My sister came to visit a few weekends ago, her first adults-only visit since the birth of her daughter. She lives in the balmy north, but misses city life. She had a good excuse for leaving two-year old CJ with her father, having travelled south to attend a business seminar. I collected her from the seminar, finding her bubbling with enthusiasm from the stimulating and thought-provoking issues raised that afternoon.
We spent the first evening catching up. It had been five months since I’d seen her last, and we knew there would be some serious talking in the next few hours. We occasionally remembered to stop for a breath. It’s a family trait.
I’d planned a simple meal – a cheese platter to enjoy with the bottle of French champagne we opened in her honour, followed by fillet steak and Australian Shiraz. We didn’t have to drive, so we enjoyed a bottle of dessert wine with our citrus tart.
Without a toddler to wake her up, my sister slept in the next morning. Then shoe shopping, a priority in Wellington, restrained only by her budget. I had planned a special treat for lunch – whitebait – that took precedence over more shopping. A lazy afternoon, then elegant cocktails by the harbour, and a few leisurely hours again talking up a storm over a delicious meal at a good restaurant.
Unfortunately, the next morning meant an early start. The All Blacks versus Ireland. Victory was predictable, though never taken for granted. Then the weekend was over too soon, and we raced to the airport to send her back north.