Catching up, and Thank God for the Indians.

No sooner had I written about how summer has truly arrived, when a weekend that more resembled autumn, enveloped us. It was very wet, cool and grey all Saturday. It had rained the night before too, so on Saturday morning, I said to Tress I wanted to go out and get a hearty breakfast. We haven’t had a weekend brekky, at a cafe here in Melbourne, for a very long time.

Tress found a place as the crow flies, and we drove there and settled down to good coffee and food. We then did some grocery shopping as we had decided to do our usual Sunday cook, on Saturday instead as we couldn’t do much else on such a wet and grey day. When we got home and prepped the cook, we received a message from the Hipo’s, asking if we’d like to join them for a hot pot dinner that night. It sounded like a great idea, given we hadn’t caught up with them (and Jason and Mel) for a little while now. The weather also made a hot pot sound like the perfect antidote. So later that day, as Tress delved into her ethereal pursuits, I ducked out to Bunnings to prep for the garden work I wanted to do on Sunday, picked up some grub for the hot pot, and picked out a bottle of sake for the Hipo’s who liked all things Korean and Japanese.

Saturday night was really nice – catching up with people who have become “old” friends over the years here in Melbourne. One of the Hipos’ girls wandered across the kitchen and I asked Jess to remind me how old that angel was going to be this year. 10 going on 11. I said to Jess, that Kiddo was 10 when we first arrived in Melbourne. Kiddo has her own family now. I remember when that angel, as well as her younger sister, were babies. They’re bright, well mannered and engaging young girls now.

We all spoke of what we did in recent weeks, shared new discoveries of cafes and restaurants, home improvement projects, work, etc. We were sharing what our lives had looked like in recent weeks. Tress and I watched the very good “Mr. Holland’s Opus” on TV yesterday arvo and we caught Mr Holland, played by the wonderful Richard Dreyfus, singing Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy“. “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans“, jumped out at me again. As I write this, what the Hipo’s, Jason and Mel and Tress and I shared as we enjoyed each others’ company on Saturday night, was sort of like that. We may be “busy making other plans”, but life happens as we did that.

On Sunday, we took St Alf’s service online again. We tried to book in an in person service but the limit had been reached. It felt like a distant second option… right after the service, I got stuck into the gardening work. The hedges, shrubs, lawn and grounds look neater now. That has to be good for our well being surely. Later that arvo, we lounged around, watched the cricket on TV and toggled between that Mr. Holland’s Opus. This Indian team has been terrific. They have brought the fight straight up to the Aussies and the resulting contest has been a treat. We also wandered across to the oval and I watched a local cricket game that was unfolding not 50 meters from our front yard. Two local Indian (or may be Sri Lankan) teams were in what looked like another keen contest. On Saturday night, as we talked about where we had been over the Christmas and New Year break, we shared how we noticed more Indians holidaying across the States. It is good to see them amongst the community. Hard working, played hard, culturally so distinct, delicious food and cricket loving. They are rarely a menace to the community and are for the most part, gracious and funny. As I watched those two teams in contest, I felt enriched for their presence and contribution.

Old friends and new, I guess, pretty much summed up the weekend.