Glorious sun


I don’t recall a spring weekend quite like the one we just had. Weather wise, that is. Two gorgeously mild and sunny days meant I spent hours upon hours just working outdoors, pottering around the front, side and back of the house. I trimmed the hedges on the back, removed a James Sterling breakaway on Sharon’s side of the fence – it had climbed sideways and then headed skywards, probably 3 meters tall – trimmed the front hedges, mowed the lawns, swept everything and… I wanted to do more but we had other errands to run, after Tress went for a regular dentist’ checkup, so we stopped late in the arvo, got a late lunch and did the groceries. We came back, took the little fellow to the oval to milk the gorgeous day’s remainder hours before ending the day in front of the idiot box, watching United’s goalless visit to Anfield.

On Sunday I continued working on the garden, putting in nutrients and weed killers, after doing some edging manually with a pair of shears and my bare hands for the most part. It was another glorious day and we talked to the neighbours just across the house, on the parklands on the edge of the oval.

It was more somber earlier in the day when in the morning, we received news of the passing of a member of St Alf’s. Pam Lawrence had gone away to a town in the Gippsland – Coolamatong – with her husband Andrew a little while ago. to do some work in a camp. She had been a nurse in Bali years ago and witnessed the horrible bombing and that may have left scars which may have led to her demise. Mike told the 10am group that she was found in her car with the bible opened on her lap. After the service I turned to Tress and said perhaps the “Are you ok” days really are very important. We just don’t know the depths to which some people can plunge and I hope all they need is the knowledge that people care. The engagement I had stopped taking for granted, is so crucial to provide hope and meaning to the daily grind, potentially laborious burdens which may have been speckled, perhaps, by past experiences which can just take hold of one’s mind.

So this morning as I woke to mentally take notes of my tasks at work today, I continue to be grateful for the here and now. I have work to attend to, as I left a warm home, made lovingly live-able by Tress which made me want to return to each day. The little fellow is an object of our love and kindness and he returns the affection in spades. We have things to look forward to – Kiddo and Mic’s visit over Christmas, our trip together after that and closer, the long weekend with Tress in a few weeks. Even closer, Jon’s birthday way yonder in Woodend this weekend and the Salvos’ fete the week after. And, this Thursday, there’s a talk by Jude Long, the principal of the Nungalinya College in Darwin. All of these can turn pretty quickly if not for the glue that holds it all together – the knowledge that our lives make sense when seen in the light of who God is and what He is doing. I know that wouldn’t change in a hurry – and the father of lies will continue to chip away, which means I need to stick to my routine of reading what He says about who He is and what He is doing.

That last thought has just reminded me of a CS Lewis saying about the glorious sun which light and warmth I have enjoyed so much these past 2 days. Lewis said ““I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” There but for the grace of God go I…

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A good friend and I exchanged emails re woes of Aus, earlier today…

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Ian Teh
Date: 10 October 2017 at 14:03
Subject: Fwd: Euthanasia article in The Age today
To: (Tress)

FYI – I fear for Australia.

There is every chance that schools like St Andrews’ (xxx’s school) and Brindabella Christian College (Christian school in Canberra) will be prohibited to teach basic Christian principles like complementarity of a male and female universe.

If that happens, what can Christian parents do to bring up their kids in biblical ways? We might not have the freedom to do that.

Regards
Ian

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Ian Teh
Date: 10 October 2017 at 13:59
Subject: Re: Euthanasia article in The Age today
To: Jason Chew

articulate = BS? 😂😂

I think if our kids have half the chance to go to a place like Singapore/HK, they should be given every encouragement they can get. It’s not so fair on them because in many ways, those countries are harder to live in/raise a family (takes more effort) than here where things are more laid back (relatively speaking of course – it still takes blood sweat and tears to bring up a family)

Regards
Ian

On 10 October 2017 at 13:54, XX wrote:

I am not as articulate and my ideals are not as high as yours but the goings on everyday directly and indirectly just irks me more and more! YYY kept telling me to just be patient and bear with it.

