Gathan Beaga


Back in Wellington after a weekend away, it seems hard to believe that yesterday I got some sunburn, and we had a barbecue. Air travel causes this weird disconnect, where I feel that the time away was simultaneously much longer in duration and longer ago then just this morning. It’s not helped by the fact that it’s raining again here, and another damp southerly is passing through. But down south in Central Otago these past two days Bella and I have had an amazing time.

We were on my parents’ farm. We were supposed to be down there for my brother’s 30th but it got postponed for a week (something that I suspect he’s regretting now that Otago apparently have a home semifinal next Saturday night) leaving Bella and I (Rosa’s a bit small for this sort of adventure, so she and Becky stayed behind) with unchangeable air tickets and no party to go to.

It couldn’t have worked out better.

I don’t ever remember weather that good in October, although it must happen. Bella didn’t really think of her mother and sister in Wellington once during those two days in the sun, as she tore about helping her Nana in the garden, feeding assorted animals (hens, donkeys, dogs, and her favourite, the pet lamb); kicking off shoes and running about on the lawn; digging up the garden with her new tractor; meeting her new baby cousin Eva; eating; playing with the dogs; observing the goldfish… and as for me, I was mostly trailing after her trying to get her to put her hat back on.

When it came time to go home it was all a bit of a let down for her. “I don’t want to go back to Wellington” was all we heard from the back seat on the way back to the airport this morning, until it faded into sleep.

I felt a bit the same. But it’s only a couple months until Christmas.