Wednesday, 22 December 2010


While my compatriots shiver in sub zero temperatures back in old Blighty, we are tearing off layers and exposing flesh to the sun in New Zealand. After a few days of wet weather Tuesday broke through the sticky humidity with the kind of sky that makes you glad to be alive. My sister in law would certainly have winked a thankyou to Him upstairs as she hosted hordes of cabin fevered children for my neice's fifth birthday. We made the 10 metre journey from our house to theirs across the road (the husbands are brothers) where the tried and tested bouncy castle plus bubble machine formula triumphed once more. The lad wanted to wear his nylon Buzz Lightyear outfit. With the suit's plastic inability to breathe and the afro of curls on his head I thought he was going to pass out from heat exhaustion but he was clearly in the 'fashion is pain' camp so resolutely kept his costume on.

We trooped off to the beach in the afternoon to cool off in the surf then all back home for a quick shower before going to a 30th birthday party two doors down from the morning's shindig. Sitting in the warm air chatting to friends was a magical way to end the day. The birthday girl is in a band so had set up a little cabana with all their kit to belt out a few numbers. Most of our street were there. We are extremely lucky that we all know each other so well and enjoy each other's company. There are lots of young families on our street. We take in turns to walk to kindergarten, have sleepovers for the children and spend lots of time together in houses and gardens up and down our road. Entering a float in the Christmas parade has brought our community even closer. We live on the best street at The Mount.

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