November pairings

As I walked up the steps of Parliament station this morning, I felt strangely well. Normally I’m just a zombie-like character that time of the morning, in that spot in the city. The second escalator from Platform 4 of Parliament station is one of the longest and steepest in Melbourne and almost always, at the halfway mark, I’d stop climbing and just let the machine carry me up. The next 3-4 flights of steps after that normally wake me up abruptly at the end of it and often everything is a blur till I get into the gym, which is maybe 200-300 meters away.

Maybe it is the early light – it’s now 3 weeks to summer and it’s starting to light up around 6am and won’t get dark till past 8pm. Or maybe it’s the thought that it’s a home run stretch to the year – just over 6 weeks before Christmas and a bit of a break and just under 6 weeks before Kiddo finishes up in Singapore and head back to Melbourne.

As I walked towards the gym, I vaguely recalled this was little Ezra’s anniversary. He was barely one month old when he passed on, one year ago to the day. One day before his grandparents’ wedding anniversary. It was also my dad’s final 3 weeks in this world, 8 years ago now. I wondered how he felt at that time.

Good times need neither precede nor follow bad times. Often they are there at the same time. I don’t know how or why we can feel well in spite of the bad things happening. Nor why we feel lousy despite the good ones. Good and bad often occur side by side. We often respond only to either. I wonder if that is a matter of choice. Or maybe we respond to the one with greater intensity or magnitude. Or the good may be more fundamental and the bad either of remote impact or is of less significance.

November was a bad month at the end of our first year here in Melbourne. Yet in many ways that month precipitated some good outcomes. 12 months later, I left a job due to a troubled fit and my father died not long after. So it too was a bad month. I’m yet to see the good that might have travelled in parallel. But every November since I have wondered what was around the corner. So when I felt well this morning, I wondered about the pairing of good and bad. And wondered. Maybe it is the Woody Allen trait sometimes rearing its head. Maybe like I said many times to many, good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. When one feels strangely well, maybe it bodes well to simply seize the moment and revel in it. QSS.


A 2013 Low Point – Losing an “Old Friend”

I wrote the below piece back in April this year, when I still considered David Chiang “an old friend”. I guess he was an “old friend” only in the sense that I had vaguely known him from our days in Klang. I remember seeing him take Ben his son, then a dark little chubby boy, to and from Sunday School. I rarely talked to him. When he was coming to Melbourne however, we connected and Ben and his mum came first and initially stayed with us in our home, before the rest of the family joined them later. They went to ICC Church in Glen Waverley, partly because we went there then. It was only from that point on that we came to know each other better.

He might have commenced planning moves against Jason around that time (April this year), if not earlier. I had left ICC months before and other than an anniversary party at his home, we barely spoke to each other since I left ICC. So the call came really out of the blue and the events against Jason some 4 weeks later put it into context I guess. Jason and I talked about this soon afer the Lifegate AGM fiasco and guessed this to be the case.

Needless to say, I have since been very angry with David for what he did to Jason and his (and his then fellow board members’) continuing refusal to face up to what he and they did. I was harsh against him and told him what I thought of what he did. He reacted badly and became feral with me. He hurled personal abuses while continuing to defend what he did. While I focused on his deeds, he called me names and made personal accusations. He did not pinpoint what I did despite my repeatedly telling him it was his act to remove Jason – specifically– which caused me to be angry against him. I have refused to have anything to do with him, not until he acknowledges that what he did to Jason was wrong from any perspective. Not just a procedural error, but a grave wrong against a brother.

I guess he would continue to deny what he did was wrong. Maybe he wouldn’t. I hope he wouldn’t. But there has been nothing to suggest he now thinks what he did was wrong.

So I guess I need to say that if I were to write him a similar email today, I would no longer say nothing has changed when I talk about our “old friendship”. I cannot continue to call someone so apparently obstinate, a friend. Things change of course and the day when he sees and aknowledges what he did against Jason was wrong, will be the day I would consider what I wrote below in April this year, to continue to hold true. Until then, I’m afraid one of the low points of this year is to completely disengage – on a deliberate and willed basis – from someone I once considered “an old friend”.

An Old Friend Called


From: Teh, Ian

Sent: Thursday, 4 April 2013 8:09 AM

To: [ ] ([ ]

Subject: Thanks – appreciate the contact

Hi [ ]

Thank you for your call last night, I appreciate that. Please be assured what has happened in recent months had nothing to do with you. You (and [ ]) are someone I knew from Malaysia so I guess that makes us old friends. Nothing has changed on that front.

