Warmth in Winter

It’s still a couple of weeks from winter. It has been cold, however. The rains have been coming in, too. I guess creation doesn’t follow the calendar too closely.

About 10 days ago, Tress and I drove out east. We were introduced to this adorable little furball, whom we want to see grow into a lovely adult not unlike the Little Black Jedi. We spend a little time with him, before taking him home. Little Oreo has been with us since. Other than the first day, Oreo has been like a spiced up sweet little biscuit. He can be so sweet that your heart will melt when you see or cuddle him, but he can also be a little terror that darts across the room with mischief. Right now, he is cuddled up with LBJ, snoozing to provide the sweetest little picture for me as I attempt to draft various things.

Scruff and Oreo sharing some peaceful moments.
Scruff and Oreo sharing a peaceful moment

I continue to work from home, and Tress has returned to the office for 3 days each week. Work has continued to be busy. Earlier this year, the big development at work was that my employer has been acquired by an American entity. Since then, work to complete the acquisition has fired on all cylinders. Last week was particularly busy for my boss, as the final shareholders’ meeting, together with a Court hearing – both to approve the scheme within which the acquisition was to happen – took place on Monday and Friday respectively.

A few of us have been wondering what would happen to our work – whether we will still have our jobs, and to a greater extent, what our work will look like – post completion of the acquisition. The predator is an American entity with no commercial presence in Asia/Australasia and a very small footprint in EMEA – in a different space at that. The only market it is in direct competition with my employer is in the US itself. From that perspective, it would appear my work will be far less at risk than others’, but one never knows. No sense paying it any more attention than that simple risk assessment warrants for now, I guess.

Finally, I’ve signed up to be part of a “Winter Shelter” program that’s run by the Whitehorse Churches Care cooperative. I was at a volunteer’s training on Saturday, where I bumped into Chin Moi, an old friend. The program runs for 3 months through the winter and it seeks to provide overnight shelter for homeless folks in the Whitehorse area. The shelter will be in 7 different churches, each hosting for a night each week. It starts at 5.30pm, where beds etc will be set up and meals provided. The next morning, after providing breakfast, the beds are packed away and venue cleaned to head to the next host venue. This will go on each week through the winter. After years of wondering what I can do towards alleviating the homelessness question, I can finally do my little bit in a practical sense.

So there’s the 3 winter warmers. Oreo the little new member of the family, continuing work amidst the apparent uncertainties, and a chance to do something that has long burn questions into my mind and heart.

It has been cold, but I guess this is how I manage this winter…


Rut creeping in

In recent weeks, I have had to work at getting stuff done. Work remains busy and I continue to get as much done as possible, but increasingly, the routine that sees me at home for much of the time, is creating a rut that I have had to work harder and harder to overcome.

It has been nearly 14 months since we started this work from home routine and I have become a bit schizophrenic about whether it has been a good thing. On the one hand, it has given me back my commute time. This has allowed me to spend more time for exercise, which has been terrific. The isolation and sense of being a bit of a hermit however, has made me a more inward looking person. Also, my reading has suffered. A lot. It has been about a year since I last read a book. I started on Tom Holland’s “Dominion” a few months back but I’ve struggled against the lower hanging fruits. Streaming a movie or other similar content, has felt like much easier outlets against the stress and pressing sensation that work has brought. I even got a new Amazon remote just to be able to better navigate the offerings available.

The weekend routine has continued, and we’ve been able to get to the physical/in-person services at St Alf’s for the past 4 weeks. Restaurants and cafes have been back in business so we’ve been eating out a few times too. Weekend before last, we caught up with Carrie and Jonathan, who used to live a few streets away, a few years ago now. We had a yum cha lunch and it was good catching up. We’ve also caught up variously with Alex and Li Har, as well as with the Hippos and Chews. I continue to do my weekend cook for the weeks’ lunches. We’ve walked LBJ on most Sat/Sun arvos where I have also been taking in the local soccer matches. Tress and I have also been to the G for Hawks’ games but Hawks have been very ordinary this year, as expected. We now sit third last and will surely end the season before September arrives. United on the other hand, appears to have offered relatively brighter days. The postponed game with the Scousers earlier today is not an unexpected blight and was surely something the Blazers could only blame themselves for. One can only hope Woodward’s replacement will be closer to who David Gill was to United.

So here’s a quick entry to plug the hole that recent weeks has created. Hopefully, I will write a little bit more frequently.