Thursday, October 5th 2017
Here’s another installment of prose coming your way. How bored are you reading all these posts? Skimming? Skipping? At least you’re here, now! Gotta love that!
Remember, you can contact me any time at:
Any day now, you’ll turn 15. Wow, that’s gone quickly, except when it didn’t. In my dreams, my mind’s eye still sees you as a 5, 6 or 7-year-old. Looking back, every day with you was just so special. Every day you did something unbelievably cool. A smile that brought me joy. A picture gifted to me bringing me so much pride. A hug so tight it threatened the circulation in my neck, but an embrace so memorable. Something amazing, something incredible, something generous. A little something that would present me so much delight. You’re a gem, Phi, unashamedly your biggest fan, Dad… XoXo…
Presently, Dad is fortunate to be on the October Break, so this morning Cc, le pooch – Toro & Dad took to the awesome trails up & beyond Braemar Hill. We hiked to Compass Point, then continued west along Cecil’s Ride where we found a magnificent set of rocks looking down upon Causeway Bay & Victoria Harbor. I said to Cc, “I’d like to celebrate my 50th here.” It’s an epic location, off the main trail and not sign posted, so hopefully not too many punters are aware of it. What do you say, Phi? Would you like to watch the sunset on your Dad’s 50th year alongside Dad, Cc, and a few close mates?
Earlier in the week, Monday, we hiked out to Tai Tam, and Dad & Toro had a swim in one of the many creeks. We found a cool water hole and jumped in after another hot and humid hike, despite the fact we departed Fortress Hill around 6.30am. Bliss!
Loving our life here! Fit & healthy and hopefully avoiding any onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s no secret, there’s no rocket science surrounding health, it’s pretty simple really – get plenty of exercise. Sleep a lot (but don’t use pills). Eat well (cut out processed foods, and unless you have a medical condition, stop being a jerk about gluten). Drink tap water. Love. Presume good intentions. Surround yourself with healthy people.
That evening, after our long hike, Dad & Cc Skyped Allan & Brenda, who will meet us in Melbourne between Xmas & NY. David, Nicola & Tim have all left home and doing well for themselves… it doesn’t seem that long ago when they were all in primary school in Numazu, and you & I would spend nearly every weekend with them at their home down by Senbon.
Tuesday I went to school for a few hours, even though it’s October Break, I just had too much catching up to do; caught up on some assessments, planning and preparation.
Wednesday night, Dad met my G4 colleague, Kristi’s parents, in Happy Valley for a burger. Alex joined us, then they all went to the races, and Dad went home to Cc.
It was the AFL grand final Saturday, September 30th between Richmond & Adelaide. Gotta be happy for Uncle Timmy. He’s over the moon after waiting since 1980 for his Tigers to grab another premiership.
That same evening, one of my colleagues, Alex, came for dinner, too. Dad cooked sausage rolls (your Pa’s recipe) and pizza (seafood & Hawaiian).
Friday night after work, Dad met Madame Cc in TST for Japanese yakiniku. Mmm… finger lickin’ good! Succulent, juicy, oishii!
That’s it, for this letter. Loads of love, Dad… XoXo…
Friday, October 20th 2017
Howdy Cowdy! Dad’s leaving the USA this evening. It’s been a fantastic learning experience here. We’ve visited six schools in The San Francisco area, and seen some amazing presentations on education. Jo Boaler & Pete Bowers were the best of the presenters.
Dad flew out on your 15th birthday last Sunday, October 15th. I departed HK at 2pm and some 12 hours later arrived on the west coast of the US at around 11am, again on Sunday, October 15th. I had a cry on the flight, missing you beside me too much. I sent you a birthday card and a mighty Desigual purse from the US.
On your birthday afternoon, most of our party of ten ventured downtown, San Francisco. We celebrated your 15th with some very tasty Mexican! Dad went to Macey’s and bought two pairs of Levi’s for less that $50USD!
Happy b’day Bella! I miss you… XoXo…
Tuesday, November 7th 2017
Hey Phi, how’s life in sunny Saitama?
Dad just finished a parent conference, and have a little time before I head home. So, what have I been up to??? Well, last night C & Dad had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. I was famished, because after school I had taken the Run Club. I had organized the runners into two camps and we had a relay. Dad teamed up with one of the slower runners, so I had a seriously good workout! I’m too old for this!
Sunday we walked Toro, and Dad did his old man interval training up the hilly sections. Saturday, Dad went to school for six hours to catch up on a bit of school work. Then in the evening I met Stan & his family for a bbq down by Saint Stephen’s Beach.
Wednesday, November 1st, I took a day off. I just hadn’t been able to shake a cold I had picked up in the US. I slept for 13 hours straight! I also got a lot of work done, too.
Camp was Wednesday 25th to Friday 27th. Again, Stan & I organized the G4 camp. After camp, we had Make-o-ween Tuesday, October 31st… I can’t even remember what I dressed up as???
On the Saturday, I met an old friend from Indonesia, Monita. She was travelling with her mother. We hadn’t seen each other in almost three decades. I bet you didn’t know that Dad had a homestay with Monita’s family way back when I was 17!?
Well buddy, it’s time Dad ran to catch his bus. Tomorrow Parent-Teacher conferences begin.
Love & licks,
Wednesday, November 15th 2017
How many 50th b’day celebrations have you been to? Dad’s very nearly at that point in life… It’ll be Hadyn’s 50th in December, Tim’s in February 2018, and Ralph’s & Dad’s in May next year.
Last Thursday, November 9th it was one of my colleague’s, Kath’s 50th. What a yummo restaurant! I wonder what we’ll do for mine? Fancy organizing something small with Cc???
Friday, Cc’s mate, Eri, joined us for a delicious dinner prepared by C.