Returniing to lifegate is out of the question for me. I cant be in a church where I am restrained from serving. As long as I don’t understand Tham Fuan’s statement that I only acknowledge the church leadership when it suited me, I can never serve freely. That statement means I am not to be trusted, that I am a fake. How can I remain in a church where the pastor accused me of that?

Tham Fuan has “apologised”  – it may sound ironic but that is taking the easy way out. What I needed wasn’t an apology, but understanding. One needs to spend time talking through things like that. Not a quickly blurted apology. I have said that to him before. But that is ok now because I no longer expect anything from him. He has shown nothing to suggest he is capable of, or wishes to, talk through that. I also no longer want to listen to him. No one should be expected to wait indefinitely – if the months following the event didn’t see any interest on his part, I should “cut my losses” and leave an organisation headed by someone like him. He has been that way from day one – uncommunicative and unresponsive. When it comes to personal relationships, being uncommunicative and unresponsive is a guarantee for failure.

Theresa and I continue to look for a church to call home. That has been very difficult for the reasons I said to you last night. But at least there is rationale for hope. Staying in lifegate does not provide that, as long as Tham Fuan carries on in the same way. There is nothing to suggest he won’t.

Thanks again [ ].




Christmas and Abundant Dwelling

I slept in and woke up just after 7am this morning. I made coffee and toasts, sat down with Tress, packed lunch from Christmas leftovers, and showered, changed and hopped into the car just after 8am. Tress drove me to the station and I got in just after 8.30. All this was partly made possible because the gym is still closed for the holidays and I had decided not to take any time off work, which feels like a mistake now… sigh…

We were at Uncle Seng’s last night and as always, Auntie Anne had whipped up a fabulous array of delicious food spread across the entire kitchen bench-top of their home in Mount Waverley. Tress’ cousins and other relatives were there.

Earlier that day, we had just stayed home, watched the cricket and pottered about the home. I cleaned out the weber after cooking on it on Christmas Day, and generally just did small stuff, alternating with watching the cricket. England looked like they were determined not to lose – more than a desire to win – so the run rate was a boring 2+ and it was easy to just do other stuff while leaving the cricket on or alternating with other channels. Tress did the same thing, with all sorts of tasks like laundry, taking out bags of trash, letting the little fellow in and out while I got in and out in the course of cleaning the barbie… it was that kind of day.

Christmas Day we had slept in, after a late night on Christmas Eve. Sleeping in these days often means we wake up at 7 instead of 5, so we could have made it to church for the service but we had planned not to, so we just spent the day getting ready for the guests who were coming.

Ing Tung and Chin Moi are some of our oldest friends in Melbourne. While chatting later night with our other guests, it dawned on us it was nearly 30 years ago when we first met. They were very helpful when we first came to Melbourne and continue to be our very dear friends. The Tongs on the other hand, are our newest friends in Melbourne. We only met them maybe 6 months ago, when I was shopping for a new suit in the Doncaster Westfield Myer store. Jason and Mel joined us later that night for drinks and we reminisced even more, as Jason, Ing Tung and I were all with OCF Sydney back in the day – in the mid to late 80’s…

By the time everyone left it was nearly midnight and after we cleaned up it was just past 1am, but it was wonderful to have reconnected with old friends as well as strengthened new bonds.

On Christmas Eve I had left work at noon – the office closed at 12pm – and I dragged Tress and Kiddo to Indian Delight for lunch as I had become really hungry by the time I got home. The midday train was running the city loop – ie Parliament was the first stop, making its way through the loop and left for Blackburn only via Flinders. Stopping every station, it was a long trek home but thankfully the driver put a smile on everyone’s face. He playfully said he wanted to let everyone know the next day was a public holiday and went on to explain the reason for it. He explained the Christian faith in a 1 minute summary – essentially saying Jesus came into the world to save sinners – and wished everyone a wonderful Christmas. I was very happy the driver did what he did and the longer than usual journey home became very pleasant. It didn’t make me less hungry though so to Indian Delight we went and it wasn’t until 8pm that night I did another barbeque. Tress had bought a large piece of barramundi earlier that day.

After a dinner of very juicy fish and fresh salad, we sat down to watch the Sidney Myer music bowl Christmas Carol.

