To Kambah, Orange and Back

We spent a couple of weeks with Kiddo and Mic, mainly in their home in Kambah. They were wonderful days. We left home on the Sunday before Christmas and spent the run up to Christmas just catching up and preparing for the Christmas day lunch that Kiddo and Mic had planned. We also dropped in on Mic’s parents’ home for dinner a couple of days before Christmas and shared a wonderful meal as well as the beautiful plants that SL (Mic’s mum) had kept in recent months.

On Christmas day, we prepped the food, and I cooked a turkey on their family sized Weber Q. They had also invested in their backyard, which was well landscaped with a new turf and it looked wonderful. I helped it look neat by giving it a mow so the Christmas day lunch had a neat and tidy and gorgeous new lawn. Mic’s entire family were there for the lunch, and we chatted, and got to know each other better. It was a lovely afternoon and a very nice Christmas day.

On Boxing Day, we went to the movies and watched a forgettable Wonder Woman offering. All four of us then (the next day) drove up to Orange and spent a few days in that beautiful town and its surrounds. The wineries were a bit restrictive however, as visits needed pre-booking – courtesy of the virus. We also drove up to Bathurst and drove around the famed track at Mount Panorama. The racing museum was a gem too. We had never been engrossed with the Bathurst 1000 races but I had always kept an eye on the famed Holden v Ford rivalry and names like Brock and McLaughlin and Lowndes take up so much airwaves that anyone who follows local sports would know a fair bit about them. So the Bathurst/Mount Panorama visit was almost (albeit probably a distant second) like the visit to the Bradman museum in Bowral.

We drove back from Orange to Kambah on New Year’s Eve and got home early arvo that day. As we sat around Kiddo and Mic’s home preparing to do a home barbie for New Year’s Eve, we got news that the Victorian government will shut the borders on midnight on New Year’s Day. The sledgehammer approach to managing this pandemic has reared it ugly head again so we rushed to get the border permit printed, cancelled a couple of further engagements (a lunch booking and a visit to a dog breeder in Gundaroo) and prepped the drive back to Melbourne. The New Year’s Eve became very ordinary as a result, a lovely dinner notwithstanding. Even the TV stations did not broadcast the countdown (only ABC had a program on). It was probably the most lowkey and subdued New Year’s Eve I had ever experienced.

After dinner and waiting for the countdown, I had read a plea on the St Alf’s FB page – a member who had been in Newcastle had asked for a ride back to Melbourne. We offered a ride and tried to arrange logistics on meeting points etc but it turned out she later got a plane ticket and decided to fly back.

We got up early on New Year’s Day, and had a quick brekky, loaded up the car and drove back to Melbourne. The border on Albury-Wodonga was set up with dozens of police personnel and it was about 40-45 minutes crawl before we got past. It was much better than the experiences of thousand who crossed the border the night before at different points, particularly those who did so using the Princes Highway.

We got home around 4pm, unpacked and settled down. I gave the car a wash, and we then did an online grocery shopping, as we are required to self-isolate for 14days even though we were hundred of miles from the nearest “red zone”. The sledgehammer effect, I guess. That evening, I planned an early visit to a testing site for next day. We left early the next morning and headed to Malvern East, where we joined a queue of over a hundred cars, waiting to be tested. As expected, we returned negative results. The commercial lab texted us the results that same night, whereas the DHHS, the state government department tasked with managing the pandemic, took over 36 hours (after we got home) to even tell us we needed to get tested and self-isolate. We had done both by the time we heard from DHHS.

2021 has started in a way that sort of reflects what 2020 has been like – lots of chops and changes and managing unexpected turns of events. To do this at this stage in Tress and my life, is I guess, a source of boredom killing events. I guess the bright side of this is we stay home lots and I have returned to a better level of exercise. Even when we were away in Canberra and Orange, I go for long and brisk walks/slow jogs every day (with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). I have shed some weight.

This morning, as I returned to the usual routine that included some time at my desk reading and seeking the Lord, I asked how I may serve better this year. I’d like to think my shortcomings haven’t resulted in him abandoning any plans for me to serve him, but I need to check in to ascertain, I guess. I wonder what 2021 has in store in this, and other aspects.