Today was spent in a whirr of activity. We're packing. So far it's going suspiciously well. Our bags look well under weight, but I cannot believe this will last. What have I forgotten?
Although the day has been hectic, it has had good moments. I was up with the larks (do we have larks in NZ?) to meet up with my lovely housegroup at Tomato in George Street. This may be the last time we all get together: by the time I return, Jane will have headed down to Wellington to become Deanette (her word, not mine) of the Wellington Cathedral. We struggled to find a time to meet - Sue was away for most of the week, and most evenings seemed to be occupied for someone. So we met for breakfast. Being out of the house and alert at 7am (I'm often walking the boys at this time, but that doesn't call for alertness) was a novel experience. But we all managed it:
I explained, during the photo-taking session that in my family we always took a Serious Photo where Sternness and Don't-Mess-With-Me attitudes were required. And you wouldn't mess with this lot, would you (especially Sue!):
Jane, of course, being a 7, doesn't do Serious.
Other friends I've been catching up with over the last week, do serious in photos very easily:
Actually, Gordon was saying "you're not seriously going to take a photo, are you?" Gordon and I have lunch every Monday and I will miss our conversations about food, books, movies, DVDs, church and the on-going debate about Game of Thrones (he loves it, I hate it).
Susan is my friend of more than 20 years, and I love the Saturdays when we meet up at the Elm for lunch. Susan always has the kedgeree, while I experiment with different dishes.She always has a glass of wine, but I know my Saturday would be over if I did the same.
Another person we will miss very much is Pete, who comes for dinner most weeks, and who brings new words, immense knowledge about the natural world, always interesting conversation, and pistachio nuts to the dinner table.
No, I don't know what they're doing here.
And we have happy times out at his place in the Pohangina Valley, where he makes a mean scone, and we get to sit on the porch and talk about Moomins and watch the wood pigeons.
This photo was taken on a sunny afternoon with Pete in the valley - and Robbie (another good friend from way back who is now living in Norway) joined us that day.
Pete's blog and photo blog are listed under the links on this blog. Check out his beautiful photos of the Valley.
These are the friends I see most weeks and will miss while we're away - and who it will be lovely to come home to.