Routine – not always a bad thing

Back in 2009, Victoria was ground zero in a swine flu pandemic. Kiddo and Tress travelled to Malaysia for a holiday and ended up being quarantined by the Malaysian authorities the whole time. Back in Melbourne alone, I was struck down with one of the worst flu episodes I had ever experienced. The Tamiflu capsules I was prescribed didn’t appear to help too much.

I was given Tamiflu again last week. I had finished my first day back at work, after our holidays to the tropics, feeling under the weather and sometime during that night, the fevers and body aches told me it wasn’t just a cold I was nursing. I was a bit ordinary and went to the doctor by Wednesday and was told I had the flu bug. I was told to stay away from work so I ended up taking the whole week off. By Friday however, I was feeling quite well so I enjoyed that day just working from home and having a good lunch with Tress, who looked like she was travelling less well.

On Saturday, we both decided to go away so after a sleep in and late brekky, we decided to trek across town to head towards Portarlington for the mussels festival. Portarlington was a couple of hours away and we were on track for a lunch time arrival but half of Melbourne must have had the same idea, as some 10km out, the traffic was crawling and it felt like Portarlington was going to be hard yakka to manoeuvre through. So, we decided to turn back and headed instead to Geelong, where we picked out a lunch spot (an Indonesian joint…) and then walked on the foreshore area for a bit. It was a lovely day out and we both enjoyed it. The warm, breezy and laid back atmosphere was such a welcomed contrast to the hustle and bustle and heat and congestion of where we were a couple of weeks back.

On Sunday we were both on communion duty but Tress’ cold meant it wasn’t a good idea for her to proceed so she got someone to replace her. It was very good to be back at St Alf’s where the laidback atmosphere and clear and concise preaching made it easier to be wholly engaged.

We were well and truly back to our usual routine when we bumped into Jason and Mel at our usual lunch spot. Later that arvo, Tress went out for one of her online game soirees and I pottered around the house, mucking around with some tap fittings to better water the gardens. As we both prepared food for the new working week, the sense of returning to familiar routines was very strong.

Reading one of Michael Bird’s books on the train this morning felt like hard work – probably because I’m not his intended audience. It takes a certain mindset (i.e., a theology student) to read that properly and I wonder if I’d survive to finish this volume. The sheer pleasure of reading on a quiet train ride in to work however, was a blessing. Some may view a life of what feels like a groundhog day, mundane and unexciting, but I’d have this, every day of a week.


2018 behind, 2019 ahead

I’m back at work today, as is Tress. We’re both down with colds and that makes returning to work even less pleasant. Otherwise, we had a decent break – mentally if not physically.

It’s hard to have a decent rest for the body, when one travels to cities like Bangkok for holiday. Tress and I wound up work on 21 Dec and headed to KL the next day (Sat). We dropped the little guy with his sitter/carer, and our hearts ached a little when he whimpered and cried a little when we were getting ready to drop him off. Anyway, we got into the airport, met some friends who were also travelling to the tropics for the Christmas/New Year break, and finally got into KL late on Sat.

We stayed in my brother’s home for that night we arrived. He and Jean picked us up from the airport, and the next day, after a really nice breakfast at a local coffee shop, we headed to the airport and met up with my mum, and my sisters and their families (bar their hubbies…). It was a really good thing we could all go away as a family in this way. It would have been perfect if my sisters’ hubbies, together with Kiddo and Mic, could also come along. One of my sisters’ hubby works in China and does not have the break we had, and the other had to care for his elderly and ill father. Kiddo and Mic had planned a holiday to Japan, by the time this family getaway was cobbled together.

So we headed off to Bangkok/Khao Yai and for the next week and a half, we had a terrific time together. Two of my nephews had done very well for their “UEC” exams and are awaiting university placements in the far east. Isaac has already earned a place in Beijing Uni to do Chemistry but is waiting for a spot in HK uni. Stan the man is waiting for a spot in Taiwan. They’re both terrific young men. Nic has just finished her first year in Med school and YJ, the baby of the group, is still in primary school. I got to know them all better and it was a memorable time. To also spend that time with my mum, sisters, brother and his wife, together with Tress, was really an experience to be treasured.