Your last paragraph resonate well …

On Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 1:43 PM, Ian Teh wrote:

i still get why people want to leave Malaysia. Things have only gotten worse since we left, so all those reasons for leaving only amplified, not diminished.

It’s just that I’d hesitate to encourage them to leave to come to a place like Australia, if they take into consideration their kids’ faith journey. Australia is as negative (if not worse) than Malaysia in that regard, given what has happened in the last few years.

Starting over is the price one pays to provide a better chance for the family, but not sure about how better that chance is in terms of faith journey.

We’re staying because God willing, we are old enough and have seen enough to know what Australia is experiencing is the devil – and sin – playing out its role in full flight. But if kids get immersed in this environment, there is so much more rubbish to impede their spiritual development. I dont know how our kids are going to bring up their kids in this environment.

Regards
Ian

On 10 October 2017 at 13:30, XX wrote:

We feel the same. We met a new’ish migrant from Malaysia on Sunday and wondered why?! Why when you are doing OK and you uproot to come here and start all over again.

Anyway we feel kinda stuck here as well because of the kids and how we want to be near them…not necessarily reciprocal feeling haha

On Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 1:03 PM, Ian Teh wrote:

haha. Good on you.

I’m here to stay. For now at least (and the foreseeable future), Malaysia is a place I cannot see myself living in. Thankfully I don’t have growing kids to worry about anymore.

But I would/could no longer unhesitatingly encourage people to leave Malaysia to come over here.

Regards
Ian

On 10 October 2017 at 13:00, XX wrote:

You know what bro. I was saying the exact same thing to YYY yesterday and today – to the extent of buying an apartment in KL “just in case I go insane here” !

On Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Ian Teh wrote:

I was talking to G…M…P (MMM’s wife) during the church camp and she told me about a Sarawakian doctor who worked with her. That doctor and his family were considering migrating to Aus and she asked him which place offered the better chance of securing a strong foundation for his children’s faith formation.

The clear answer was Sarawak.

Yesterday I was saying to T.. that if I were to make a decision today, knowing what I do now of Australia, I wondered what my decision might be.

Australia is such a godless society now (even anti-Christian), bringing up kids in this environment is probably as negative as bringing them up in the Malaysian context.

Regards
Ian

On 10 October 2017 at 12:36, XX wrote:

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/i-wont-intentionally-help-my-patients-to-end-their-lives-20171009-gywz7j.html

St Alf’s Camp 2


Last Friday I took up an offer from the boss to take the day off. I sort of worked from home in the morning, and in the arvo, we got ready for the St Alf’s camp at Phillip Island. I picked Tress from work after 1pm and we went for lunch in a Japanese place near our home. We then got home, packed, dropped the little fellow at a dog sitter, and then drove off to camp.

The traffic along the M1 was very heavy and we didn’t get to the camp site till well after 6pm. The next 2½ days were filled with lots of conversations with people we seldom get the chance to talk to, as well as the excellent (albeit expected) teaching from Paul Barker, a Bishop in the Melbourne diocese.

Some of those conversations I caught were over a long walk through the Woolamai Cape on Phillip Island. It was a 7km trek starting from the Woolamai beach, trekking up towards several lookout points. On the way down from one of those points, while talking to Prosper, a Rwandan who moved to Australia nearly 20 years ago, I stepped on a mound of sorts and rolled my left ankle. It was painful for a few minutes but I tried to walk it off and for a while, it felt like I succeeded. We returned to the campsite before 5pm, and that night over a session of fun quiz, I didn’t feel any discomfort.

The next morning however, the ankle became very sore and I could barely walk. I took an anti-inflammatory, applied some volteran gel which I providentially brought along, and managed the pain somewhat but it wasn’t reduced enough for me to ask Tress to seek out Peter, the senior minister, to get someone else to do the communion assistant task which he (Peter) had, the night before, asked Tress and I to help out with.

The camp wound up a bit after 1pm, and we made our way back to Melbourne, picked up the little fellow, and went home a bit after 4pm. I stayed home yesterday for the foot to recover better, and it was good to just sit out the day before returning to work today.

