Birthday Party in Klang

I took a Malaysia Airline flight out on Saturday morning, after doing a few Saturday morning routines with Tress and the little fella. We walked our usual Saturday morning route, came home, and I then headed out to Tullamarine just after 9.30am.

I arrived in KL just after 8pm, and after the usual drag through immigration etc., I hopped into my brother’s car around 9.45pm. He had been waiting there since 9pm, along with Jean. Their hospitality continued right through my short stay. I stayed in their home for a night, becoming acquainted with Chester and Moses, their two lovely pooches. Moses in particular, who’s 1.5 years old, took to me as I played with, scratched and cuddled him. My brother, Jean and I chatted bit before we headed for bed.

The next morning, we headed for KCMC – Klang Chinese Methodist Church – and it always feels strange to be back in the church where I grew up, got married, and had Kiddo baptised. I caught up with a few old friends only very briefly. We then went to a food court/coffee shop that mum’s sibblings and their kids regularly meet up for lunch/brunch on Sundays. I was at a corner of the shop when I saw mum walked in, so I walked behind her and then gently tapped on her shoulder. She turned around and the surprised look on her face was priceless. We had lunch, chatted, then went back to my brother’s home to wait for Daniel to arrive from Penang.

Daniel, my brother, Jean and I then had a good time just chatting through Sunday arvo, before we got ready for the dinner party that my brother had planned for weeks.

The dinner was great. Mum’s sibblings, their kids and a grandkid, as well as Tibby, were all there, some 30 persons. Mum looked really happy and it was a great occasion. I talked to everyone, got to know that one grandkid of an aunt’s, and worked out what each of my cousin’s kids have been up to. They’ve all grown up – finished school and gotten jobs. After dinner, I went to mum’s to spend the night. Daniel was there too. At Mum’s, the house I grew up in, I chose to use the old ladle and tub means of bathing, instead of using a shower. The splashes of cold water in the hot and humid conditions were refreshing and throw in the sense of nostalgia and you get this wonderful visceral sense of being alive. I went on to take several baths in this way, over next the day and a half that I was there…

The next day, May bought some “chee cheong fun” and brought them to mum’s. Daniel, May, Mum and I enjoyed that as a “tiding over” before we headed out for “Bak Kut Teh”, which was at Pandamaran. The first restaurant (“Samy’s”) we went to was super crowded so we walked down the street to another (“Ah Chai’s”) which was also very busy but we got a table (9 of us – May, Goh and Yie Jie, my brother and Jean, Mum, Daniel, Tib and I). After all that jiggly wobbly goodness that was the pork stew and rice with plenty of tea, we went to Mum’s. I rang Tress’ dad, to check out if I could catch up with them. He was just heading out to lunch with a bunch of his friends, and those lunches are always long ones, going on for about 4 hours!. They’re the highlights of his days so I said it was ok – we’d catch up some other time.

Daniel then went back to Penang, Dave and Jean headed off to do some stuff for Moses, and Mum, May and I then went out for Mum to check out some jewellery that she wanted to get for Little Abby, when they head Down Under to see her and attend Nicole’s graduation here in Melbourne. We then went for another bite to eat, this time at Eng Ann’s “drive-in”, a cluster of hawker stalls on the side of a main street in Eng Ann, a residential area northside of Klang. We had some popiah, cendol, and char koay teow, and bumped into an Aunt of Mum’s (Koh Mah) and chatted with her for a bit.

Later that night, we went for an early dinner in a popular restaurant (Hai Xian Zai) near May’s home. Tib and Henry and Joane were there too so it was good to be able to catch up with them, albeit far too briefly. Henry gave me an “angpow” for Little Abby too, which was thoughtful and generous. Towards the end of that dinner, I said my goodbyes and Dave and Jean drove me to the airport. They had been so generous with their time and money and effort to make my very short stay a really pleasant one. I’m so grateful. At the airport, I bumped into Seong York, Yoke Cheng’s husband. He was heading to Melbourne to spend time with his kids. We chatted, and when we arrived in Melbourne, I gave him a lift home. I had parked my car at the airport when I headed out so it was convenient to do that.

I got home around 10am (grabbed a much needed coffee on the way). It was great to be back with Tress again after a few days away. I unpacked, showered, and we then headed out for lunch before coming home to unwind and I had a bit of a snooze before we then took the boys out to the oval. The old routine has resumed. Tired? Very. Happy? Very much. I’m very grateful I could be at the wonderful birthday party for Mum in Klang. Happy 80th again, Mum.


Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle

Kiddo, Mic and Little Abby met up with Tress and I at a cafe in Weston yesterday morning. We had a good brekky, walked around the Cooleman Court shopping centre for a little bit, then Tress and I said our goodbyes and made the drive back to Melbourne.

