Well, Christchurch was an interesting three days.
Grandmother, clothes swap party and camping trip were all better than expected.
Managed to deflect grandmotherly enquiries about My Life by blurting out things like "So what did you think of the elections," and "There's a cat in your garden," (there was) and, in desperation, "How far into the turkey do you put the stuffing," every time a sensitive subject was neared. It was pretty effective, although my mother was not overly impressed, particularly with the turkey query. It was totally relevant! I have to cook one at Christmas! Hmph.
(Incidentally, you shove the stuffing all the way up - the ribcage stops it. I know you were wondering.)
Camping was good - put the tent up properly first time! This is completely unprecedented in my family (and, to my knowledge, also in the families of everyone else I know, except for those weird outdoorsy type families. You know the ones. They have a bach and go skiing all the time). Camping was with my little sister, and we sometimes have a um slightly volatile friendship, but we managed to avoid all arguments! Well, until we were taking down the tent and, after I spent ten minutes rolling it up while Little Sister leant against the car and txt her horrid boyfriend, tent would not fit in tent bag. Well. It would, but tent bag wouldn't close when tent was in, and apparently that is a completely vital part of tent putting-away. (Bollocks!) So I said "All right, if it's so important that tent bag will close then you can do it because I am not going to do it again," and it was all downhill from there. But apart from that camping was good fun!
Clothes swap party was great – met Andrea’s friends (all of whom were remarkably pleasant), ate a lot of biscuits and snagged myself several nice items of clothing, including these pants which I am wearing right now. You can’t see them, but they’re there. On my legs.
We shall draw a veil over the things that did not go so well (family arguments and reunions that would’ve been better left as…non-reunions. Estrangements, perhaps. Nothing like a nice reunion to make you realise why you never see someone.) I also hate the way that a long weekend always drives home how insanely crazy angry your job makes you. It may be because I got up at 5am to get on a plane, but I keep feeling like I’m about to fall asleep on my desk and dribble all over my paperwork (best use for it). People keep saying “Oh, you look tired,” which we all know is just a polite way to say “Oh, you look like you have been dragged through a bush backwards.” Am going to a tea tasting evening tonight – joined the loyalty club of my favourite tea shop - and they will be giving us little edible nibbly things and hot teas and iced teas and their 'famous Christmas tea.' Tragically, all I am interested in doing is going home and sleeping.
I’ve decided that I am going to move to Christchurch. I know I have been swinging wildly back and forth on this, not unlike – I was going to make a political metaphor but I don’t really understand how swing states work – but I have Decided. Move home. Save money. Work is not a problem as I can sort myself with an agency while I’m still here, and start temping more or less as soon as I arrive in the Garden City.
So far announcement of moving plan has got mixed reactions; excitement (from my little sister and Andrea, who I like because they can always be relied upon to look forward to Me), tentative excitement (from my mother and other family members, who say things like ‘well that would be lovely of course but only if you’re sure it’s the right thing for you'), mixture of happiness and faint irritation (Sister Flatmate, who wants me to be happy but feels slighted), and total silence (Christchurch based group of friends, who will no doubt give me a mixture of enthusiasm and trepidation ("Yay, we can drink all the time!" "Are you bringing back that umbrella you borrowed?" and, my personal favourite from That Friend Who Thinks They Know Your Very Soul But Has Probably Forgotten Your Birthday Again, “Are you doing this for the right reasons?” This must be delivered with an air of suspicion and, when you reply with a firm "Yes I am," a "hmm" of total disbelief).
Am not sure how actual logistics of moving will work. Sainted Mother has offered to help but only as far as Picton, because taking her car on the ferry would be hideously expensive. Hideously expensive as opposed to, oh, I don’t know, getting a moving van? Hmph. Don’t know how much moving vans cost. Am currently trying to think of friends with vans who I might be able to bribe into helping me move – but I can’t think of any friends with vans that I want to be stuck in a van with for 8 hours.
Am off to get a midafternoon gelato with colleague as am running out of steam somewhat. I wonder if there is gelato in Christchurch? I may have to rethink this moving plan.