Being back at work today, after 4 days off, felt a bit unusual. Maybe it was because I still limped around with a less than perfectly healed ankle. Perhaps more likely the cause, is the sense that somehow, the workplace feels very stripped down, with less and less people. My boss and his team appears to be taking on more tasks as people from across the business leave.

St Alf’s Camp


Paul Barker

Church Camp 6-8 Oct 2017

Talk 1 – Sat 10am
Deuteronomy 4:32-40

 • Deuteronomy is full of “seeing”

 • Our needs for the visual representation of the divine

 • God asks, directs, us to listen – to heed.

 • Hearing the voice of God appears to trump seeing him. 

 • God’s presence is to be engaged by listening to his word being read out to his people, not by experiences such as a pilgrimage. 

 • Israel’s listening, heeding, and obeying the law – God’s word – informs the rest of the world how to engage with God.

 • Christian living needs to also inform the world how to engage with God   

 • His people keeping his laws should be an attraction to the world. 

 • “Take care and watch yourselves” (see 4:9) – obedience of his laws is hard. Disobedience comes much more easily. 

 • v32. God is incomparable – and he has spoken to his people. 

 • 


Paul Barker

Church Camp 6-8 Oct 2017

Talk 2 – Sat 11.45am
“What will the neighbours think?”
Deuteronomy 9:7-29
 • We dislike injustice. But beware self righteousness in dealing with injustice

 • Dilemma of justice and mercy

 • God gave Israel the land not on merit. God kept his promise – the Abrahamic covenant – and executed his plans to bless the world through Israel. 

 • Even at Horeb (Mt Sinai) the awful sin – of idolatry- corrupted Israel. 

 • Where the covenant was to be consummated. 

 • God disowned Israel as a result of idolatry 

 • v26 – Moses’ prayer = model prayer. Seeking God’s promise to be kept. Pray according to God’s promises – know the promises (Scriptures) well. 

 • Success for Israel is hope for the world – driver for Moses’ prayer

 • Let the neighbors see – through his people – that You are God, so prayed Moses. 

 • 

Paul Barker

Church Camp 6-8 Oct 2017

Talk 3 – Sun 10.30am
Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Blessed to be a blessing
 • Danger of passage being used for prosperity gospel

 • Works theology – deeds to earn God’s favour 

 • Hearing and heeding God’s word in response to his grace

 • Context – ancient Israel. “You Israelite” as a nation. Blessing to the nation of Israel 

 • Related to promises to Abraham. Through Israel being blessed by being under God’s law, others will see who God is, and fear him. 

 • Fertility- attack on fertility gods of Canaan

 • Verses 15-68 however, talk about curses if Israel disobeys God

 • Amos 4, famine yet Israel did not turn to God

 • Famine = curses of the covenant set out in Deut 28:15ff

 • Ignorance of God’s word leads to failure to repent

 • How intersect with us here today

 • We are children of Abraham, we are Israelites. 

 • But we don’t live in Canaan – what is our land? Heavenly inheritance. Hence blessings are heavenly. 

 • Language of blessing changes in the NT – about seeing God, about belonging to the kingdom of heaven. (E.g. Beatitudes in Matt 5ff)

 • Curses – taken by Jesus on the cross

 • Not works righteousness but God’s grace in Jesus

 • 

Tigers, Lighter Days Ahead


A weekend of manic footy activities saw the end of the footy seasons – the AFL south of the Riverina and NRL over across on the north side. The Tigers got up and Punt Road was rocking from Saturday night. Although I spent a few years in Sydney, I never latched on to the rugby league and so I was surprised that I sat through the grand finale last night. I guess it was the fairy tale swan song for the triumvirate of Melbourne Storm which interested me. The retiring trinity of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk didn’t disappoint as they turned on their magic to beat the Cowboys.

Over in Melbourne, the Grand Final meant a long weekend. Daniel Andrews came into government and introduced the Friday off from 2015. On Friday, I took advantage of the day off and did loads of work cleaning and tidying the outside of the house. On Friday it was trimming the James Stirling so that the 7-foot green wall is now a close cropped picture of tidiness, mowed the lawn, swept the deck, porch and driveway and mulched a bit of the front area. I finished up by washing Tress’ car as we’d probably use it for the St Alf camp later this week.