It was raining throughout the journey. We left a bit after 10.30am, and got home just a bit after 5.30pm. As usual, the drive was long and tiring. As we pulled into the driveway of our home in Melbourne, I had mixed emotions running through inside. As always, it’s good to be home but home is so far from them. We’d had a wonderful 5 weeks with them and it’s hard to deal with being so far from them now.

Tress and I unloaded the car – which was packed to the rafters – unpacked, and put things away and I started to put my home office back together, ready for work the next day. As it turned out, I had forgotten the HDMI cable for the monitor; having left it on the monitor thinking it was Kiddo/Mic’s when I had said to them I had brought my own. So Tress and I decided I’d go into the office the next day instead, and work from home on Tuesday, when we’d have the boys back.

On one of those days when Little Abby came to the Chapman AirBnB unit for her parents to have lunch there, I had played her some Paul Kelly music. I chose the Magpie Song. It was a simple and soothing tune, with lyrics that intermingled the mimicking of the magpies’s gurgling calls with a narrative of quick snapshot of the lives of a farmer and his wife. Tom and Elizabeth bought a farm, worked on it, gotten old, became sick and died. At each turn, the magpie’s “quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle” punctuated a chapter of their lives, which eventually ended, as all lives will. The magpie’s lyrical calls live on, as does creation.

Little Abby has begun her journey. She will grow and live a wonderful life. Even as she goes on to create life of her own, our lives will come to and end. The cycle, the circle, will keep plodding on and lives will begin, and end. Creation remains. For now. One day, lives that ended will be resurrected. New bodies will be gifted to dwell in a new earth. New bodies that will never end. It sounds like a fairy tale, except it isn’t. The “Good Book” said it will happen. We (especially Tress) has been singing to Little Abby, that Jesus loves her this we know, for the Bible tells me so. So yes, my body – torn hamstring and all – will one day take on a brand new form. One that will be perfect. One that will hear the perfect tune that the magpie makes. Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle may sound like a Mozart creation then. Creation won’t then just “remain. It will be redeemed and perfected. That’s real hope. That’s reason to plough on.

My 2 Girls

I think it’s 3 girls now. I’ve fallen in love again.


Those old diskettes (see preceding blog) continue to reveal older entries. Following is one made several weeks after my daughter (no 10 years old) was born


My Two Girls

God blessed me with many things

He gave me many presents

But out of all the blessings

He revealed a glimpse of heav’n

When Girl No. 1 came ’bout

My descent from the ninth cloud

Took some time but down I came

For a while then life was sane

Till Girl No. 1 tells me

“Think we’re having a baby”

Girl No. 2 soon arrived

Sanity again took flight

Oh, wonderful upheavel

Brought by my No. 2 Girl

Sleepless nights amazingly

Were good trades for smiles I see

On the face of No. 2

From loud bawls to sweet goo-goo

On to the heart melting kiss

That help forget all missed sleep

“So, I commend the enjoyment of life.” (From…

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3 weeks (and counting)

Tress and I have been in Canberra for 3 weeks now. I continue to work remotely, out of this little AirBnB joint in Chapman, just a few minutes from Kiddo and Mic’s home. Tress has a roster going with Mic’s mum, where we take turns to deliver meals to the new and constantly exhausted parents.

We love to steal a few minutes each day, cuddling little Abby every time we’re there. We’d say we’d hold her so they can eat their dinners (or lunch) but in reality we’re the ones being nourished… it’s an amazingly thrilling and satisfying experience just holding this little bundle of joy. Little Abby is very good almost all the time. She feeds, she sleeps and she soils her nappies. Repeat. When she is awake in our arms, she’d look up to see who was carrying her and talking or singing to her.

Yesterday, we joined Kiddo, Mic and Little Abby at the Southside Bible Church. It’s our second time there. It’s also Little Abby’s first ride in their new car. We (Mic and I) had gone to Belconnen last week to get their new set of wheels. Like many mums and dads everywhere, they got an SUV as their daily ride, so the little bub can have a little more safety and comfort. Southside Bible Church feels like a warm and conservative outfit. Strangely however, it was a “Youth Sunday” last week, with no mention or it also being a Palm Sunday. Not even the (very lengthy) sermon made any mention of this very important event. It was like Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem just before his crucifixion, was of little importance.

After church, Tress and I drove to Woden to get them some takeaway lunch. Brodburger is a well loved Canberra place – they had their sumptuous burgers while Tress and I got some middle eastern stuff from a food truck next to Brodburger. Known as “Little Mez”, the food and coffee were very good. The owner operators were also super friendly so it was all a terrific experience.

This morning, Tress and I went for a walk before I started work. My right leg is well and truly on the mend – my range and mobility has improved a lot, but not enough to resume running. I also want to be well enough for that drive back to Melbourne in a couple of weeks. As much as we miss our little furry boys and our home in Melbourne, I’m not sure I’m waiting for that to come around too quickly.