Wet and Cold, and Warm Reprieves

It was a wet and cold weekend. It’s only early May, but winter has definitely made its presence known. Creation does not care for calendars of man. I had signed up with the local gym at the Forest Hill Chase shopping centre, in expectation of the wet weather ahead. So on Saturday morning, after Tress and I had busied ourselves with house cleaning activities, I headed into the gym when she had her ethereal session (i.e., pokemon). She had done a terrific job vacuuming, while I wiped down surfaces and cleaned the barbies, in anticipation that our forthcoming Malaysian visitors may want something cooked on those.

At the gym, I hopped on a treadmill and walked/ran for about an hour, jumped in the shower, and then came back very tired. It was a recce of sorts, to see if my morning routines can incorporate visits to the gym. It has been years since I last went to a gym – it was before I moved up to Canberra in 2015 to take up that job with the National Blood Authority. I thought the recce suggested I could and I went again this morning, as it rained again (and was cold) and I couldn’t/didn’t want to do my usual runs outdoors.

After that recce gym session on late Saturday morning, Tress and I checked out a new Malaysian cafe at Brandon Park. It had come highly recommended for a while now. We went for a couple of very pleasant hot noodle soups (perfect for a cold and wet morning), before we bumped into Jason and Mel, who live just around the corner from Brandon Park. We had caught up with them the night before at Flavours of Mekong and it had been a wonderful time of just chatting over some good food.

After lunch, we walked around the Brandon Park shopping centre and I could feel my energy level draining away. As soon as we got home, I crashed into the couch and took a nap – something I hadn’t done for years. I cannot remember when I last took an afternoon nap. I was so drained however, that I thought I’d just have a quick shut eye. That ended up to be a near 1-hour nap and I felt much better after that, which was handy because we had another catch up that night.

Just after 6pm, we headed out, picked up a couple of pizzas to bring along with a bottle of red and a bag of grapes, to the catch up with friends from UNSW. Vincent and Christina were visiting from Miri. Their eldest, Nathan, had become engaged and they were here to meet their future in-laws. They had an AIr BnB at Mount Waverley and had invited a bunch of us over for dinner. Nathan is a talented cook and made some nice steaks for us. We all brought food anyway so there were plenty. Chin Moi and Ing Tung, Frank and Margaret, Patsie, Chui Boon and Alfred and Catherine were there too and we had a wonderful time of catching up. Everyone looked well, and most were active in their local churches and other community engagements. Vincent, Ing Tung, Margaret, Alfred and Chui Boon had or were turning 60 this year so we celebrated that as well.

We were the first to leave the party, and the rain was still pouring down as we left. We got home, let the boys out, and sat down to watch the coronation of King Charles. The pom and pageantry were on full display and to see Charles and Camilla on the balcony (with their crowns), where Elizabeth and Philip used to stand, were stark reminders of how transient everything is, even the “reign” of a monarch of England (and Australia, but that’s another story…).

On Sunday, we went to St Alf’s then had lunch at Donvale, before we came home where I did our usual cook, and as the weather provided a small reprieve, I quickly mowed the lawn and swept up the yards and driveway. It had been nearly 2 months since I last mowed the lawns and the thick growth meant I could only mow with elevated blades, but the place did feel better tidied up, and far neater. I felt better for it too, and very grateful for the small window of dry and sunny weather for me to do that. Later, we took the little one to the oval again, where he had a good run with his friends there.

It was a wet and cold weekend. Time with old friends, great food, reconnecting with a gym and cleaning up around the house, were all wonderful “small mercies”. I am truly grateful for what God provides, even the simplest pleasures. Especially the simplest pleasures.