The next day – Grand final day – I got into Bunnings a bit after 7, and got some more mulch and stuff to scrub down the deck. I couldn’t clean the deck properly the day before so I thought some specialist cleaning stuff may help. So while Tress went to see Simon the hairdresser I gave the deck a good scrub, did some more mulching and when Tress got home we got cleaned up and went out for lunch and some shopping – getting stuff done before the opening siren for the Tigers’ quest for their first flag in 37 years.

During shopping while at the checkout a Chinese lady cut in across in front of us, from the checkout line next to ours. I looked at Tress and said to her I couldn’t believe that lady just did that. I started complaining about what she did, getting louder as my anger built up. That lady finally turned around and would you believe it, started getting defensive and when I said she didn’t even say sorry or anything she muttered something like she’s saying sorry now. I confronted her more and asked her not to do that ever again (which she said that was the first time she did that. Ok…). I hope I made her so uncomfortable she would never do that ever again.

We got home, sang along with Mike Brady’s “Up There Cazaly”, watched the exciting game, and then after the game took the little guy to the oval and joined the boys and girls who were doing some kickabout. It was a grey day but Grand Final day – even when your team is not involved – is always special.

We also caught up with the Hipos and Chews again on Friday night. As we all had the day off, we decided to trek to Bentleigh for some Malay food. The nasi kandar Tress and I had was very good and everyone enjoyed their food. It was a long drive and as good as the food was, I wasn’t sure we’d be back anytime soon. I just tend to look for the nearer option. I don’t know if that is just reflective of my propensity for the convenient solution, as opposed to quality solution, or simply that where food is concerned, I don’t think it is important enough for me to trek outside a certain distance.

At St Alf’s yesterday Mike had a chat on stage with an Iranian migrant. His wife and he were Muslims from Iran, became Christians when they were still there, came here some 15 years ago when his wife attended Monash Uni and he now works with an Iranian congregation just up the street from St Alf’s. It was a compelling story.

I did my cooking yesterday as Tress took the little fellow out again, and in the evening as I sat to watch the Storm swarmed over the Cowboys, I started a countdown of sorts. It’s now October, daylight saving just started and I’m again looking forward to the summer, especially over Christmas when Kiddo and Mic will visit and we’d go for a road trip of sorts.

Hello Lamppost


No Campaign

Several weeks ago a postal survey was sent out to all eligible voters. It was a postal plebiscite to gauge voter views on legalising same sex marriage. Tress and I have been, in the last couple of years, to several events where various speakers have spoken on this issue. Most of them have been from a faith perspective.

On Saturday night however, the event we attended wasn’t from a faith perspective. The Coalition for Marriage organised a rally at Jeff’s shed in the city and although many participants were from churches, it was a secular event. At least one of the speakers – a mum who spoke on the Safe Schools program – wasn’t of any religious persuasion. Another mum, whose facebook posts on Safe Schools have picked up a lot of exposures, said there was an unholy matrimony between same sex marriage and safe schools, who are joined at the hip. I thought that was a very clever phrase and I think few that night had any doubts the two streams were from the same source.

A number of same sex marriage proponents gate crashed the event and unfurled grotesque banners on stage. A couple of them even demonstrated a public display of affection in a manner calculated to shock and challenge the participants. I don’t think I was the only one who was utterly dismayed by such action. I thought if I had a chance to say something to any of them, I’d say to them God loves them and wants them to live life as He intended for them – and everyone – to live.

Tigers and Old Friends

On the train home after that rally, we joined a bunch of happy Tigers fans. We have been following, on my phone, the game at the G and we were glad at least one Victorian team – a Melbourne team no less – will be at the Grand Final this Saturday. Back at Blackburn, we saw Paul Whitehead walking. We had bumped into him while waiting for the tram in the city and it was good to see someone we knew, at the rally. We met a couple of old friends there too, and we’re glad there are many who feel the same way as us.

