Christmas buildup, and World Cup drama

It was the weekend before Christmas, so Tress and I busied ourselves cleaning up around the house. I did the outside – the hedges, grounds, lawns etc., and Tress did the inside – vacuum, toilets etc. The weather was beautiful – sunny and only mildly warm – so we attacked our tasks with great energy and enthusiasm. We only finished well after 1pm., and just as we were about to head out for a late lunch, A Hooi and U Marloney dropped by and gave us some mangoes they picked up from the market.

We headed out to the Knox shopping centre, to check out the newly renovated “Food Precinct” type of place. For all intents and purposes, it is still a food court of sorts. We had our lunch at the “Local Hero Singapore” stall, then walked around the refreshed shopping centre to pick up stuff.

We then got home, walked the little fellas as soon as the cricket match ended, and then put our sore feet up to exchange messages with Kiddo and Mic. They’ve been asked to create a registry for people to get them baby stuff and they wanted some thoughts on what they did.

Sunday after St Alf’s we did our usual lunch and grocery routine. Later that arvo, I cooked the boys’ meals and then I put up more lights on the front lawn. The set of lights had been picked up over a week ago but I had been busy at work. The Whitehorse Council Carols are back for the first time since 2019, and the weather was perfect again so we headed out to Tunstall Park after walking the boys a bit earlier than usual. The Carols were packed – Tunstall Park is a bit smaller than the Whitehorse Civic Centre, where it used to be held. We had our rug and chair in a far corner, took in the event for about an hour, and left when the churches’ event were done.

Earlier this morning, I woke a bit after 3.30am, and watched the World Cup Final between Argentina and France. The South Americans had been 2-0 up then, so I thought they would just win it. Alas, more drama unfolded as the Europeans scored two quick goals to level things up. The leading players for both teams – superstars Messi and Mbappe – had been involved in all goals. At extra time, both these megastars continued their involvement to make it 3 – 3, before the Messi and his men won it through penalty kicks. What drama.

I went “back to bed” for a bit and woke up bleary eyed, but the run sort of woke me up well. The weather had continued to be beautiful and although it was a bit nippy at around 6degrees, the sun was shining and the run felt good. Good enough to start the last working week of the year. Kiddo and Mic will visit from later this week, and will stay for just over a week. It really is beginning to feel more like Christmas.


2022 ending soon, planning for 2023…

It was off to the Olivigna restaurant at Warrandyte on Thursday, and the back to good old Enrik’s in Blackburn on Friday. Yes, it’s that time of the year. Christmas functions line up to fill our glasses and tummies.

Thursday was an office/work function, and Friday was the St Alf’s growth group break up dinner. Tress too, had hers several days before, and I had missed one with Steer too. Thankfully, there is none teed up for this week but next week there’ll be a couple more, before the Christmas break starts. I can’t wait. Not only for some feet-up time, but also to catch up with Kiddo and Mic, who will be coming down from Canberra.

At Enrik’s on Friday night, we were to first to arrive and then Graeme and Rosemary joined us, before the Churchwards and Helen showed up. Surprisingly, Mike and Ros showed up early too. They had been in NZ for a holiday and were returning on Friday night. They were going to join us straight from the airport but we received a message from them earlier that arvo, saying their flight had been delayed. It was a really good time of catching up and saying goodbye for the year.

On Saturday, we watched the Argentina v Netherlands World Cup game. It was an exciting game, with the Dutch popping in 2 goals in the closing minutes to level scores and take the game into extra time. Earlier on, the little genius Messi had made a really good pass for a team mate to open scoring, before they added another. It stayed 2-0 for a long time before the Dutch maestro coach – Louis Van Gaal, who also managed Man Utd for a little while – opted for the ‘big forwards – pump in long balls” approach. It worked but the Dutch went down in penalties. Game over, it was time to swap the cars again. So after walking the little fellow, I washed the Mazda, took out the Lexus, then swept up the spaces before leaving the Mazda inside and then also giving the Lexus a wash. Tress did some vacuuming too. At just after about noon, we finished up and did our usual lunch and groceries routine.

