Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surgery and a party

This week was one of contrasts.  On Monday I had some surgery to remove a skin cancer from my face and on Tuesday Anne had surgery on her legs.  Companions in surgery!  Both of are now in recovery.  Anne was on a Zimmer frame at first but is now back walking unaided.

I picked Anne up from the hospital in Wickham Tce about midday on Wednesday and also took over some fish and chips for tea that night.  Merle and Ralph were also there to share our fish and chips so it was a pleasant social occasion.  We talked a bit about Presbyterian church doings.  The church Merle and Ralph have been going to has gone "modern" and we all agreed that that was no good. Ralph told a funny story about someone who kept calling him "Vince".

And on Thursday lunchtime there was a party for Suz's birthday, held at her and Russ's place.  The party was quiet but pleasant and the gift that I had bought via Jenny was well received.  It was a Japanese box filled with Body Shop products.  Twins being what they are, I also sent Von a cheque similar in amount to what Suz's present cost and told her to buy something nice for herself.  She seemed very pleased by that.

Russ as usual did the honours with his hi-tech BBQ machine and produced some good sausages and rissoles.  I for once had some of all the salads.  We all admired Russ's new big wooden table and chairs on his patio.  The table seats 10 so Russ's hospitable inclinations were evident.

We talked about various things but at one stage debated whether people who avoid genetically modified crops are motivated by fear of the unknown. I think Ken, Simon and I were inclined to think that might be.

Maureen donated a bottle of her excellent cumquat jam to me.  She hadn't made that jam before but got a result that was as good as any I have had.  And I am a cumquat jam fancier from way back.

Paul and family had the wog so did not stay.  Davey was there so he has obviously made a partial recovery.  With her blonde looks, Sahara was looking beautiful and Dusty was his usual good-natured self.  He mostly just sat in his high chair and sang out "more" when he ran out of food.  LOL.

A curious event was that no-one could find matches to light the candles on the birthday cake:  A pleasant reminder that nobody there smoked.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The travellers return (again)

Paul and Susan got back from another cruise this week  -- mainly visiting China and Japan -- so I shouted them a small welcome home lunch at the dosa restaurant.  Susan had a particular yen for some dosas and we all know that the food desires of pregnant ladies must be indulged.  I had a few personal matters to discuss with Paul so there were just the 4 of us -- including Master Matthew, who was a great asset to the occasion, of course.

Paul and Susan were both very impressed with the very civilized Japan

We mainly discussed possible plans for the forthcoming little daughter but since none of us have met her yet, all discussions had to be in the most general terms.  It seems reasonably likely, however, that she will have her mother's good looks and Paul's assertiveness so in that case a few things about her future can be discussed.

The big issue was what to name her and all three of us had different ideas about that -- but I think we edged towards an  agreement eventually.

Monday, April 8, 2013

More church

I normally go to church on Good Friday to honour the event which is the foundation of the central Christian doctrine of Redemption.  Which is how I came to attend St. John's Presbyterian at Annerley for the first time last Good Friday.  I was quite impressed by various things about the church and its congregation, however, so I decided that a return trip was in order.  So I went there again today.

To my surprise, the congregation was even larger than on Good Friday.  The church was about 80% full.  That is remarkable vitality for a Protestant church these days  -- when many churches have been abandoned through disuse.

The service was simpler than any other that I can remember:  No doxology and no "amen" after each hymn.  Though there was the triple "amen" at the end of the service.  And they didn't even call the church announcements "intimations"!  Small things that you have to be in the know to notice but they confirmed my suspicion that this was an unusually fundamentalist congregation in the "Wee Free" (Free Church of Scotland) tradition.

So I attended the morning tea afterward and had a chat to a few people.  And we were able to discuss scripture and church doctrine!  Mouths would have been agape had I tried that among an Anglican congregation!  I was in fact slightly humbled when I mentioned Spurgeon.  It turned out that the people I was talking to knew even more about him than I did!

So I was able to confirm that this was indeed a very old-fashioned congregation.  And in fact I was told that quite a few of the congregation were refugees from other Presbyterian churches that had "modernized".  Hence the large size of the congregation.  As my own religious background was very fundamentalist, I felt very much at home there.

Anne enjoyed the visit too. Church figures largely in her background too.  She even liked the sermon!

Monday, April 1, 2013


Jenny wanted to see both her daughters together while Von was in town so put on a BBQ at her place.  Present were the twins with partners plus Jenny, Nanna and myself. Plus littlies, of course

I had lot of chats with Von and along the way  I could see that Von really appreciated my shouting her and hers the trip to Brisbane.  I also lent them Joe's Brisbane car to get around so that must have been handy seeing they came for a fortnight.  They depart later this week.

We talked about the kids mostly:  Hannah's little brown arm and Saharah's pretty blue eyes etc.  You would never think they were cousins but then you would never think Von and Suz were twins.  Both little girls are of wholly Caucasian ancestry but Hannah could almost pass for Asian with her tanned skin and rather slit eyes.  She gets the eye shape from Ken.  Timmy has it too.  Hannah's eyes are blue, however.  And for contrast, Sahara looks like a little Nordic goddess, with her paper white skin, big blue eyes and golden-blonde hair.  Joe looked like that too when he was a toddler.