We got back to Klang just before New Year’s Day, and spent the next few days there. We bunked at Tress’ parents’ place, which as a result of all that has been happening in that household in recent months, felt very shaken up and disjointed. The living room, carved and partitioned to allow Tress’ dad to sleep downstairs, was symptomatic of what has been happening. Her dad had gotten better, and could walk up the steps to get into his usual bedroom. So Tress and I slept in his makeshift bedroom downstairs. Our mornings were always interrupted with the maid cleaning from about 5am, followed soon after by Tress’ parents starting their day early. We’d feel as though we were sleeping in without cause when/if we didn’t wake up soon after. Sleeping in makeshift arrangements with all that harried mornings was never going to provide rest that a break often brings, but I guess the break is a mental one of sorts, where the hustle and bustle of work is absent. To that end, the trip to the tropics has been wonderful.

We left Malaysia on Thursday night and got back into Melbourne on Friday (4 Jan) morning. We left a very warm Malaysia (circa 34 deg) to return to a stinking hot Melbourne (circa 42 deg). The colds we picked up meant we struggled to get back into the rhythm of things. Tress spent the rest of Friday working, while I went about grocery shopping and pottering around the house. On Saturday, we started to work on our very overgrown gardens, before rain stopped us. So we went out and got some shopping (we needed to replace our blender) and lunch and when the rain stopped we resumed work on the gardens, finishing late into the evening.

On Sunday, we decided to skip St Alf’s as we didn’t think our sniffles and coughs would be very welcomed. So we continued pottering around the house – then Tress did the laundry and I washed the very soiled cars. As the day went on, I got a bit more tired as the cold worsened. It felt like an anti-climactic turn, after a really good break in some ways.

Being away for Christmas and New Year, being harried in the busy environments of Bangkok and Klang, meant I did little (or no) reflection. What 2018 was and meant, and what 2019 may look like, were matters I did not think about at all. I have now, so the process is really only starting. Perhaps another entry would flesh these out.

Mourinho Gone, Australian Cricket’s Dawn?

I got in to work this morning, checked some news sites, and almost choked on my cereal, when I read what happened in Old Trafford overnight.

Mourinho has been sacked. Gone.

I’ve labored through United’s games of late. They have been hard to watch. The attacking bend has gone and it looked like a constipating raid every time we’re on the opposition half. As a result, I have found myself enjoying other teams’ games more. I blamed Jose for that.

With him gone, I hope United regain some of the attraction it used to have. Back when United was the main event and I’d watch them repeatedly without double guessing.

This hopefully is an inflexion point of sorts, as I hope it is for the Australian Cricket team. It beat India in Perth, in the second Test, yesterday. It was an absorbing match.

I was home sick on Monday from a very bad back, which I picked up on Sunday and missed St Alf’s. I stayed home on Monday, mostly lying flat on the couch and watching the wicket on Perth Stadium (a.k.a. Optus Stadium, particularly when the West Coast Eagles were playing in their flag winning season) do all sorts of tricks on batsmen. Bowlers who otherwise were ordinary (albeit good) seamers, were catching batsmen with awkward bounces, twists and turns. At the end of that absorbing day, Australia were 5 wickets away from victory, with India still over 170 runs in deficit. The victory came swiftly yesterday, and Alfie (J Langer) has lead Australia in this turning of the corner match (hopefully).

Man Utd and Australian Cricket on the mend. Better things to come, hopefully. Just as I am also looking for an even better 2019, which is a mere 12 days away now.

Tender Back and Bat

More than 30 years ago, I hurt my back which saw me go through a lengthy episode of hospital treatments. These culminated in a back surgery which thankfully, cleared up all my back problems and I went on to lead a pretty normal and healthy life. I even took on jobs that involved lifting loads. I worked weekends in the fish markets in Sydney, lifting crates of fish and/or ice on a regular basis. I also worked in my university, often carrying tables and chairs while arranging classrooms and halls for exams seating and moving lecturers’ books and bookshelves. The surgeon must have done a decent job to let me do all that. And, I also ran numerous half marathons and 10k races for many years.

Occasionally however, the back flares up. Doctors sometimes refer to these as chronic episodes. They recur on a regular basis and often goes away after a little while.

This past week or so saw one of those flare-up’s. All week last week, the back was sore. On Saturday morning, it was muggy and after going for a walk with Tress and the little guy, we came back and Tress started doing some weeding. I was dawdling around and being schizophrenic about whether to trim a remaining bit of the hedge. It was so muggy and I was lethargic to say the least. The other thing bugging me was Tress’ car. The intermittent rain and hot windy conditions the day before had made the car ugly filthy so I ended up giving the car a wash. The MX5, being the little thing that it is, was sitting there looking at me, when I had finished washing Tress’ car, so I decided to also give My Jedi a wash.