On Sunday, it was England v France and the French looked the better side. They prevailed, and will meet Morocco (!) in the semifinals later this week. After the game, I took the little fellow for a walk, before we went to St Alf’s. A guy rostered for the reading didn’t show and Peter walked up to me during the service and asked if I could do it. It was the first time I did the reading but Tress thought I did ok…

After lunch and a bit more shopping, we came back and I did the usual cook. Later, we teed up our arrangements to be in Canberra in March, for the much awaited arrival of Little A. We finalised bookings for an apartment not far from Kiddo and Mic’s home. I wonder what it would be like living in that tiny place for up to 5 weeks. Later last night, I rang my mum and we spoke on the phone. Apparently, she too was updated on the MCRI whirl that came up and I said to her I’d be remaining where I am. It made our March 2023 plans easier to deal with and mum sounded happy and relieved to hear that. So I guess that worked out well.

Wither tipping point

I spoke with my boss yesterday arvo. He was ashened-faced for a few seconds but I went on talking about what my thoughts were. He then suggested a meeting this morning with the MD. So here I am now, waiting for that meeting – my boss, his “boss” (the MD), and the HR head. I don’t know what to make of it. I’m still equivocating. Still seeking.

(Closer to) Crunch Time

Jacob famously wrestled with God. Tim Keller has a terrific podcast talk on that, which I may need to revisit. Actually it wasn’t so much a podcast talk as it was a sermon delivered in his NY City church, but I listened to it in a podcast, many months ago now.

The past week and a bit has certainly felt like a wrestle of sorts. Nowhere near the level of Jacob’s well known wrestle that’s for sure, but it did keep me more or less immersed and I’ve been feeling spent.

I just spoke to AR a short while ago. He rang again to check in, and said the written offer from MCRI should come in sometime today. I need to map out a plan to speak with a few people, once that offer is to hand.

Last Friday night, Tress and I caught up with Jason and Mel at a newish bistro in Vermont. It’s only a very short trek for us so when Jason messaged to say they’d be late, it didn’t bother us. The MCRI matter had been in my head anyway, so I was distracted from our usual Friday night soiree. We talked – a lot about MCRI and my thoughts about it, but also about our coming summer plans. It’s always good to catch up with them,

On Saturday, we walked the little fellow, then we went grocery shopping. Tress’ cousin’s wife was coming for lunch and we had planned on doing a barbie. Back home later, I tidied up the gardens and Tress did some vacuuming. We finished just before 1pm, got cleaned up, and Tress picked up YS from the tram stop near Burwood One. I cooked, we ate, and chatted about work, family, the world cup soccer that’s going on now, and cricket (!). A bit after 4pm, Tress dropped her off at the tram stop again and I cleaned up the barbie grills. It had been a sunny and very warm day so we took the boys out to the oval again, just a bit after 5pm, as the cricket had ended early.

Sunday was going to be even warmer. We got up just on 6am, but not because of the warm weather. Australia was playing the mighty Argentina for a place in the quarter finals and everyone’s been pumped. Australia played hard and well, was well organised, but ultimately lost, mainly on account of Messi’s genius. After the game, I walked the little fellow before heading off to St Alf’s. Peter was starting a new series – on 1 Peter.

Late on Sunday arvo, we had a “Doggy Christmas Party” at the oval. Folks just brought nibbles and drinks and we sat around with our furry friends, to soak in the late summer arvo warmth as we sipped our drinks and fussed over our dogs. For just over an hour, MCRI was nowhere near my mind and I (and all who were there) felt relaxed. It was very pleasant.

Later that night, we had a chat with Kiddo and Mic, who were on the way home after their church service. They both provided some very positive points and they sounded far more focused on the salient issues. I guess they could be more objective than yours truly for obvious reasons. They sounded far wiser than I.

To state the obvious, I had been praying about this for weeks now. I am none the wiser, which was why I had reached out to different folks to seek advice/counsel. I am still none the wiser but at least the guide rails for a decision are in place for me now. I hope.