Saturday 30th March
Congratulations are in order – today is Katy and Jeff’s tenth wedding anniversary. They have achieved a lot in their years together – four children, all born two years apart – a beautiful house in the forest, not far from the city, two years in South America, lots of friends, much love.
2XS had reached Gabo Island yesterday. I got a textmessage from Pete saying that all was well. We loved this remote little island when we sheltered there for the night on the way north in 2011. We arrived at dusk, and it was very cold and windy. What a joy to discover a sturdy little wooden jetty, with no signs on it saying KEEP OFF, and no rickety dodgy aspects. As we came into the little bay, there was a small family of whales leaping around the point. In the bay were seals diving off the rocks, and we had albatross overhead. An overwhelmingly Attenborough moment! We were able to go for a bit of a walk on the island, although it got dark very quickly so we couldn’t get to the caretakers cottage. But we were not alone – we had the company of several very friendly and curious cows, who ambled along beside us.
Last night Katy had asked me to keep the evening free to look after the children so that she and Jeff could go out for a friend’s birthday drinks. I was totally relaxed and prepared for this, and I tried very hard to get Jeff to change out of his shorts and into his gladrags so they could leave in good time. He was curiously reluctant to do this…and then suddenly, in the kitchen, were all three of my daughters, all dressed up and ready to take me out to dinner… I had to change my focus very swiftly – Jeff had told me my task was to watch Pirates of the Caribbean with Hamish and Leo. Instead of this, I was changed into going-out clothes and in a posh restaurant within minutes. I am sure I would have loved being on the couch with the boys and Johnny Depp but…going out to dinner with my darling girls was much better!
It was actually a momentous occasion for me. Jeff made a wonderful speech – brief but appropriate; we drank champagne, and off we went to a venerable establishment for our celebratory meal. I felt very honoured.
Well what did we eat, I hear you cry… two of us had perfectly cooked eye fillet with delicious and beautifully cooked veggies; the other two had a chicken dish which was curiously bland and tasteless with very few vegetables…
(This lack of veg on Claire and Katy’s plates reminded me of when Martin H went to the Revolving Restaurant with friends for a slap-up meal to celebrate his birthday. “I only want steak, no side dishes!” he said, determinedly. Kate tried to persuade him to order at least a few mushrooms but he was adamant. And…out came the meals, beautifully presented, all except for Martin’s which was – a steak on a plate all alone without so much as a potato of sprig of parsley. It cost something like $48; he was not very impressed…)