We got cleaned up around 1pm and decided to go see the new “Loft” of the FHC. We picked a Vietnamese place for lunch, which wasn’t the greatest choice for me. The food was ok but the chair was at such an awkward level. Towards the end of the lunch I started to get mini spasms on my back and for the rest of the day I became so twitchy as the back had slowly but surely, gotten worse.

Later that night, we settled down and I started watching a new Netflix series with some familiar faces. Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are funny and very good in “The Kaminsky Method”, and that gave me and Tress a few laughs to take away the soreness on my part.

We had also had a few laughs the night before, when Jason and Mel and the Hipos and Jess’ mum all caught up for dinner. We went to place that served an ethnic Chinese minority group cuisine – Yunnan Cuisine– and the novelty of the meal was something to marvel at. It was always good to catch up with these old dear friends and Friday night was no different.

On Sunday, before heading out for St Alf’s, Tress made me pop an ibuprofen which lessened the misery of the sore back. The mugginess had also cleared up so after lunch and some grocery shopping, we got home and I went to work with the hedge and lawn. Tress did more weeding in the north west corner (the jungle central of our garden), did the ironing and also took the little guy for a walk. After finishing outside, I went it to do the week’s cook and the washing up all finished just after 6pm.

I was peaking at the cricket score all arvo and it was painful to watch. The post Smith/Warner/Banks sandpaper ball tampering saga has seen a change of coach and many new players. The batting order is as tender as my back and so I had decided to focus on the excitement that Virat Kohli brings instead. Kohli hasn’t ignited yet but the tender Aussies buckled time and again. The 4th day ended with the Aussies staring at defeat that will surely come. It is only a matter of time when play starts today, before India wins game 1 to clinch a series Down Under for the first time in donkey’s ears.

More than 30 years ago, when I suffered my first back trouble, Alan Border and Company were starting to lead the Australian cricket team out of the wilderness that followed the World Series drama. Today, how we need another Alan Border to doggedly dig in and stake our claim. Just as I need to doggedly fight this sore back to end the year on a brighter note.

Mate’s new home, Steer weekend…

Alex and Li Har have been building their new home for a while and on Saturday night, a bunch of us visited them there for a dinner party of sorts. Tress and I had been there a few weeks earlier, and a bit more work was still going on then. Things looked far more settled on Saturday night and the hosts appeared far happier too, although Alex confided with Jason and I, of his financial concerns. I guess we all have that same – albeit varying degrees of – concern and having completed the building of his very large and beautiful home, those concerns are not unreasonable.

Earlier that morning, I had been in a planning meeting at Steer. It was to do with the investment strategy/policy and I continued to soak up the wisdom of the collective. The day had been very warm and Tress had done a heap of work at home to clean and change sheets etc and when I got home, I felt the onset of a lethargic weekend. Tress and I walked down our street for an auction, which got passed in, confirming for us that the housing market in Melbourne really has gone off the boil. We then grabbed a quick lunch and bought some groceries for the night’s party at Alex and Li Har’s, which didn’t help with my lethargy, as there were copious wines swirling around.

So on Sunday, I struggled through St Alf’s and the cloudy, cooler conditions were more pleasant but didn’t help me much.
We got home early arvo and I got stuck into the garden – doing the hedges and lawns, quickly filling up the green wheelie bin with overdue clippings of our very tall side James Sterling’s. We then cooked the week’s lunches, before settling down to rest up, in readiness for the new working week.

A stream of emails had been ringing away on my mobile throughout the weekend so the ramping up of the busy pre-Christmas period continues unabated. It’s 3 weeks out to Christmas and I had been looking forward to spending time with my siblings and their families but another part of me – the part that dread or loath international travels- made me look forward to a different trip a little further down the track.

Tress and I had met up with Jason and Mel for dinner on Friday night and I had said to them, that somehow, I am looking forward to the Australia Day weekend more than the coming Christmas break, simply because the latter involves international travel. I had said the same thing to Tress the day before. Maybe I’m just becoming closer to a grumpy old man.

I hope the new year will see me better equipped to play a better role in Steer. Maybe also be a better friend to mates. Maybe I can be less grumpy that way.