Forbidden Fruit

I genuinely fear for a western liberal democracy such as ours here in Melbourne Australia, where we seem to be intent on burning our own house down. The devil must be laughing at how we are dismantling, one piece at a time, the Lord’s kingdom on earth in such democracies. I believe that’s what it boils down to. Big ticket issues like abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality is ultimately about telling God we want to be the arbiter of what is right and wrong. We want to be God in so many ways every single day, telling Him we don’t want Him running our lives, telling us what to do. That is the biggest idolatry, the biggest sin. The autonomy we seek in such big ticket issues are just very big screens, displaying this fundamental rebellion against God. The forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was said to enable us to know right from wrong. Knowing as in deciding. We want to be the ones to decide what is right or wrong, what is best or not. That is as old as Adam and Eve.

My Jedi FIY – Grom BT3 Fixed

Earlier in the day, it was very warm. It was almost like a summer’s day and Tress busied herself weeding. I spent some time fixing the radio on the Mx5. I had bought a Grom BT3 unit, after scouring various forums on what is the best way to connect a phone and stream music through the Bose Mx5 system. The Grom wins everytime but although relatively inexpensive, it required a DIY mini project of sorts and I had been on You Tube for some weeks to learn how to do it. All that online research paid off as the unit now sits in the Mx5, connecting the phone to the sound system and even allowing the steering wheel controls to manage calls and music on the phone.

I also took the hardtop off, tried to clean the drain hole of the soft top, before deciding to put the hardtop back on as it was going to remain a bit wet. Tress had to help me put the top back on as it was impossible to lug the unwieldy component over the top of the car all by myself. I’m glad we got the hardtop back on as it was raining heavily this morning and I wasn’t sure the drain holes are in the clear. I had broken the brush ends of the “trombone brush” I tried to use to clear the drains and it may still be a little clogged. A clogged drain would have resulted in a wet interior of My Jedi.

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017

At St Alf’s on Sunday, John Buchanan – a very experienced and highly qualified doctor – had spoken about the proposed euthanasia law in Victoria. He said the two main issues were pain management and autonomy. While in many ways we should exercise autonomy, I’m not sure striving to be autonomous should mean displacing God. So it was a same sex marriage opposition rally on Saturday and listening to a talk on Sunday, on risks of the proposed euthanasia law in Victoria.

Rich tapestry

It had been a busy weekend. Bookending those big events were more general living activities – we spent Friday night catching up with the Chews and Hipos over dinner in Doncaster, I started to work the garden – applied some lawn food, weeding stuff, bought mulch (but didn’t put them on was it was such a windy weekend), cooked, spoke to Kiddo and Mic on the phone and Tress spoke to her dad too.

In the midst of a very stormy setting, ordinary life events chugged along, bookending as well as interspersing those buffeting gusts. I prefer this take on the rich tapestry of life.

Snoozzzze


I turned the clock over another notch yesterday. Another mark on a totem pole that speaks of my life. I went home, found a gift from my lovely wife, and we went out to dinner, just around the corner behind our home. We got back a bit later, and I was not half an hour on the couch before I started snoozing.

When I woke a few minutes later, Tress and I laughed about how we have swapped roles. Back when she was with Myer at Docklands, she’d be the one who’d disappear into dreamland not long after sitting on the couch, at the end of a busy day’s work. She was with that blighted organisation for over a decade. She has earned her right to stay awake on the couch these days.

Maybe I tire more easily now because I don’t exercise as much as I used to. Maybe my work is more focused and intense now, although I wouldn’t have thought my previous roles were easier than the present one. I do however, put in a solid block of 9-10 hours every day and often, when I’m home, I’m inclined to do as little as possible. A glass or two of a very pleasant red would soften me up sufficiently to slip away into dreamtime.

I struggle to stay awake at night these days – as early as 8.30pm, I’d be “slip-sliding away”

Coopers’ Cats and Giants


Many months back the Hipos introduced to this very little Thai restaurant near their home. It’s a tiny hole in the wall joint, with not more than half a dozen small tables seating maybe 15-20 persons tops. The food however, is big on flavor and freshness and we’ve been back numerous times without ever being disappointed. Last Friday night, after a long and tiring week, I was so tired I couldn’t decide what I’d like to do and Tress couldn’t either so I got home, and after a short while we rang this Thai place and found ourselves gorging on the usual very delicious fares.