Just after 10.30, we drove to church for the Christmas Eve carol and communion service. The church was packed out and we had to park on the Uniting Church ground across the road on Koonung Road. The focus was pleasantly on Jesus and what He came to do, what our response should be and all that. For a while Tress and Kiddo were worried because as we were walking from the car park we thought we saw people very dressed up but as we settled down at our seats we realised that was only a handful of people. Peter and his staff though were dressed up more than usual and it was very nice to see the extent to which Peter and the church had gone, to make this occasion a pointed and important one. The service ended about 12.40am, and we got home just after 1.

Late nights, lots of food, lots of time with families and people you care for, all surrounding the central theme of Jesus’ coming. One of the numerous readings on Christmas Eve in church was John 1:14:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The abundance of providence and fellowship is, I’d like to think, very possibly a result of the Word having made a dwelling amongst us. Perhaps…

Sim and Mark

A benefit of social media like facebook is birthday reminders. So yesterday morning I was quick to wish my sister a happy birthday. I thought about what I wanted to say and was able to then quickly transmit those thoughts – almost instantaneously.

My sister is the “steady Eddie” of the family, or whatever the feminine equivalent is. She is the one consistently, steadfastly and unassumingly by the side of my parents, particularly my mother (even when my father was still alive).

Sim is 3 years younger than I. Her husband Daniel is the livewire of family events. An antique dealer, I once bought a really nice period piece of an Omega De Ville from him. “Bought” is a stretched term as what I paid him for it probably meant it was practically a gift from Daniel. Sim and Daniel live on Penang Island with their 2 kids. One often hears stereo typed remarks about Penangites being tight so maybe Daniel isn’t a true Penangite in that sense because he is often generous to a fault. Generous as he is, what comforts me is his very obvious love and devotion to Sim and the family.

Nicole is an intelligent and determined teenager. They visited Melbourne in 2010 (or was it 2009) when she had finished her primary school with a straight A’s assessment and we gladly rewarded her with an Apple iPod. We rarely have the opportunity to spoil them so it was the least we could do. Before we moved to Melbourne, we would visit Penang regularly. Nicole was a young girl then and I remember staying at the Park Royal in Ferringhi Beach, looking out a window with Nicole to see hot air balloons coasting the beautiful beaches. I said to her those were “hot air balloons” and I can still hear her mimicking me as she pointed at those balloons. I hope that image of her pressing her face against the window and pointing at those balloons, would never be erased from the every forgetful mind of mine. I now see her on her facebook pages, blossoming into a confident young woman. I’m very proud of her.

Isaac is Nicole’s younger brother and he too finished primary school with a flourish and we rewarded him in the same way, just as I promised when we gave her sister her reward. He’s a lovely, loving and lovable young man, with a low almost husky voice. When he was younger, he was sometimes teased with a “lau lang” (old man) moniker. Ticklish in so many ways and emitting a hearty laugh when tickled, his “Despicable Me” cover photo for his facebook page is thoroughly appropriate. He’s now at the venerable Chung Ling High School, one of the most prestigious schools in Malaysia which regularly produces top performers in public examinations. I’m very proud of him.

A schoolteacher, Sim’s facebook pages are often postings by her students who obviously love and adore her. Maybe her consistent and steadfast manner are by-products of her devotion to those around her, including her students. She is the embodiment of everything one would extol about Confucianism. What a loss it would be to Penang and Malaysia if she and Daniel were to move to Melbourne, but what gain to people here.

I miss Sim and her family. She has done so much for mum and everyone else. My brother and his wife visit them often and when they do, we are treated with pictures of their adventures – all on facebook of course. They were there recently and it was truly a treat to view those photographs. The modern day scattering of families to different corners of the globe has been made easier by the ubiquitous postings of local events on the global media. For all its ills, facebook has done wonders in this regard and I am so grateful.

Happy birthday again Sim, and thank you Mark Zuckerberg. 

Lake Burley Griffin becomes a friend.

I had the alarm set for 5am on Sat morning but Tress was up at 4.30. I decided to get up a few minutes later and just before 6am, we were in the car and started the trek up again. We only made a couple of stops for toilet and coffee and by 1pm we were at Burton and Garran Hall again. It was great to see Kiddo again.