Countdown (of a different kind)

A little while back, I watched a movie titled “Calvary”. I remembered really enjoying that movie.

The calmness of the tone on the surface, with obvious tension beneath, really was my thing in a number of ways.

The script was wonderful and the lead, Brendan Gleeson, was magnificent in playing out that cocktail of sad family history and later personal salvation and devotion to the clergy’s calling, all juxtaposed with a personality that is volatile yet kind. Having given up drinking for many years, one senses he is only a drink away from having his faith and integrity crumble around him. He has become a really good man but one senses it could all come crashing down quite easily.

Against all that, the movie started out with a scene in a confession booth, where the confessor tells Gleeson’s character that he was going to kill him. One week from that day.

Following that opening scene, the movie plays to a countdown. The good priest continues to go about righting the wrongs of lives of people in his parish but he told his superiors about that confession. Each character that was a member of his parish which he was dealing with, was a suspect. When I watched it again last weekend, it was my second viewing so I knew (spoiler alert…) that it was the butcher.

When the “appointed” (last) day came and the good priest showed up – courageously, but I wondered if, foolishly – on the beach and the butcher showed up a little while later, one would have still wondered if the priest would be killed or there would be some other form of ending.

The butcher – badly butchered by clergy sexual abuse in his younger days – did not spare the good priest, that priest’s blamelessness notwithstanding. Two shots finished that good man’s life.

That one week showed much of that priest’s life and people around him. He must have known, that those few days were to be his last.

I had not planned to watch that movie last weekend. It simply showed up on the screen as I was flicking away on the pages of the streaming service on the iPad.

Watching it again however, meant all week this week, it played on my mind.

12 years ago this past week, my dad lived his final days. He was to pass away tomorrow, 12 years ago. I wondered what went through his mind those few days.

Unlike the good priest in “Calvary”, my dearest father didn’t know.

“Sunny” Days?

It has been a really wet past few days. I’ve had to put on a cover of sorts on the MX5, when I leave it at the car park in the station, and also when I come home to leave it on the driveway overnight.

The very wet conditions continued through most of the weekend. Tress and I had spent Friday night in the same “Chinese tapas” place we were in the Friday before. We ate, drank and talked and just spent time unwinding. I had come home earlier in the arvo, to bring the little black jedi in to see the vet. We decided to try this vet out as the regular specialist LBJ’s been seeing has had her consultation hours changed and we could no longer bring him in after hours.

The new vet was able to see us close to 5pm on a Friday so we grabbed the chance with both hands. It took a bit of wind out of us to walk with the little guy through that consult (annual vaccine, blood test and long term skin condition, other than his blindness and dry eyes) and when it was over, we were just so down and coupled with a very long and arduous working week, we decided to go and unwind in that “Chinese tapas” place.

Saturday it was gloomy – dark clouds, rain, and we both had backaches and strains – we decided to just find an indoor place to walk. Window shopping felt like an obvious option. The Glen had recently been completed and we hadn’t been there for a while so we decided to check it out. It’s all been tarted up and many of the shops were still there, new looks aside. We had lunch there (a really good beef noodles) and then went home and generally just “did nothing” for that day. I guess that was good.

On Sunday St Alf’s had a thanksgiving day and I had prepared a short note to share but the streams of people walking up to the lectern/microphones made it feel like there was no need for me to say what I had prepared. It was always going to take more effort to speak up in St Alf’s anyway. I guess it is partly the cultural ridge to get over but more importantly, that place is so filled with smart, articulate folks all well trained for really good public speaking.

After the service there was the AGM and we stayed on. Peter shared about his peek into a possible bishop’s role in North Queensland. That didn’t work out so the congregation was very happy to continue to have him as the senior man around. The meeting spoke about plans for 2019 and as always, I asked what could I do.

I had finished Revelations 22 last Friday so I had to think about whether it was back to Genesis 1 again this morning and in the same vein, I had also asked what 2019 would hold for me. The circle of life really just cycle through.

After lunch at the usual place, we went home and it was a touch drier than the day before so I started working on the gardens. The plentiful rain meant the growth was abundant and work was much needed to keep things under control. The cooler conditions also meant work was more pleasant so we kept going till it was way past 5pm. Tress had started cooking and prepping the week’s food and by the time we got cleaned up and put our feet up, I was so ready to snooze, but the back was starting to complain.

