I have been in Auckland, New Zealand for just over a week. I’ve come home for a family visit, a family wedding and a family baptism. As you will have noticed, family and Auckland are one and the same to me. Besides my immediate family, my boys and the odd cousin, all of my extended family live in New Zealand. This means many happy treks across “the ditch” for Hatch, Match & Dispatch occasions! Usually, I have some of my sons with me but not to be this time with work, study and money being the obstacles.
So a week ago, I made my way to the check-in desk of my favourite airline, Emirates, and crossed my fingers for what has become my customary upgrade to Business Class but not to be this trip. For the first time in my last 5 flights I would not be upgraded. It really didn’t matter because this is how the flight looked anyway!
After checking through my luggage, I cleared Customs & Immigration and made my way to the Mac makeup counter to stock up. Note to self: in future fix up menopausal mustache and beard before presenting yourself at the Mac Counter for a makeup trial! Oh I forgot to mention that I was carrying as hand luggage, an original painting by BossBoy, commissioned by the Bride and Groom, as a wedding present! Somehow, in the 100 metres between the Mac counter and the Coffee Club the painting went missing!! I retraced my steps but no luck … My panic grew as the minutes to board seemed to fly from 50 to 30 minutes. The complete lack of an information desk or visible security staff with which to ask for help was not helping. Eventually, it was located and returned to me via a couple of cleaners. My relief was great as I had envisaged it being blown up as a suspicious, unlabeled package commonly known these days as a bomb!
After an uneventful flight, I was met at the airport by my nephew and delivered to my sister’s. As my brother-in-law was away on business, we walked over to my Mum’s place for dinner. It was 2 years since I had seen her and she was looking great for 87 years. I was looking forward to her Shepherd’s Pie for dinner. Only a Mum separates your salad into another bowl so you don’t have to have to eat the onion or dressing that she knows you don’t like. Somehow, this same Mum had missed that I am not a big chili fan either … and she swore black and blue that she had only chopped a very small piece and then divided it between my small bowl and the other shared bowl! Well, after having my mouth burnt off and attempting to remove the few bits of chili – it became apparent that ALL the chili had jumped into my little salad bowl and not one piece had entered the other bowl! Great welcome home from Mum – lucky she redeemed herself by causing the comedy moment of the night. She somehow managed to break through the bottom of the container with her spoon when serving the ice cream! Now that is strength.
And so my family holiday had begun.
Next I was thrilled to meet my soon to be newest god daughter, Lowri Carter. This precious wee girl with her gorgeous red hair and porcelain skin, was baptised into the same congregation I was as a bub 58 years ago. I love being a godparent and still maintain a contact with each of my now, 8 godchildren who are spread all over the world. Their ages range from 36 years to 3 months and are equally important to me.
I have been doing a merry dance between my siblings and nieces and nephew’s homes for sleepovers, brunches, lunches and dinners out. Trying to catch up with everyone separately is something that I love to do because when you see everybody together you really see no one properly. The big get-to-gethers are for celebrating and having fun. It is especially great to catch up with my nieces and nephew’s who are all at different stages although with my own Boys only span a 10 year age gap. Some are single, some are new parents, some are soon to be married, some are deep in the grip of parenting and mortgage. All are a credit to themselves and their parents.
So onward to week 2 of my holiday. Tonight I meet up with 3 of my school and Teacher’s College friends for dinner. Only the second time in 30 years we’ve caught up, after I lost contact when I moved to Australia. We know a lot about each other from our wild teenage years and I’m looking forward to reliving some of the shared memories. Then on Saturday is the Spring wedding of my niece. SPRING!!! It is flipping freezing here – 9 to 15 degrees and my SPRING wedding outfit is not suitable!!!! Why did you not say WINTER when you meant WINTER people? Come back next week to find out what I wore and the fun that was had.
I’m off to Mum’s for the last 5 days and that means no internet – so detox it is. Hopefully it won’t mean more chili?