Just after Christmas 7 of my favourite people and I travelled to a fancy mansion in the middle of almost-nowhere* to have a fantastically bourgeois time of reading, tweeting, lounging, croquet, woodfired pizza, & drinking**.
We had a day of rain, a day of blistering sunshine and a lot of in-between
(the boys took to the spa in the rain)
The mansion even came with pre-arranged wildlife.
The rooster decided that his favourite place in the world was right outside Craig & my bedroom window. It was not the best. Stupid rooster.
On New Year’s Eve we all dressed up fancy
Which quickly devolved into
But I think my favourite photo may be this one:
YES. I AM THAT SHORT AND I AM THE ONLY ONE IN HEELS.
No but actually
On the first day of 2013 as I lay in bed I tweeted
So a couple of hours later, Laura, Craig and I set off to walk to Waikawa Beach.
Not because it seemed particularly enticing, but because on google maps it didn’t look that far and the directions were ‘at the end of the Mansion House driveway, turn right. At the end of that street, turn left. Continue until you hit the edge of the country.’ Or, you know, something like that.
Incidentally? In the two weeks since this walk? I have been for 8 runs, 2 big walks, and to the gym (THE GYM) three times.
We walked and we walked and we walked. We guessed that the beach would be beyond each turn and rise in the road. We were always, always wrong.
Realising, with dismay, that we were probably only halfway.
BUT WE MADE IT EVENTUALLY.
Waikawa beach was not so much a Beach as a Stream. It was very disappointing.
Craig disappeared off into the forest. Laura called after him “don’t go too far” to which he replied “okay mum” THEN WE LOST HIM FOR HALF AN HOUR.
After climbing three hills in our attempts to find my wayward husband, and realising that Waikawa Beach didn’t even have a corner store at which to purchase something, anything to drink, we called back to the house and begged them to drive down and collect us.
The final day at Mansion House was grey and humid.
We spread cushions over the floor of the television room and drank whisky and watched Cabin in the Woods and Pitch Perfect. There was much excitement when Cobb the wandering Hund came to visit
We ended the holiday by attempting to consume all of the leftover perishable foods in the house and driving away in cars laden with empty bottles.
It was kind of the best holiday I’ve ever had in a teeny tiny town close to home.
* Manakau in the Horowhenua district. Otherwise known as the town that I did not know existed. Despite having driven through it countless times. I knew Otaki, I knew Levin, and in between? Manakau, apparently.
** there was a lot of day drinking. The day we started drinking whisky at 11am was a particular favourite.