like a weird way to finish the day we just had but it was nice entertainment…

On Sunday, at St Alf’s I felt slightly different. It could be we were seated at the middle section, away from the right flank where our usual seats are. It could also be that I could feel we had moved another step towards making this our home faith community. I couldn’t put my finger on it but as I sat listening to Peter MacPherson delivering his short sermon (to facilitate a healing session for that morning), my notes flowed and I felt I am starting to get this congregation and its senior minister.

After the service, we had a quick catch up over coffee, with another couple. They’re one of maybe only 3-4 Malaysian couples in St Alf’s. The conversation made me cringe, as the carrying on about detailed costs of work done etc made me (and the other – Caucasian – couple in the circle) ill at ease (my guess). Somehow, many Malaysians are prone to discussing detailed dollars and cents. It has always made me uncomfortable. “How much ah?” still makes me cringe.

After St Alf’s we had lunch in one of our usual Sunday joints and Tress met another one of her ethereal activities compadres. We also struck up a conversation with a family seated next to us. They were celebrating the visit of their son, who is working in a legal firm in Hong Kong. The young man articulately discussed his views of goings on in that troubled island city and I again wondered where many Hong Kong people would end up eventually.

Later that arvo, I did my usual cook and we walked the little guy. It was a very pleasant arvo, weather wise, and we made the most of it. I ended the arvo by applying some seasol to the front, side and back lawns and flower beds. Tress had some more of her ethereal activities, and we both settled down just before 7pm, as the building/construction work reality TV program started. Putting our feet up again as I sipped my Pinot Noir, my tired but satisfied limbs are very grateful for a weekend that promises a return of warmer days.