Cafe, Dolby

Kiddo and Mic ventured out of their house yesterday, and took a walk to their favourite cafe. Cafe Blanco, their local, welcomed them back warmly, we were told. Little Abby was in the pram with them – her first trip to a local cafe. Fabulous.

Later that morning, they went for an assessment of Little Abby’s hearing. She passed. Her sound system (probably better than Dolby Atmos) is great. Fabulous.

We were with them last night, delivering their dinner and a quick chat. Like Little Abby, we listened. Well. I think. Hopefully. We then headed back to our “home” in Chapman. It remains a fabulous journey.


“Incident in Stromlo” Detected

I had a run in Melbourne, through (more or less) my usual route, before we took the drive to come up to Canberra last Monday.

On Tuesday morning, I ran on the Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve, just at the back of the property we’re staying in Chapman. It is a beautiful spot, with numerous vantage points to take in the sunrise. It was so good I kept doing it every morning.

On Friday morning however, just nearing the 4km mark, I was distracted by a couple of gorgeous looking dogs. I tripped, and stumbled forwards a few meters before falling. As I fell, I could feel a strong pull on the back of my right thigh.

It took me a little while to recover and when I could finally stand up, a lady with those 2 dogs asked if I was ok. I said I wasn’t sure, as I felt blood flowing from my left knee, left palm, and left forehand. I knew something was amiss with my left thigh. It took me a couple more minutes before I could slowly walk away. As I walked a bit more, I could feel the pain on the back of my right thigh getting worse.

The walk back to our temporary home in Chapman was about 2km, but it took me just under an hour. I had to stop about half a dozen times. Several times, I thought I would black out.

When I got home, I sat on a chair and that’s when the dam broke and the pain hit me like a train. I went into shock, felt cold, shivered and sat there just convulsing as Tress tried to ring a few doctors. The host of our home then came around, offered some blankets and cold packs, before suggesting we called an ambulance. Tress did, and about an hour later, the ambos arrived and I went into the emergency department of the Canberra Hospital.

The medical team was very good, as they managed my pain and checked on me. No fractures. No concussion. No nervous system damage. Badly torn hamstring is the suspected cause of my pain. The young doctor who attended to me said she would confirm the diagnosis with a (more senior) consultant and I was left alone for a little while. I was given an array of painkillers and they worked. Several hours later, they said I could leave. Tress picked up more painkillers from the pharmacy at the hospital, we got a pair of crutches, had the wounds washed and dressed, and left the hospital in the arvo.

It has been over 3 days since the incident. The pain remains and I will have to manage it for maybe a week or two (at least, I think). Painkillers help. Of equal help however (if not more) is the exhilaration of holding little Abby in my arms, seeing her held by Tress, Kiddo or Mic. They soothe so well.

Temporary Abode

Tress and I worked ourselves a bit to the bone over the weekend. We tidied the house – inside and out – in preparation to leave it for a little while. We also shopped for stuff we wanted to use in our temporary abode here in Chapman, Canberra. It’s sort of a microcosm of an ante room, a theme of this blog.

We got into Canberra yesterday arvo, just after 3.30pm. We left home just before 8.30am, so it was the usual 7 hour drive. We had left the dogs with Heather the night before, the hardest of several hard things we had to do. I said to Tress all these “hard things” we’d done, should be left aside. The main focus is what counts. We’re in an ante room now, awaiting.

We “checked in” to our AirBnB home here in Chapman, ACT, yesterday arvo. We chatted with Fiona, the host for a bit and then began to unpack and set up our home for the next 5 weeks (at least). I unloaded the Mazda that was packed to the rafters, up and down the beautiful steps that lead to the wing of this lovely home. Tress unpacked, I set up my work desk to replicate my home office as closely as possible, and contacted Kiddo and Mic to let them know we’ve arrived in Canberra. A bit later, we made the 5 minute drive to their home and met them to catch up for dinner. We trekked into the city, had dinner and then caught the “Enlighten” event before heading back home. Our ante room home.

This morning, I went out for a walk/run through the Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve. It is a much more beautiful spot than my usual run routes back in Forest Hill, so I stopped more to take more pictures that I usually did. I had prayed earlier in the morning, that the wait would not be long. I quietly hoped the arrival would be on time, but acknowledged He makes all things beautiful in His time. So, we await while I work away in this ante room.

Nic’s Squeeze, Day getting closer

Our niece Nicole, who now works in a hospital in Taree, northern New South Wales, has been going out with a bloke who has just started a Master’s degree course in RMIT here in Melbourne. Nicole told us about Jonathan when we visited her back in January. We got in touch with him, and on Saturday, Jonathan took the train from the city to come out here in the east and we picked him up from the station at Syndal. We then headed for Mornington to spend the day there.

We had lunch in a brewery (the “Tar Barrel”). The “Barbeque Board” was good and there was a lot of food so we took some in a “doggy bag”, for Jon to take with him. Jon and I sampled their beers too (I had a couple, he only had the one beer). We then drove to the pier, took a walk there and mingled with the very busy crowd, before driving further to Sorrento to introduce Jon to the famous vanilla slice.

Jon told us he comes from a family of 4. The eldest and youngest are girls, sandwiching 2 boys. He’s the second (the older boy). His dad was from Johore and his mum, Taiping. He had done his IT undergraduate course in Pekan, in the state of Pahang. He met Nicole in the Penang Chinese Methodist Church. I told him Tress and I too, met in church. We chatted throughout the day. He comes across as a fine young man so I guess Nicole has done well.

We got back at about 6, and dropped him off at the Glen Waverley station, for him to get back to the city. Back home, we walked the little fellows before going back home to put our tired feet up.

The night before, we were treated to a wonderful home cooked Sarawak Laksa at the Hippos’. Jason and Mel were there too. We chatted and caught up over the very good laksa. Jesslyn had taken on a new job with MS and would be leaving the Salvos. We talked about the growing pains of their eldest and other stuff that make up our journeys in life. They’ve become close friends and catching up with them and Jason and Mel is almost always fun and heart warming.

On Sunday, we were at St Alf’s and Rene talked about Matt 18 – the part about dealing with someone in church who sinned. I said to Tress, in a “discussion time” after the talk, that I don’t think we have allowed ourselves to be such a part of the lives of anyone in St Alf’s that we will come anywhere near seeing someone with any problems with any sin. Maybe that is what we need to do – simply allowing ourselves to be part of the lives of more people there. It hasn’t been an easy thing to do. Maybe it’s a cultural barrier, maybe it’s just me being tired a lot and not wanting to invest time or effort into taking relationships deeper than superficial greetings. We’ve been in small groups since we started going to St Alf (10 years now) but this remains a difficult thing to do.

Later in the arvo, I did the week’s cook. Our vegetable patch has yielded a fair bit of tomatoes so I had decided to make a pasta sauce and did a vegetarian spaghetti for the week. It tasted good so hopefully the week’s lunches will be good.

It’s now just over a week before Kiddo’s parcel is expected to be delivered. Little A will be here soon. Excitement, trepidation about how I’d manage to work and cook out of a small Air BnB joint , and a sense of wonder – they have been a potent and consuming cocktail of thoughts and emotions in recent months. It will be an experience that is entirely new for Tress and I and I have no clue how I’d navigate this part of my journey. I need to ask for that pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, perhaps.