Tress left for Malaysia early yesterday morning. The weather was diabolical – the winds, heavy rain and the very cold conditions made an early start even less appealing than it already was, and it felt like this awful weather was providing me with some kind of solidarity. Tress was heading home to be with her mum for a more substantive form of “solidarity” – her mum will be checking into the hospital this morning, and would undergo surgery tomorrow.
When we arrived at Tulla, the queue was interminably long and a couple of group check-in’s made the wait even longer than it usually is. I waited with Tress and when we finally (after over an hour) got her boarding pass, we grabbed a quick brekky before we walked towards the departure gate and I saw her walk into the belly of the processing cauldron that is the immigration and customs black hole. I had told Tress this is exactly why I have had very little inclination for overseas travel.
As I headed back to the car, I was wondering how I’d survive the next couple of weeks. At the back of my mind, I was thinking the notoriously expensive parking at Melbourne Airport is going to provide a bit of a rude shock. The $24 I was charged felt like a blow but I was expecting worse so that always works to soften the blow. The traffic was still very light, with most Melburnians wisely staying at home, away from the awful weather.
I got home, gave the little guy a hug and let him out, warmed up the coffee I brought back from brekky with Tress, and got ready for St Alf’s. Tanya, Graeme and Maree asked about Tress but as I arrived late and left early, I wasn’t sure if anyone else noticed I was sitting at our usual spot all alone.
After St Alf’s I went home to fix myself a toastie. Then I headed to the library and picked up a book (Richard Flanagan’s book – Gould’s Book of Fish). It continued to rain so I took my time with the grocery shopping and only got home in time to follow the footy on radio. As I prepared brekky for this morning and made a sandwich for lunch, I was very grateful for the very good dinner I had with Tress on Friday night. We were at a joint called the Abacus All Day and as usual, dinner on Friday night just talking and eating, was really good.
Saturday was filled with Tress packing and getting ready and not much else – we were (or mainly I was) thinking about two games happening at around the same time that night. Hawks were playing the Crows at the G and I had wanted to go and watch them but it was very cold and the other game was too big to miss – Australia was taking France on in Kazan in Russia. Australia lost (as expected) but put up an admirable performance and the French were poor.
Last night as I settled down for the night, I got a call from Fay, who was going to help with taking the little guy for walks while Tress is in Malaysia. So I went over and made arrangements with her. This morning I had to make sure I got the little guy prepped up so I was late and in an attempt to make up time I drove faster than I normally did and such was my luck a mobile unit was on the prowl and I got pinged. One demerit point and a couple of hundred bucks down the gurgler and I ended up even later but I still came in earlier than almost everyone else, so writing this made it all feel less painful – both about Tress being away as well as that blooming 10km/hr over… (boo hoo). The thought however, of Tress’ mum’s experience over the next few days and weeks kind of puts things in perspectives…