We went back after dinner to watch the Cats demolish the Swans. Dangerfield was moved into a full forward position and he gobbled up everything, kicking 4 goals before the first half was over.

It was very cold and wet on Saturday morning so there wasn’t much we could do except sleep in and wander around the home. I ended up wiping down stuff and gave the fridge and turbo oven a good cleanup. I scrubbed, wiped, dried and generally tried to make the most of the wet and miserable morning.

We drove up towards the Dandenongs again to look at a couple of properties and later that arvo we took the little guy to a dog sitter’s home in Ashwood to check it out. We haven’t left him with someone for a while now but with the St Alf camp coming up we needed to find something again. The dog sitter had a lovely home but we found out he had just lost one of his two four legged companions earlier that day. He looked very sad and his home is generally very warm and pleasant so we’d probably leave him there when we go for the camp in a few weeks’ time.

Back home, the weather had turned pleasant and so we did a quick tidying up of the garden. I did a quick mow, trimmed some plants and checked out the new edging work we had someone do recently. I hope the lawn and other plants hold out and thrive this summer. I am kind of looking forward to putting in more time and effort to generally spruce things up a bit more.

Later that night we watched GWS kill off any chance Sam Mitchell’s Eagles might have harbored. It looks like the top 4 teams would hit out for the GF spots again. I hope it’s a Cats v Tigers Grand Final.

On Sunday we took advantage of a gloriously Sunday morning and did some washing and so ran a touch late for church. We had Bernie Power talk about Islam and after that we drove to Narre Warren South, to help organize the Coopers’ home. Mike Cooper has been ill and is organizing for his home and caravan to be sold to pay for Annie his wife’s care in a home. They have loads of stuff in their garage and driveway so Tress and I drove out east and spent a few hours helping them in bits and pieces.

We got back close to 6pm, and got around getting ready for the work week. Working with Mike Cooper was a blessing for me. For the first time in a long time, I did something I didn’t want to do because it’d be helpful for someone who was virtually a stranger. The saying that it is more blessed to give than to receive, was more real than it has been for me for a very long time. So while he kept saying what a blessing Tress and I were to him and his Annie, I really felt – the whole time – that I was the one who was really blessed.

I came in to work just before 7am, as I usually do, and started immediately on that piece of work in which my boss was personally invested. A Fair Work claim had come in last week and the allegation included some personal stuff about my boss so not only has the work fallen on my desk, my boss’ personal involvement has given rise to a few other complications, which meant even more to work on.

So the morning flew past, and as I wrote this up quickly over lunch, Mike Cooper has accidentally rang me on my phone about 5 minutes ago to remind me life is indeed a tapestry that can be rich and full of experience.

Woes Aplenty


I often scribble some notes on my diary to start the day. These are usually stuff I needed to do for the day. It helps me start the day by focusing the mind and just making a mental note of all the things I needed to do.

This morning as I did my usual thing I couldn’t help take my mind off the half a dozen employees who would be told, sometime this morning, that they are being made redundant. The regular culling of staff at my workplace had the HR person leave a couple of months ago and legal has had to pick up a range of HR functions. So, this morning I have been asked to be at the meetings with those half a dozen employees.

I have for a while now, switched off unpleasant news. When I see something on tv, a post on FB, a twit or a newspaper article, where the subject matter shows up the ugly side of man, I have shut it down immediately. I switched channel, hid the post, turned off the twitter app or simply turned or swiped the page. There has been so much ugliness I don’t need to be soaking it up for another second. I don’t get people who share posts, twits, or like to shove news items where the depraved nature of man takes centre stage, in the face of other readers.

So, this morning is going to take some work on my part, notwithstanding there is little I have to do except be present to offer advice, hose the temperature down and take down notes where it is required.

It kind of takes the glitter off a really good weekend.

