Well, the plan for this weekend was to go into town yesterday morning and do some last minute convention shopping, then to meet lytteltonwitch for lunch to discuss a few last minute details, and then the rest of the weekend was to be devoted to getting the house cleaned up for the various visitors arriving next week. All that was changed when, just as we were about to go out the door yesterday morning to go shopping, the phone rang. It was my brother – they were in town for the day, and wondered if they could come and visit. I haven’t seen them for ages, so of course I said yes, and we abandoned the shopping plans.
Brother, sister-in-law, and the two kids arrived a few minutes later. They were on their way down to Oamaru, to visit sister-in-law’s parents (it’s her father’s birthday next week), and were talking about getting a motel for the night before they drove down there, so, by now resigned to the fact that our weekend was going to be totally rearranged, we invited them to stay here. It meant a bit of juggling working out where they would all sleep, but luckily ORNOT still hasn’t picked up the gear he left here when he moved out, which included a spare mattress. So that plus an air-bed plus the couch provided enough bed space for everyone (just lucky that the boys are still small enough to top and tail comfortably!)
By this time, it was nearly lunchtime, so I suggested they all come to Trattorie with me. We walked through the park and had a brief stop at the playground on the way, then went and met lytteltonwitch and had lunch. Lytteltonwitch said she’d talked to the manager of Trattorie, and he still wasn’t keen on opening on Easter Monday for us, even though we could guarantee 25 people coming, so we decided to abandon that plan and instead go somewhere that would be open anyway, and just forget about the OCZ (if people really want to visit it, and are still in Christchurch on the Tuesday, they can go then). Lytteltonwitch volunteered to visit a few cafes in Riccarton and find out which would be open over Easter, and book us in (in the end she chose Piranha’s, which is near the Aalton Motel where a lot of the Australians will be staying). So that’s the last detail for the convention sorted out. Lytteltonwitch had a few books to pass on to me too: Mum by Stevan Eldred-Grigg and Mr Brightly’s Evening Off and The Quiet War of Rebecca Sheldon by Kathleen Rowntree
After lunch, we wandered back through the park, and nephew#1 spotted the little waterfall they’ve landscaped in above the duckpond. He wanted to have a look, so we climbed up to the top, and found some children paddling in the little fountain that is the source for the waterfall. Of course, then both boys wanted to paddle too, so stripped off shoes and trousers (the kids did, anyway – we adults settled for just taking off our shoes! 🙂 ) and spent a happy half hour playing around in the fountain. By the time they’d had enough, the rest of their clothes were pretty wet, so we headed back home to dry off (by this time, nephew#2 was too tired to walk any further (he’s only nearly 2), so my brother carried him on his shoulders – which would be fine except for the by this time very damp and muddy nappy nephew#2 was wearing… now that’s what I call fatherly devotion!)
Once we got home, we went and got a rotisserie chicken and some bread and bits for dinner (and I was able to dash into the Warehouse and buy the last bits and pieces I wanted for the convention), and spent the rest of the evening eating, drinking, chatting, and watching videos (the kids were very impressed to discover that we have videos of Pingu and Rhubarb!) It was getting very late by the time we finally got the kids settled down in the spare room (which I *thought* I’d baby-proofed, but nephew#2 still managed to find some trouble to get into – a foam “stress-ball” I’d got as a promotional gift from a company we deal with at work was discovered this morning with large bites out of it – we still haven’t found the missing pieces, so I suspect they might appear in his nappy…), and even later by the time we’d all stopped philosophising and headed off to bed… and then of course got woken early this morning by kids who know nothing about daylight savings ending and the sleep in that should entail, and wanted their breakfast…
Anyway, it was fabulous to see them (though MrPloppy and I did both collapse with relief when they drove away to head down to Oamaru – not having kids of our own, you tend to forget just how much energy it takes being around them!), and best news of all, sister-in-law might be getting a transfer down to the Christchurch office next year, so they’ll be moving down here! Hope that works out, because it would be wonderful to have them living closer.
Right, I am now going to go and make myself a hot drink, see if I can coax the cats out from under the bed (where they’ve been hiding for the duration), pick out a good book from my TBR pile, and settle down to relax for a few hours… I think the cleaning up can wait.