We unloaded the stuff we brought up with us, and then Kiddo jumped in the car and we took the much shorter drive across town to Campbell to our B&B (sort of). After lunching at a Korean joint at the Civic we went to the shops for a bit before going to Weston Park at the Lake Burley Griffin, for a walk/jog. The little black jedi had a whale of a time as we let him run around off lead for a while. The late afternoon scene lakeside was really nice and it was just great for the 3 of us (plus the little pooch) to be there together. The lake is huge and to get to know this place takes quite an effort.

That night we went to the Civic again, and looked for a place for dinner. We settled on “The London Burger and Beers”, a place bustling with young people. The burgers were gorgeous, as were the salads. We were to return the following night as well – another discovery of a nice eatery in Canberra. Later that Saturday night we drove to the Old Parliament House which had an architectural projection type of show on, and the building was opened as well for touring so we walked around and outside the building and it was really late by the time we got home.

On Sunday we went to the Old Bus Depot, went to the Fyshwick food markets for lunch and then went back to the Lake, this time to walk around the Carillon and also took a ride around that area on a paddle bike which took all 3 of us (and Scruff). The bike was christened “John”, a reference to John Howard. All of the bikes were named after past Prime Mnisters of Australia and we saw “Billy”, “Paul” and “Malcolm” go past us. As far as past Prime Ministers go, I cant wait for a “Julia” to appear. The Lake has truly become something more familiar. It is very large and I guess it will take loads of effort to know it really well.

We went to the Crossroads church on campus (at the Manning Clark Lecture Theatre) on Sunday evening, then went back to the London for a late dinner. We again drove around to catch more light projections on buildings and went to the National Gallery.

On Monday morning we spent some time in Kiddo’s dorm room, with some housekeeping stuff and then went to the “Scholar” – a Chinese restaurant for Yum Cha. It was pricey but the food was very good – another discovery of a good place in Canberra.

We left Canberra close to 3pm, and got back to Melbourne just after 9 – a record time for us. I guess we have become accustomed to the drive.


The Crossroads church was very impressive, content wise. All of the songs were unfamiliar to us but they all had strong emphasis on Christ, the cross, the Gospel message and such themes. There were very little material on power for us, our needs, how much he means to us… in other words, the worship was all about God, not about me or us. What a refreshing change.

The message (“The King’s Speech” – Matthew 5 & 6) was also Kingdom centred and focused on what it really means to be godly and not just religious – again it was all about taking the focus away from us and turning to God.

It was a refreshing change, again.

So often, our church life is centered on ourselves – what the church can (or even ought) to do for us. If a church somehow misses the mark in terms of addressing our daily needs, we turn our backs and maybe even become bitter. I guess when we have needs which appear to be overwhelming and no one seems to care it would appear that we have a legitimate expectation that the church ought to do something. Maybe to a large extent the church ought to, and perhaps the local church ought to take its eyes off lofty notions like discipleship and mission and tend to the daily needs of its flocks. To some church goers, that would be a reasonable ask. Can we discuss discipleship without caring for members’ needs? I dont know.

I’m not sure I know how to deal with needs of church friends and “quasi church” friends. Especially needs of Christians who have been Christians for a long time. Life in Australia is often busy with cares of everyday living. One wakes up and goes to work, comes home and potters around the house with 101 things to do, leaving the “big jobs” for weekends. Many take up further courses of studies like yours truly and whatever free time in the evenings is taken up by work on these studies. Weekends see us catching up with more everyday living stuff – grocery shopping, house cleaning and other such or related chores. Then we have a little bit of time to catch up with friends and be socially alive. Often this means dinners on Sat nights or lunch on Sunday arvo. Either event means more time needed to plan, shop, prepare,  clean etc. Often this has to be rotated around so that different friends of different family members get time spent on them and we maintain our social networks that way, no matter how pained or little “value-add” in terms of strengthening these relationships.

One cant be doing that on every weekend either as some weekends are taken up with other stuff which invariably crop up – school events, weddings and birthdays, farewells, or even spending a Sat night at home catching up with work or with each other at home.

So the best one can do is maybe spend a bit of time, every few weeks, with some friends. I dont know if that is enough. I dont know if it is reasonable to expect more. It does become a bit of a pain when one has to work all these out, just to be satisfied that we’re ok. I would have thought it is a no brainer but apparently not.  Maybe we are meant to give up our everyday living demands, so that others can have their needs met. Maybe the answer lies in foregoing everything just so your friends are kept happy. I have to work that out further. Maybe keeping some friends happy requires a bit of effort. Much like getting to know Lake Burley Griffiin well.