On Friday night, we caught up with Jason and Mel and as usual, spent 2-3 hours just talking over dinner. Back home we caught the second half (particularly the last quarter) of the Cats v Tigers game and it was scintillating stuff from Dustin Martin as he weaved with power and guile and kicked with laser guided speed and precision to set up a mauling of the Cats. It was wonderful to see and sort of compensated for the Hawks’ absence from finals footy.

On Saturday we did the usual errands including looking at a couple of property out east but neither of them looked suitable. We also picked up nice bottle of scotch, which we were going to gift to Auntie Ann. U Seng had asked us to be at a dinner to celebrate her 60th, along with a few other relos. We met up at a Korean BBQ place in Box Hill and it was good to catch up with them. We went over to their house after that, before picking up the high wire act that was Power v Eagles, with the latter kicking an after-the-siren goal to win by 2 points, after two periods of extra time, to settle the outcome. What a finals series it has been, after the Giants had fizzled out against the Crows on Thursday night.

On Sunday we stayed back after service, to listen to Mark Sneddon as he gave a talk on the issues surrounding the postal survey on same sex marriage that was going to be underway. Mark heads up the Institute for Civil Society (www.14cs.com.au) and is a member of St Alf’s and listening to him is always a learning experience. I have been reading up on homosexuality and gender issues for the last 3 years or so and to listen to Mark talk about these issues as the matter comes to a head of sorts here in Australia, all those matters I read about are no longer issues affecting a distant land like the US or Canada. They are at our front door, knocking ever louder. As I recall those books and articles I read by the likes of Ryan T Anderson, Robert Gagnon, Paul McHugh, Jeffery Satinover and many others, I wonder why is it those who articulated logical and reasonable thoughts are ignored whereas those who perpetuated inaccurate woolly gibberish are often listened to instead. There is something about lies and the originator of such lies…

Later on Sunday arvo we did some more stuff around the house – Tress ironed my shirts, I bathed the little guy in his special shampoo prescribed by the vet and we just eased into a mindset for the start of another work week. I hope the half a dozen employees would find a way to find another space to work out their work week rhythm.

Cultural Amnesia (with apology to Clive James)


ometimes, people behave in a way which lends credence to what otherwise would have passed or been dismissed as cultural prejudices.

I was born and bred in Malaysia, amongst ethnic Chinese communities who are either businessmen or professionals. These business people and professional (mainly men) in turn transact mainly amongst themselves, with the odd deal involving a different ethnic group, usually emanating from a government related project. When such a deal is in play, one invariably comes across a technocrat of sorts – often from sub-continent roots.

These SC folks have, often unfairly in my view, earned a reputation as being untrustworthy and a pain in the arse to deal with. Allegedly, they renege on their words, are very untrusting, thus leading to convoluted steps being undertaken, and often analyse their end of the bargain with a turbo charged FOMO mentality. Hence the prevalence of racist Indian jokes in Malaysia. This was way back then of course and I have no idea if this is still the case today.

An ex-colleague has been attempting to seek some form of redress or recompense for having been dismissed. This person clearly has no idea how to go about the process and has missed every turn so far. This is ironic as her role was to have been to implement or coordinate such processes. That she hasn’t been able to work out (or, apparently, haven’t managed to bother working out) the right way to seek redress for herself, clearly weakens her case and does no harm to my employer’s decision to let her go.

Ordinarily I would have been very sympathetic and I was, initially, quite so. The way she stomped around however, and the way she made statements which were so out of turn, making demands which clearly inflated her sense of importance and almost certainly far exceeding her station in life (for now at least). The fact that she is ethnically Indian would have all been irrelevant except all her actions, statements, and missteps resonate in that I have seen it all before, and almost always involved Indian antagonists. To talk it all up, but with comical outcomes, appear to be the hallmarks of what I saw back in the day. I had long discarded such thoughts and the last time I chastised myself for thinking in such terms was a very long time ago – years before I left Malaysia, when I was paly with practitioners who were Indians. I had in fact, often told Tress that had I not met her, there was a very high chance that I would have married an Indian.

The dodgy nonplussed course of action is unfortunately reminiscent.