We were off the ship before 8am and caught a taxi home.
Straight away off a tangent, both taxi drivers to and from the ship were white Anglo Saxon males, yet the ones who have taken me to work at around 6am earlier in the year have all been from the Subcontinent or the Middle East. Taxi driver profile of times at work?
I washed four loads of washing as we were desperately short of clean clothing after two weeks cruising. We then caught the tram to Prahran to pick up pre ordered cakes for the following day's family celebration (three for $80 but they were so good), went to the chemist and bought a couple of things in the supermarket. Once home we fell into a state of exhaustion even though we had not returned home from a long flight, just a cab home from Station Pier.
Sunday, Club Officer is quite new and rather a good place for family celebrations, especially as it has a great child play area. In the lake just outside I saw coots, ducks and swans and some graceful big winged birds that I could not identify. All family attended, with the exception of Fire Fighting Nephew and his wife. Extras were two of Ex Sis in Law's husband's children including one of the daughter's twenty one year old partner 😜. He is slim and good looking but so sadly at his age, balding. He and his betrothed are just great with Hippie Niece's twin daughters. While one of them is ok with Auntie Andrew, the other one runs to Hippie Niece screaming if I go near her. Even R cannot not conquer her, and that is saying something.
We were dreading the lunch but it was actually quite good and relaxed. Over three hours we ate, drank very little, laughed, loved, chatted and took photos.
So, what was the family gathering about? Little M turned five on the 18th, R turned seventy on the 22nd and Mother turned eighty five on the 24th. Mother doesn't mind sharing birthday celebration with R, but she does not like the spotlight being off her for her great granddaughter Little M's birthday. Just bad luck Ma that she was born near your birthday. Anyway, Mother says that she won't be around for her 86th birthday. R says otherwise and that she will last ten years at least yet. I think he is right.
Sister has invited us to her place on The Bellarine at Easter, and Mother and ABI Brother will be there. The next big family get together will be for Hippie Niece's twin daughters' second birthday in April. Hippie Niece is on such a tight budget that she was scrounging in her purse to pay for her lunch yesterday, and then R gave her $50. Yet she has grand ideas of celebrating her daughters' birthdays. I keeping putting her expectations down, as that is what grumpy old aunties do.
R's sisters back in England sent him this bunch of flowers and his former workmate who he catches up with for brunch at times gave him this cactus bowl. Little Jo shopped for R's birthday in the international aisle of the local supermarket. Sister and Bone Doctor bought R a single malt bottle of Scotch. We bought Little M a made in New Zealand cotton tee shirt with cute kiwi birds on the tee. We gave Mother a birthday card and a nice but cheap box of flowers from the supermarket as a last thought.