The Little Padawan has grown on us. Each night, as we settled down on the sofa to watch some tele to wind down the day, he’d burrow his head under our laps and go to sleep. He would have tired himself out after running around in the oval across the road, and chasing his senior (the Jedi Master) to mouth and lick him all over. He would have been a little terror and having exhausted his energy, he’d snuggle up to us, stick his head on or under our laps, and go to sleep. He tugs at your heartstring that way.
On Saturday however, the Padawan caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety. The final class of his puppy training would see him undergo several “tests”. To pass (and earn the right to progress to the next level of training), he had to pass each of half a dozen components. Each of those components score 5 points, so an Einstein of a pup would scorea total of 30 points. The highest scoring one in his cohort had 27 points. Padawan scored 17. He was fifth in class. 5 pups showed up for that final class. So yeah he sort of claimed bottom spot. He passed 5 of the 6 components. The “drop/stay” bit let him (and us) down. When I got back into the car, I rested my forehead on the steering wheel and closed my eyes. Well, at least we manned up. We showed up. There were 4 other pups who didn’t show up. It could have meant we claimed 9th spot instead of 5th, but the facts will show Oreo was 5th in a class of 9. Forget the fact that 5 pups were in that final class… He was 5th in a class of 9…
When we got back, I made Tress and I a large mug of coffee each. I then got to work to clean up the mess that the storms on Thurs and Fri had brought. I also trimmed the lemon tree and camelia bushes. When the raking, sweeping, mowing, etc all done, it was well past 1pm. Our decision to buy something, instead of cooking a dish, for the dinner party later that night, felt totally vindicated. I was both too emotionally traumatised and physically washed up, to whip up anything half decent.
Just before 6pm, I picked up the dish from Mekong (one of Tress’ and my favourite local places) and waited for Seng Huat to arrive at the Nunawading Station nearby. We then drove to Berwick for that dinner party amongst the La Salle old boys who’re in Melbourne. It was at the home of Andrew and Esther. I had reconnected with Andrew through work – he was the insurance broker to my ex employer and we chatted regularly over the next 6 years before I left that company a couple of months ago. When we arrived, we parked across the street from their home and as we walked towards their home, I noticed a gleaming new Audi parked in the gararge. The garage door was wide open for a reason I guess. Later, we made the connection between a track day at Sandowne Andrew had, which he had posted on Facebook. New Audi RS owners get a track day with Steve Pizzati, the presenter host of Top Gear, the Aussie version.
Also at the dinner was Alex and Christy as well as David and Agnes. Alex works with The Good Guys and is a constant supplier of home electronics to Andrew. David works with OnSemi in Singapore and travels widely. He said he had spent 3 months in quarantine in the past year, and the grind has been painful. He brought along a very nice bottle of red (a Henschke!), which he drank heartily. Tress (my usual designated driver) didn’t come along so I only got half a glass of that very good drop. David gulping down glass after glass of that very good bottle, suggests the aggregate 3 month quarantine has indeed been a terrible grind.
We had a good time of just chatting and catching up and by the time I got home, it was midnight. It had been a long day but it ended well. I was exhausted but I went to bed grateful. We have invested well in Oreo, and reconnecting with school mates was very precious. I think in many ways, I didn’t fail my tests – at least not too badly.