Tress’ mum’s 80th today

The above Chinese words (thank you, Google Translate) were on the card that accompanied some flowers we got Tress’ mum today. It’s her 80th. She’s a cancer survivor, and an immensely strong lady.

When Tress graduated from UNSW back in 1989 (I think), she went to Sydney for the event. On the night before she and Tress left Sydney to return to Malaysia, she sat me down, 1:1, and looked into my eyes and asked if I was serious with Tress. I was terrified but I couldn’t be more certain with my answer.

Happy birthday, mum.

And oh, here are those flowers.


Dark and Cold Weekend, Thank God for State of Origin…

Tress and I took a drive to Tulla airport last Friday night. Her flight out to KL would be late that night, but we left just before 7pm, after a quick bite at the Forest Hill Chase shopping centre. News of long waits had taken over headline press earlier that morning so we were hoping to get in a bit earlier.

I dropped her off, parked the car, and came back to join her in the queue for checking in. When she had done that, we said goodbye and I drove back home, listening to the appalling cave-in by Hawks, to the Doggies. The Hawks remain in rebuild phase, I guess.

I got home, let the boys out, and watched something on TV before retiring to bed, and be ready for a couple of weeks of being alone, while Tress spend some precious time with her family in Klang…

I slept in on Sat morning, then took the little one for a longish walk, before coming back to do some cleaning. The house got a thorough vacuuming, the sofa covers (old sheets to protect the furniture from the boys’ rough treatments…) got vacuumed and aired/sunned – it had been a sun filled morning for which I was very grateful. Several hours later, the house felt fresher (for now) and I washed up to head out for some grocery shopping later in the arvo.

The little one got another walk when I got back, then the boys got fed and I then (finally) put my feet up to wind down and go to bed.

On Sunday, at St Alf’s, it felt strange when people looked at me and thought “he’s alone”. Some knew Tress was going to be away and teased me about it (“hello batch”). I then had a chat with someone who is on the Board of SparkLit and continued our conversation about me becoming involved in some way.

The whole of Sunday was very grey and wet – I had been caught out when walking out of St Alf’s to the carpark, and got a bit drenched. So when I got home, I promptly cooked a soupy thing for myself – noodles with spinach and an egg, all in a heart warming bowl. I looked out the windows constantly and everytime I thought the rain would clear for a little bit, I headed out for a quick walk – I badly needed to be refreshed on such a dreary day, made worse by being alone… . The dark clouds hanged on interminably and the poor little guy constantly gave me looks to say he too, needed to go out for a walk, and so when there was a clear window of opportunity again, we both headed out and he got his walk – we headed back just as the rain returned, and we only had to deal with the last 50m or so in the rain. Thankfully, the older one is pretty ok without a walk.

Later that night, I had the tele on and realised the State of Origin Game 2 would be on. So I ditched the program Tress and I usually watched on Sunday nights. The glitzy cook show with frequent tear jerking moments, was parked while I took in the beating the Maroons had at the hands of The Blues. It’s always great to see NSW doing in Queensland. I had been a student in NSW in the late 80’s, when the likes of Wally Lewis and Allan Langer from Queensland battled ET (Andrew Ettinghausen) and Wayne Pearce of NSW. I mainly watch AFL now but for the State of Origin series, I make an exception and switch to NRL. That helped me deal with a cold night alone, at the end of a very dreary day. I was grateful for that…, as well as for having both the furry boys snuggle up close to me on the couch, on a fresh clean cover, seemingly without a care in the world as they wander away in dreamland.

30 Years – Love.

30 years today. Time really flies when you’re having fun.

30 years ago today, Tress and I got married. Last night, I said to her I can’t imagine what the love of Jesus for his church – His Bride – must be like, if my love for her is only a hint of Jesus’ love for His Church. If I think I love Tress so much, how great Jesus’ love for his church must then be.

How do I – how does one – respond to love this great? What part do I play for the church – His bride – to grow in its love for its groom? In response to such immense, incomprehensible love?

