Sunday, March 26, 2006

'it was the Wurst of times... '

or to re-phrase that, the Time of the Sausage. In the last week or so I've had a few. Let me count the barbecued meats I have partaken of in the last week and a bit.
It started off very well, with barbecued steak a'la Matt at the temporary Melbourne home base of the School of Youth Leadership guys in Surrey Hills. That was on Wednesday the 15th, after which we went into the city to mingle with the crowds watching the Comm Games opening ceremony at a big screen at Docklands. There was virtually no-one there, even the fairground rides were deserted. All we saw of the fireworks was whatever was reflected off the tall buildings in the city. But there was over 200,000 at the MCG and on the banks of the Yarra who had an excellent view. Many of these people shared our train on the way home. Cosy.
On Thursday we went to Werribee to hang out with the kids at the Salvo drop-in centre. We had another barbecue, Matt again showed his skills. Afterwards we hung out at Fed Square in front of the big screen and made Balloon animals. Matt and Carrington got themselves interviewed on ABC radio 774, and I made a balloon cyclist on his bike in honour of the Aussie track cycling team winning gold.
Friday was our day at the Prayer hub at Swanstons st. Church of Christ, and then in the afternoon at the 614 drop in centre. Quiet. DJ Smitty was entertaining though! After a prayer walk around the streets we decided to head home. After the others found they needed a different train to me, I decided to go for a walk along the Yarra to see what was going on with the Melbourne festival. Just as I was passing the Channel 9 Outside Broadcast spot, they opened the gates and invited us in for a free sausage in a bun!
Saturday was the day off. A chance to sleep in! And how I needed it! I was awake at 6... There was a family re-union at lunch time for Auntie Marg and Uncle Arthur, who were visiting the Games from West. Aust. Not a barbecue, but I mention it because Auntie Marrian was there, asking when was I going to visit Werribee? I didn't tell her it would be the very next day. On Saturday night I could've gone to the Ringwood Salvos picnic barbecue at Lilydale lake - I was planning to - but I thought an early night was a much better idea at the time.
No Barbecue on Sunday either, though the Werribee festival went really well, I met a lot of old friends I had not seen for years (Hello Christy!), and I gave my Auntie the shock of her life, and her camera, which she had left behind the day before. The was a big street parade, with Matt and Carrington in animal costumes, bands and Sudanese drummers. Afterwards, there were puppets, music, facepainting and balloon animals, and a drive to Maryborough.
Monday was the first day of kids games, no barbecue here either, instead, Maryborough corps gave us a roast dinner and we told them our stories, and taught them balloon animal and face painting skills.
No BBQ on Tuesday either. But KidsGames was getting better.
On Wednesday afternoon, after a morning of Kidsgames we went to Castlemaine for an afternoon of facepainting and games with the Castlemaine kids. Getting a set of drumsticks painted on his face was Andre! He used to go to my church a few years back, we didn't expect to meet up in central Victoria in such circumstances! I painted a drum on his other cheek, he had band-practice that night, but that was after he cooked the sausages for us all. Another Barbecue!
Thursday afternoon (after another busy afternoon at KidsGames) we went to Bendigo to play with and paint on more kids. For once we had them outnumbered! Feany was impressed by the recording studio and digital video set-up that they have at Bendigo Salvos. If only Bendigo was in Qld, they would have the perfect opening for him! A youth leader with experience in media production! After the game, and a tour of the facilities, we had barbecue! Not sausages for once, it was hamburger meat. It was good to have a change.
Friday was the last day of KidsGames, pool day, water play day, and closing ceremony. Hope we brought a little light and joy to some dry, dusty kids. After pulling down the marquee, and packing everything away, there was another barbecue, a thank you by the organisers to all who had helped. Unfortunately by then we were already well on the way back to Melbourne.
Saturday morning started with pancakes, fruit salad and scrambled egg breakfast at the YWAM base, followed by a session of praise and worship and reports from various More Than Gold teams. Inspiring. We did okay. But there was no Barbecue.
Sunday morning at Carrum Downs Salvos. After the service we did a de-brief, but before that, more barbecued sausages! A sleepy afternoon, then off the Waverley Salvos to say good bye to some great new friends. Oh, and another Sausage sizzle...
That was a worthwhile and well spent 2 weeks away from the useless neccessity that is my job. But today is Monday, and life is back to normal... tonight we played a very close game of volleyball, narrowly going down in the third set. But things were a bit different at Volleyball tonight. What was that smell? Yes, as a fund raiser the Volleyball Association were having a sausage sizzle.
I had to have one.

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