Gout Treat

I woke up at 4 this morning with a sore toe. Instinctively and probably still sleeping, I trudged to the kitchen to look for the Arcoxia tablets. There were none in the pantry but again instinctively I got out into the car and got a strip of that lifesaver tablets and took one.

When the alarm went off at 5.30 the pain was still there so I decided to give the gym a miss. There goes my planned 8km. I slept in, and when Tress got up and got ready for work, I decided to take the day off sick. The soreness hasnt gone away.

So here I am, waiting for the doctor’s clinic to open so I could go and get a scrip for Arcoxia top-up’s. I need that pain to be totally managed before this weekend, when Tress and I go up to Canberra again. I dont want anything to mess that up.

I have also made up my mind to leave my present role. Preferably however, I want to find a legal or quasi legal role first, before I do. Staying in this role has so tainted my views of ministry and people in it, that I need to get out before my relationship with these people become badly affected.

I was just checking my emails and saw an invoice coming in. He is a retired professional and helping the office manage an IT database upgrade project. If I was in his shoes, I would have done it voluntarily, no questions asked, no second thoughts. Another retiree was to do some “deputation” or representative work in the country. Again at costs to the organisation. It isnt paid work but expenses fully reimbursed. I can only wonder what a week or two driving in the country can chalk up in terms of costs.

Maybe I need to revisit my concept of serving. After all mine is also a paid role, not voluntary. Although I minimise costs by foregoing a lot of entitlements a full time paid staff would have, and have hardly lodged any claims, always thinking this organisation need to minimise its costs. My boss does that too but a lot of other people dont. Almost nothing is done on a volunteer basis without pay or reimbursement.

I dont know, maybe I just need to have a good think about what I am doing, where I am now, what I want to spend my time on, etc. I know I am just not fulfilled. At all. Having told myself to go easy on food and having unsubscribed from stuff like Foxtel, I come home each day just looking forward to taking the little black jedi to the park and let him frolic with other pooches. When the park is used for cricket or footy training like it has been, I get a bit lost and the walking around the blocks thing becomes a disappointment. I’d come home after say 45 minutes and plonk myself in front of the tele for a bit, simplt deplete of anything enjoyable or fulfillng. I’d feel the day had gone by with God knows what achievement or accomplishment. There isnt even the simple satisfaction of having done some work I’d consider fulfilling.

Maybe that’s why I’m sort of happy to just stay at home today, away from the office. Sore tore notwithstanding.

Back to square one

Tress and I got home to Melbourne on Sat arvo, just after 5pm. We were supposed to be back yesterday but Port Albert – our last stopover – was way too quiet and given it was only less than 3 hours from home, we decided to come straight home. We walked the entire length and breadth of Port Albert inside 25 minutes and were seriously wondering what we were going to do if we stayed the night as originally planned. That town of 1 pub, 1 cafe and a handful of wharfs didnt seem like a place to linger on, so we took off soon after 2pm.

On arrival at home I was filled with a sudden gush of sadness. I found myself not being able to speak very much, as I unpacked and went into Kiddo’s room to sort some stuff out. Tress busied herself with loads of chores, as did I. Later that night we went to Indochine in Box Hill and my sense of sadness continued.

In a way I felt like we were starting all over again – the feeling was like when we first arrived in Melbourne in 2004. The sense of having to do it all again, that sense of having lost the familiar, was a tad too much for me.

The next morning was the same thing and after waking I made coffee but continued busying myself with sorting out the study together with her room. After church we lunched with Gerry and Jesslyn and when I got home, I continued busying myself – this time with the garden. It was hot but I ploughed on.  Anything was better than staying indoor in a house that has lost some of the familiar love and buzz. It was easier to stay out in the garden and in the heat of the summer afternoon sun and work up a sweat. I worked from 2 to 6pm, then got in to freshen up to get over to Jason and Mel’s for dinner, together with Gerry and Jesslyn. Invariably

The inevitable came however and we got home, again to a house that felt strange. Our minds turned immediately to Canberra. Tress and I waited for a chance to ring her on Skype but we ended up only speaking to her briefly on the phone at close to midnight.

I really want to get back to legal work; other than the money which would come in handy for the extras that would now be required, I need to be busy again.

Road Ahead Beckons

It has been a slightly busier last couple of days at work for me. Renovation works scheduled for next week were brought forward and things got a bit messy. I was in early the past couple of days and today – my last day at work before taking a week off for Canberra et al – I’m kind of hoping to have a “POETS” day (Piss off early, tomorrow’s Saturday – pardon the Aussie pleasantries).