We were at the Glen shopping centre yesterday, for lunch and some grocery shopping. There was a photo booth of sorts, that has a “Love is love” board as a background for folks to take pictures. It’s “pride month”. If only this world would turn to the true love that Jesus, and the Father, demonstrates his church and this world.

Special weekend – we celebrated!

Kiddo and Mic were arriving late Friday night. I was near zombie like as we waited for them, just after 9.30pm and so I stretched out on the bigger sofa, and lightly snoozed. The little Padawan lied down across my legs and it felt cosy but I was simultaneously tired and restless. About an hour later, Tress said they were already towards Blackburn Road so I got up and took the car out of the driveway, so they could park nearer to unload their stuff, and we can leave our car at the end of the driveway for us all to use throughout the long weekend.

It was great, as always, to have had Kiddo and Mic and their furry friend Milo, with us over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. The last time we saw them was over the Christmas/New Year period nearly 6 months ago now.

I continued to feel tired but contented and happy at the same time, right through the long weekend. Maybe it’s just an accumulation of things. Busy work, bad knees, cold days and nights and also maybe pushing myself a bit more to be fitter and more active. We had fun though – we ate out a lot, and just talked and shopped too. They trekked into the city on Sat after lunch, and Kiddo picked up a pair of heels she was going to use for Sammy’s wedding in September. It was another bridesmaid’s idea but each of the other girls had to fork out for those heels but I guess this is what you do when an old and dear friend asked you to do the honors.

Sunday night was the main event, of sorts. We got some 24 people to come along for dinner. Tress and I got married a week shy of 30 years back, and we sacrificed the romantic idea of celebrating the occasion on the actual day (20 June) for the pragmatism of having people come for dinner on a Sunday night when Monday was going to be a public holiday. Dinner with close friends and relatives was at a local Lebanese restaurant and I think everyone had fun and enjoyed the food and occasion. Alex, LiHar and their boys (except for Josef), Jason and Mel, Gerry, Jesslyn, PMM and the two sweet little girls – Sheanne and Sheryl – were the friends. U Jin and A Pin, USeng and AAnne, A Lay Bee and U Lee and A Hooi and U Marloney made up the relatives. We asked Ruth, Jonathan and Micah too but they couldn’t make it. Ruth is a geriatrician and attending a dinner party with so many guests at close quarters, was perhaps too high a risk, so they skipped. Gerry and Jesslyn surprised Tress with a cake (it was her birthday also) and I was very grateful for that.

We got home late, unloaded the unused wines and weird gifts and tried to wind down to go to bed. My tiredness plumbed low, and Kiddo and Mic had earlier decided to treat Tress to a very special “high tea” at the Langham Hotel in the city so we went to bed in anticipation of that.

The next morning, Mic and I walked Milo and Padawan, then we all got ready and trekked into the city for the treat. It speaks of Australians’ acceptance of all sorts of culinary experiences, that an egalitarian society embraces an otherwise showy indulgence of a “high tea” that serves cute looking offerings on four-tiered stands, washed down with a tea list comprising a dozen or so choices, and a glass of bubbly at 10 in the morning. The food was deceptively filling, as the small (but beautiful) pieces of savory and sweet stuff soon filled our bellies till they were bursting at their seams. Tress and I couldn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day!

Kiddo and Mic left for Canberra soon after the swanky meal and arrived at their home around 9pm, with a busy work week ahead for all of us. Life goes on after a weekend of celebrating a little milestone. Last night as Tress and I climbed into bed, I felt my tiredness ebb away. I was refreshed this morning and went for my usual 5km trek, something I hadnt done for a week for a bad knee. I felt like my journey with Tress has only just begun, in some ways. Bring on the next milestone…


I cannot say for sure, how I stumbled on this. I have to however, log this for posterity:

It’s a blog that spoke of an entry I made back in 2006, about my late grandfather’s old house in Klang.

And, what triggered that visit (to that old blog in 2006) was this old photo of my late grandparents that Tib put up in the family WhatsApp group:

I really must be getting old.