Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The visitors arrive
Von and family arrived from the shaky isles last night: A family reunion that we were all looking forward to. It was particularly good because Joe was also with us this time. Paul was in England, though. Paul does a great job of livening up our family gatherings with his constant flow of extraversion and out-loud thinking so I have sometimes wondered how we would go without Paul. But we did fine. The chats flowed constantly. There are some pretty verbal ladies among us -- including Von. Von was really quiet as a little girl but she is as talkative as her mother these days. She has interesting things to say too.
So we had a BBQ lunch today put on by Jenny, using her new bells-and-whistles BBQ. Not so long ago a BBQ was a sheet of steel over a fire but these days it is an outdoors gas stove. And Jenny cooked barramundi for us all on it. So we now know that the BBQ can cook fish too.
Big Susan was there with her two but little Susan was at work so could not join us. Anne had a class at that time so could not come. Nanna was there -- our own nonagenerian and with all her wits still about her.
We talked a lot about NZ and Von's life there but in the absence of Paul I don't think we said much about politics. I mostly listened. One great topic however was my diet and Joe's role as a hard taskmaster. That did evoke some amusement. Everybody was however impressed to hear that the weight is already coming off and that my fitness has noticeably improved. Joe has appointed himself as my personal trainer and I really need that. I had got to the point where I could only just get up my front stairs. Everybody was amused to hear that instead of my usual sausage and egg breakfasts, I now have only all-Bran.
The kids were amusing as usual. Matthew sat next to me at one stage and I gave him a heavily buttered bread roll to eat, which he really got into. The boy likes butter. Hannah just lounged around mostly, looking like a perfect languid lady. Her mother was a born lady too. I used to call her "Lady Von" and sometimes still do. Von and I always got on well so that is the main reason I shout them the occasional trip across the water. She has an ideal lifestyle in NZ but not much money.