The last week of dealing with the rains on the MX5, and the back strain I had in the last few days, made me escalate my thinking about how long I can keep enjoying this little nimble machine. I still love it but the impractical aspects of the car took centre role recently and made me wonder.

As I was waiting for my train and tram this morning, I noted the dark clouds still lingering. I wonder if they are symptomatic of what I think confronts Victoria. Labor and Daniel Andrews won the State election again and their unfriendliness (hatred?) to the church and Christianity is going to mean Christians and the Victorian Church will continue to be on an uphill trajectory. Maybe that is how God plans to bless the church in the coming days.

Rest …

When we got back to Melbourne Sunday before last, Tress and I both felt the cumulative weight of weariness and we white knuckled through the week. So when I suggested we took the weekend to really rest, Tress jumped on it. We had wanted to try and get away but the present Melbourne traffic made it a daunting attempt. Indeed, it turned out that for most of Friday, parts of the Westgate, Princess Highway and Tullamarine highway were dirtied and clogged up traffic everywhere. Melbourne had fast become an Asian city in terms of traffic. I had said as much on Friday arvo, as a few colleagues and I were in a ride sharing car headed to a meeting in the city and we were stuck on Exhibition Street for a while.

So after finding a last minute dinner place on Friday night, Tress and I started unwinding from the balled nerves and tired persons we had become. J&W is slowly building itself into a pleasant little Chinese styled tapas joint and the small crowd there on Friday night made it a good place to just sit back and welcome the weekend.

On Saturday, we slept in, had a leisurely brekky and then headed to the Dandenongs. We visited the rhododendron gardens, walked for a bit and soaked up the sun filled cool morning, and then sat down at the veranda of the cafe in the gardens for a coffee (for Tress) and wine (for moi). We then drove right across town and headed to Hampton beach. The 30 plus km from the hills to the beach was traffic filled but it was worth the while. When we got to Hampton beach, we walked through shopping strip, had a bite, and then headed for the beach for a really nice walk. The local life saving club had a kids sports day of sorts there and the beach teemed with people and activities. AS we walked further along, wind surfers were making the most of the windy conditions. We got back close to 6pm, walked the little guy for a bit, and then went home, feeling rested somewhat.

Sunday after St Alf’s we did our usual lunch and grocery shopping. We also went to Bunnings to top up my gardening supplies and then headed home. Tress took the little guy for a walk as I applied various products for the lawn and plants. Tress had also cooked our lunches and when she headed our for a while to catch some cyber creatures, I took the MX5 out for a spin. As we put our feet up last night, I started to look forward to when we head back to Asia for more holidays with the family. As I sipped a very good bottle of chardonnay, Tress spoke to Kiddo about her phone plan, which was still in Tress’ name. I felt the months that had passed since we were last with Kiddo and Mic so I suggested if catching up would resolve the phone plan transitioning process, I’d be more than happy to either drive up or for them to come down to visit. It sounded like too many kilometers for resolving a phone plan hiccup but being with your kin – and the thoughts or prospect of it – often make it worthwhile. That often provides rest of a certain kind too.

Tress’ Dad

I started reading Christos Tsiolkas’ “The Slap” about a week ago. An incident that can in some ways, be viewed as trivial, can be the epicenter of rippling effects that touch many lives. The breathlessness of Tress’ dad in recent years/months, was seemingly a minor setback to an ageing man who still enjoyed travelling to all corners of the world across the seas in mega vessels. The cause of that breathlessness, a defective valve, came home to roost a few weeks ago, and the gentle man finally had the dreaded open heart surgery. He had not just a valve replacement, but also a couple of by-passes.

So I followed Tress this time around, as she made her umpteenth trip back this year. We took advantage of the Melbourne Cup holiday and took the week off. We took a red-eye on Saturday night, arrived on Sunday morning and not long after arrival, headed to the hospital to see him. We were to stay there in the same hospital room with him for a few days, until he was able to return home on Thursday.

At the hospital, we’d slept in a sofa bed. “Slept” as in having a shut eye for intermittent periods, because the light in the corridor, the light emanating from the toilet (the old man dared neither sleep alone nor in a totally dark room), the constant in’s and out’s or ward staff and nurses, meant sleep was like guerrilla attacks. You hit a shut-eye when there’s a window. I’d make a beeline to one of several coffee vending machines at the start of each morning, every time I’d get a chance – after ensuring Tress’ dad’s immediate needs had been attended to. Then it was a series of helping him get up for walks, ensuring he has something to eat or drink, wheeling him to places across the hospital grounds. talking to and cajoling him to put in more work to become better. Sometimes it felt like the rest of Tress’ siblings had dropped the mission on our laps while we were there, but those feelings were passing moments. I thought it a blessing to be near the man, helping him in what little ways I could, to get back on his feet again.