Tress has been busy too so I hope today would be better than yesterday.

English: Mallacoota Top Lake, 2011
One Chapter Closes
Batemans Bay
Another one opens

In any case we’re both looking forward to a mini break of sorts. We plan to push off early tomorrow so all the packing for kiddo and other road trip preps must be done tonight. We hope to be at the doors of Burton and Garran Hall by about 2pm, which would allow us a few hours to attend to whatever that needs to be attended to. Tress and I leave the PhB student on Tuesday and will make our way back to Melbourne but via the NSW coast. First stop is Batemans Bay, then down past Bega Valley towards Mallacoota and then down past the Lakes Entrance and towards Wilson’s Prom where Port Albert would be our last stop. We arrive back in Melbourne on Sunday. The Little Black Jedi will be coming along for the ride.

When all that driving’s over and we’re b

ack in Melbourne, life will be somewhat different for us. Life really is a box of chocolates.

Batemans Bay at twilight, looking towards the ...
What lies ahead...

Backpack from North Melbourne

Kiddo wanted a backpack for uni and was looking up some online sites for it a couple of nights ago. She settled on an STM model – STM Convoy laptop backpack – which is olive in colour, holds the MacBook pretty well, has loads of compartments and great features like a waterproof bonnet, and looks well made.

So yesterday morning I did some digging around and found one in North Melbourne – under Maxfixit site. The person on the email was responsive so I drove over to their site to pick it up during lunch. The transaction went okay but dealing with the staff was something else.

When I walked into the office, a young lady was typing away on a computer and barely looked up, face grim and all. A young man from another corner of the room walked across towards me and I mentioned the email exchange earlier. That young girl muttered something about the bag being at the back of the room somewhere and did not greet or look at me. The young man just went and took the bag, took down some details and processed my payment. This all took a quick 10-15 minutes but it all happened without the slightest occurrence of pleasantries.

I got back to the office just a bit after lunch, and emailed kiddo that I got the bag. So the transaction went ok in that we got the bag pretty quickly and at a reasonably ok price. If you don’t mind the sour puss personnel it would be a perfectly good place to get your Mac stuff but if you want a bit of friendly exchange, look around online and wait for the parcel to be delivered FedEx or something like that. Avoid the Maxfixit North Melbourne office.

Kiddo got her backpack and I think she’s happy with that.

One chapter closes…

Kiddo, Tress and I spent the whole of Saturday doing stuff together. We went to the Dandenongs in the morning and did the Kokoda Memorial Track (“1,000 steps”). Kiddo has been really fit and was the first one up. I was next and a surprisingly fresh looking Tress was in tow, a few minutes later. We took a longer but more gradual route down and when it was all done, we felt good and had a good brunch at Olinda. We did the unpardonable and had pies at Pies in the Sky. A bit of warning – the pies appear to have lost some of their attraction. They don’t taste as yummy as they used to and the “floater” (in pea and ham soup and a scoop of mash on top) certainly wasn’t the extra $9 or so – it was very dry and bland.

After leaving the Dandenongs we went to get some dried foods for Kiddo to survive on in the next few weeks when crouching in the trenches that are the tiny rooms in the halls of residence in the ANU, as well as some storage containers and packing boxes from Bunnings in Vermont. We got back just after 1.30pm, I took a short snooze before cleaning the house for the dinner party in our home on Sunday night.

Tress did some cooking, as well as the usual rounds of laundry and Kiddo went about packing and placing all her stuff in the spare bedroom to help us all gauge how much space she needed in the car. Kiddo did as much of the packing as possible and we all have a much better idea now, of the stuff we would be carting up this weekend.

That night Kiddo went for an 18th birthday party in Bulleen – that of Sammy her best mate. We took her to the dinner and went to Box Hill ourselves.

Church yesterday was in really hot and windy conditions and the cell leaders meeting in the arvo was a bit testing for that reason. I got home around 3 and got ready for the dinner party at home for Kiddo’s church friends. We had a Sri Lankan lady do the catering and we picked up the food (from church). It was a longish night but I think Kiddo enjoyed the time with her friends from church, that she has made in the last 8 years here in Melbourne.

It was the last weekend of this chapter in Kiddo’s life. Next weekend a new chapter begins.