I went to the hair salon this morning, an appointment that I had timed to be two weeks before I was due to fly to Auckland for a special occasion. Thanks to NZ’s Delta outbreak, that event won’t now be happening over the first weekend in December, but I still had the haircut (somewhat to the DB’s surprise!) as I needed it. As she now knows all about it, I can reveal that we were supposed to have been celebrating Kari’s big birthday.
Tom had begun making arrangements as far back as last January. He felt that, rather than a big party, Kari would prefer a get-together with a group of her close friends for a relaxing weekend by the beach, and he’d managed to find a fantastic beach house on the coast north of Auckland, in a spot that she loves. He’d invited a group of around ten of us to come for the weekend of her birthday in early October. A couple of Irish friends from Sydney were meant to be there as well as me from Nelson, and the rest of the girls are Auckland-based. It was all to have been a big surprise for her.
Of course, with the lockdown that started in August, the October booking had to be put on hold, and Tom re-booked it for early December, hoping everything would have opened up by then. But it was not to be – an announcement was made yesterday that Auckland’s boundary will open (for double-vaccinated people and those who return a negative test 72 hours prior to travel; spot checks and a fine of $1000 for rule-breakers) on December 15th. I’d hoped that perhaps the rules for Aucklanders regarding house bubbles and so on might have been relaxed a little earlier, meaning that at least the Auckland-based ladies would have been able to go ahead with the plan, but Tom messaged late tonight that the house is no longer available. What a darned shame; he’s put so much effort into this. Next year...
After my haircut, the DB and I went to have brunch at our currently-favourite café. He’d told me to meet him at the boat, but when I got there he wasn’t around, which I found puzzling. Thinking perhaps I’d got the arrangement wrong, I drove to the café – not there either. Went back to the marina, where I eventually found him emerging from someone else’s boat, having been having a guided tour. Honestly, the pontoon on which our boat is berthed is really more of a salty old boys’ club than anything else. DB tells me it’s the envy of the rest of the marina, because it’s so sociable. They spend more time on each others’ boats, swapping yarns and fiddling with wiring, shackles and so on than they do on their own boats.
Having consumed our eggs, bacon, spinach and rostis, we went our separate ways – he to fit a new rod holder and me to find a birthday present for young Ronan, who turns twelve today. In the evening, we went round to J & C’s place to deliver the gift to the birthday boy, who celebrates this milestone birthday in 2021 with a new rite of passage – he can now get a CoVid vaccination, and is required to wear a mask in public places. Mum will be whisking him off to get his jab from her colleagues (she’s a nurse!) tomorrow. But in meantime, he seemed pleased with his book and tee-shirt, which fitted him perfectly and looked very good on him. He also got some chocolate and a bag of crisps, which Uncle Nicky told him were strictly for eating in bed under the covers, to his delight and faint parental dismay. Uncle Nicky has always been rather a trial, that way….
Oh yes, the hastily-snapped image. The cactus plant is flowering; blips of it in other years seem to have been in December, so I’m not sure if it’s come out earlier this year. The 2019 offering is virtually identical, hence the title!