You know that it has been a good 'Bucks Night' when at 5am, you and the other three survivors of an epic that started at 1pm can be found dancing to ABBA in a bar on Oxford street that was unused to unkempt heterosexuals forming part of their rather flamboyant cliental. I don't know if we were relieved that we were not chatted up or our egos were damaged, but by 5.30 we had decided to call it a night and return to our unimpressed other halves!
It was a good end to a good day. The main event was a day on Gondwana, the Best Mans 33'ft yacht, sailing sedately around Sydney harbour, on a cloudless day, with 12 Of JJs friends supping on a never ending supply of VB lager. We returned to the Cruising Yacht Club for scoff as the sun was setting behind the Opera House and the bridge, and, aided by the happiness giving properties of lager, all felt very lucky. I don't think the comedians at the Comedy club we visited later felt so lucky, especially as JJ was on such good form by then! The downside was that our plans to sail in a race the following day as three of the 5 crew were 'not feeling up to it'.
By the time this blog is posted I will be able to work in Oz, and I now type away on plane flying over the snow capped mountains north of Christchurch and the Cook Straits. The whole visa thing has been a massive pain, has taken 6 months to complete and remains difficult right to the last, hence my visit to NZ. As I started the application outside Oz, I must get my visa outside Oz. Fantastic.
My trip has been a lovely break. For a start, Christchurch feels like a sedate village after 6 weeks in Sydney and remains a very nice place to be. I went for a jog along the river yesterday morning on a very clear, crisp day with the snowy peaks of Mount Hutt and the Alps as a background and once again understood what all the fuss to do with NZ was all about. I stayed with Colleen for the first night, who marvelously came to the airport at midnight to pick me up and give me a bed for the night. It was lovely to catch up again and we had a late night after a few glasses of wine and a good blether.
Last night I caught up with Lisa and James Marr who have just emigrated to NZ. Both are ex Brit Army, and James is now NZ Army and live in a very picturesque barracks outside Christchurch. Very bravely they emigrated before they had ever visited NZ and seemed to have made a great choice. It is cold in NZ at the moment, and the Marrs' quarter is a fantastic example of the Kiwi attitude to cold - put up with it. It seems to me that the weather is so good for so much of the year that the expense of central hearting, insulation and double glazing appears a little wasteful. I can see the logic, but w*** me when it's cold it's cold. Lisa had warned me, but I didn't take the issue seriously until I saw her put on a puffa jacket as she went into the house. Obviously the best way to deal with such a situation is to drink huge amounts of wine so a very pleasant evening was spent 'warming ourselves up' until about 2am when the cold no longer presented a threat. And we had run out of wine. Thank God. I am so glad it was not me who had to deal with noisy kids at 5.30 in the morning!
Jodie is still working hard and putting in long hours but enjoying it. I remain a house husband, making soup for the workers and cleaning loos. Wonderful. A job may be v close though but I do not want to count my chickens just yet. If it comes off I will be a happy man. And we will get a cleaner. J is also keeping up the running and the swimming and is improving every week. Pilates start tonight.
On the immediate horizon is the Sydney Half marathon on Sunday, where I will be unsupported by J as she will be at a Hens party in Brisbane. I do hope she behaves better than I did!
Finally, hello to Joseph, who is Jon and Mims Swifts brand new baby boy. Congratulations.