When we finally left the hospital, we had only a couple of days left in the country. I caught up with mum, David and Jean, as well as May and her kids. We left Tress’ family home on Saturday evening, and on the way the airport, Tress’ brother buzzed her to say I had left my iPad behind. He put it on a “Grab” (the local Uber equivalent) and had it sent to the airport to meet us, as we were about to check in.

We got home on Sunday morning, caught a meal and had LBJ (the Little Black Jedi) back, early arvo. It was a gloriously sunny day and I had wanted to soak up the sun (partly to deal with the jet lag) so I did the garden – trimmed some hedges, edged and mowed the lawns, and swept up. By the time we had the next day’s breakfasts and lunches sorted, I found myself snoozing through my chilled glass of chardy as I finally put my feet up.

Back at work yesterday morning, I got stuck into it from the time I got in the office, just a little after 6.30am. By the time I caught up with most of my stuff, it had been past 4pm. The boss had left soon after but my plans for an earlier finish didn’t work out – the tram had disappeared for some unknown reason and I ended up walking to Spencer. It was warm but it felt nice.

As I continued reading Tsiolkas’ book this morning, I thought about how a seemingly trivial incident can evolve and become a defining moment, become an inflexion point of sorts. I wonder how best to deal with such moments when they appear.

Family Overload? Bring it on…

The office has recently started an end of month drinks. Every last Friday of the month (loosely) the HR (“People and Performance” these days) team get some drinks and nibbles and everyone knock off an hour earlier to imbibe.

After several glasses of Proseco, I snoozed on the train on the way home, and when I got home, I had to book a ride sharing service for my dinner appointment with Jason and Mel. It was good catching up with them as usual, and they gave me a lift home after that.

On Saturday morning, I had an early start at gardening – hedges, edging, mowing etc but I had to stop with just the side and back lawns done. I cleaned up and left home just before 11am, and headed out to Woodend to catch up with Ruth and Jonathan. Another cousin was visiting from Singapore and they were staying in the farm property out there. I got there just after noon, and realised they had messaged me earlier to say they were headed out to Hanging Rock. I made the trip across town but it was chockers there and with such bad phone reception, I decided to just go back to Woodend to wait for them. I waited at a local cafe and had a glass of chardy and a coffee, before they got back just before 3pm.

After spending a couple of hours with them, I left just before 6pm, and got home with just enough light left to take the little guy out for a quick walk.

Catching up with those cousins from Singapore was a good reminder that no matter what we’ve done with our careers, we all have the same issues to deal with. Elderly parents who are ailing, kids’ future and church struggles are all common battlefronts for folks of our vintage.

Earlier in the week another cousin, from Hong Kong, had also visited Melbourne and I had taken them out to lunch when they dropped by near my office. It was also very good.

Also, Kiddo rang out of the blue some time in the middle of the week and we chatted for no particular reason. That was a really pleasant surprise so all in, it was a great week of having contact with the family.

Sunday morning after a quick brekky at home I headed out to Tullmarine, heading northwest for the second day in succession. Tress’ plane arrived on time but the taxing on the tarmac took forever. Apparently they couldn’t find a park – maybe just Air Asia being shafted as Melbourne Airport knew how to treat outgoing tenants. So she got delayed going out and I only picked her up about an hour later.

We went straight to lunch, did some grocery shopping and had coffee, before we went home and I picked up the gardening work from where I left off the previous day. Tress got busy with the unpacking and laundry and then took the little guy for a walk. It was a gloriously sunny arvo and I looked for stuff to do to stay outside so I took my time with the green works, including getting rid of weeds with my bare hands. When everything was done and we were both resting on the couch, our tired limbs made us glad we were just easing off for the night, preparing for a week at work.

All through, we received news of Tress’ dad on this uneasy first steps post operation, hopefully on his way back to wonderful health. It feels slow and riddled with nagging issues but I guess with his chest having been opened up completely, the recovery was never going to be all sweet and dandy. It would be a slow and potentially bumpy ride and I kind of look forward to seeing him when Tress and I go back there again next week. Family pains is always worth it I guess.