Saturday from 9 – 2pm, Dad went to Hong Kong University for a PD session on Design. Erik, Joe, Alex & Dad enjoyed a beer & a chat after in a bar.
Sunday, C & Dad took Toro once again up beyond Braemar Hill. Again, Dad did his interval training… gotta make fitness a lifestyle choice!
Beginning last week, Dad started training the X-Country team Mondays, and the Track & Field middle distance runners on Thursdays. Doubly busy, but double the fun & fitness. Running – Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which brings oxygen, which helps prevent the dreaded “brain fog”! Climb aboard!
Humbly & with much love,
Sunday, December 3rd 2017
Oh, Bella, Dad & C are sickly. Dad caught a bug from school, so now we both have snotty noses, head colds and stomach cramps. Yeah, not much fun, but life moves on. On the bright side, it’s a beautiful sunny morning here in Honkers. Dad just went for a wander and bought fresh tomatoes, huge mushrooms, and some red & yellow capsicums.
Only two more weeks of school, and then on Wednesday, December 20th, Dad will head to Melbourne. Won’t you join me?
Thursday, Dad had to take a day-off school as I was a sick little boy. We were supposed to head to Sarah & Trey’s Friday night, and Alex’s last night, but our poor health prevented us from attending.
Monday, November 27th, we took the fourth graders down onto Tai Tam bay at super low tide. We’ve been studying the external & internal structures of plants & animals, so it was a great opportunity to observe the little beasties in their tidal pools. It would have been grand to take you along as a chaperone to help keep my would-be scientists on task.
Thursday, November 23rd we hosted a mini X-Country event over at the Tai Tam reservoir. We organized a 3km or 6km race in which four other schools joined us. Would you have run the 3km or 6km course? My Middle School runners again performed admirably, dominating the under 14 race, and a few good results in the under 12 race, too.
The weekend of the 24 – 26th it was the American Thanksgiving weekend. Friday was a holiday, so C & Dad hiked for 4 hours along Cecil’s Ride. Four hours, yep! How would you go, rising at 6.30am on the weekends, sleepy head?? You always enjoyed a good sleep in. I wonder how much has changed… Would I still need to tickle you, carry you downstairs to your beanbag and pop a Wiggles video on the TV?? Pretty sure my back wouldn’t let me carry you… lucky you!
Love Dad… XoXo…
Wednesday, December 20th 2017
This evening, Dad will fly to Melbourne. Wish you were coming along with me. I’ve had a stinker of a cold – I haven’t exercised since last Thursday’s track & field training, and even then, I took it pretty easy. Yesterday, Cc & Gg had lunch in a cool Indian restaurant on the 3rd floor of a North Point market.
Over the weekend, Dad kept pretty low, but Monday I went into school to have a big clean up, organize & plan for 2018.
Last Wednesday night, G4 had their Xmas party at Danielle’s in Wan Chai.
Luca, your cousin, has just joined our family Whatsapp group. Instantly, Dad thought of you. I guess, given different circumstances, you also would have been a part of your Aussie communication group. Major bummer… maybe some day soon…
Wednesday, December 27th 2017
Sitting in a café in Forest Hill Chase, Melbourne, writing & thinking of you, Bella. It’s 11.50am, and at 1pm Dad will meet Mick, Chris, Tim & Hayd for a Vietnamese lunch in Box Hill. This afternoon, I hope to drive over to Mr. Trampoline in Carnegie to purchase 4 liters of rubbery trampoline mat paint. That way, the trampoline might just last long enough for you to have a return jump.
This morning, I met uncle Tony and my cousin David for a run around the Nunawading area. The pace was a bit pedestrian, but I very much enjoyed chatting with David & Tony.
Tuesday, with Nandee & Pa, we went over to your uncle Sean’s to have a play with Billie & Luca. Later Allie & Christo turned up. It was a magic day, putting together puzzles, kicking the footy, playing with Xmas presents, and throwing the Frisbee. Then last night, I ventured over to Ralph’s for a lovely evening of chatter, wine & cheese.
Christmas day, I managed to hold it in and not cry. We all missed you. Not a minute went by without me thinking of you. I carried my quiet into Boxing Day. Despite all these years apart, it doesn’t really seem to get any easier. I so miss you…
So, let’s go back in time a little way… Dad arrived in Melbourne Thursday, December 21st. Each time I pass through customs at Tullamarine Airport, I can’t help but picture you in your bright sky blue knitted top, snuggling into my shoulder as your Nandee & Pa wave in delight at our arrival. Pa, Nandee & your cousin, Allie, were there to meet me. We drove out to Croydon, stopping in Bayswater for a coffee & a hearty meat pie. After a nap, we drove over to Uncle Sean’s for dinner & some of Pa’s lasagna. On our way home, we stopped in at Aunty Rach & Uncle Rich’s for a quick “hello” hug.
Friday morning, I had a run, then Nandee, Pa & Dad had a coffee up at Ringwood East. Next, your Dad started cleaning the gutters of their leaves & muck, and that evening, all your cousins came out for a bbq.
Saturday morning, I had another run, running out to Marty & Kim’s, but they weren’t home, so had to turn around & run back to 39 Andrew Crescent. Finished up the gutters, and then moved onto Hadyn’s in Kew. Tim & Uncle Rich joined us for a great bbq. We reminisced, bringing out the photo albums.
Sunday morning, Dad met Nandee & Pa in Camberwell & we visited Sue, Leo & Bree. After a lovely chat, I turned up at my cousin Tristan’s. A little lunch at Uncle Rich’s, and finally back to Croydon for Xmas eve with Nandee & Pa.
Christmas day, your aunts, uncles & cousins came out to Nandee & Pa’s. That evening we waltzed over to Tony & Margo’s to say hello. We missed you… Hope you missed us, too…