Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Happy Birthday

I’m not sure when my birthday became a reminder of my mortality, rather than a celebration of my existence but one thing is for certain: they certainly seem to come round quicker as you get older.
That said, I think both Pat and myself were looking forward to our granddaughters birthday, even if she wasn’t that sure of what was going on.  That will be very different next March when she turns three, but we won’t be around for that one, so we made the most of this one.
James and Erica sensibly staggered her presents over the weekend, which started last Friday, her actual birthday. In the morning we caught the bus into the city, walked along the waterfront (always a favourite), hit the swings and joined the contents of a cruise ship who all wanted to ride the Wellington Cable Car, up above the city centre to the Botanical Gardens overlooking the bay. After our regular “fluffy” in the Rose Garden Cafe and a visit to one of the plant houses to count the goldfish in the pond there (another favourite), we caught the bus home. When Erica and James got in from work we piled into their new car, bought some fish and chips, and scoffed them on the beach, below Oriental Parade, with friends Angelee and Phil, along with their adorable Airedale, Dolly, and Phil’s parents, who are also visiting New Zealand, and live in Hertfordshire, just a few miles from our home in Welwyn Garden City.
Fish & Chips on the beach on Livi's birthday
More presents followed on Saturday and Pat and I went shopping in the afternoon and treated the kitchen to a new wok, which we still have to try out. Sunday was the big day, when she had her party. The theme was “The Gruffalo”, a popular children’s book right around the world it would seem. The cake was ... sensational, and I have included a picture of it, for it is a work of art, or rather was, as Livi ate the last piece earlier this evening. The day was a great success and it all went very smoothly, though the weather was showery due to the tail of tropical cyclone brushing past. All the children were roughly the same age as Livi, knew each other, and played happily, leaving the parents to chin wag.
The birthday girl and her "Gruffalo" cake
Pat and I bought her a buggy to push her toys around, and Pat got busy with a needle and thread on the run-up to the birthday and made her dolly’s carry cot,  pillows, blankets etc. Right old clever clogs is the First Mate, and just in case you had forgotten what we look like, here we are, still tanned a bit, but the autumnal weather has started to rear its ugly head and we are experiencing more dull and showery days.

Pat works her magic with a needle and thread
This weekend we are off to Nelson on the South Island to visit Vic and Val. I went to Junior School with Vic, and we bump into each other around the world regularly. He travels more than we do!

Vic has been banging on to me that Nelson has a great Ukulele Club, so I am taking my uke over and going to the meeting on Sunday afternoon. Nelson is my favourite town in New Zealand, so I am looking forward to seeing it again. The weather is always a bit better there as well, so we might get some sunshine.

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