It was a matter of being up and away bright and early at 8.00am (just like the daily commuters on their way to work) for our trip to Featherston yesterday. As we left Levin it poured and poured with rain and we wondered if the bad weather would be following us all the way. Down the Kapiti Coast we travelled, over the Haywards Hill, back through our old stomping grounds of Upper Hutt, and over the Rimutaka Hill, with the weather clearing as we drove along. It had been quite some time since we had traversed the mighty Rimutaka Hill, and Robin commented on the fact that this was a daily truck drive for him not so long ago. This road can be quite a challenge, with slips, high winds, sleet and snow making it treacherous at times. No such problems today, though.
We were meeting our SLG friends for a double celebration. It was Anne’s 75th birthday, and also our last SLG outing of the year. Lunch was a Chinese Banquet at Chans, in Masterton. Dish after tasty dish was delivered to our table, and there was plenty for everyone. Anne and Les provided the wine and orange juice for the table, in celebration of Anne’s special birthday. A simple dessert finished the meal, with pots of tea to follow. I decided to try the Jasmine tea, and voted it nice and refreshing
Then it was back to Anne and Les’s home for the Christmas gift exchange, followed by coffee and birthday cake. We do things differently with the gifts, it’s not just a matter of taking a wrapped gift from the basket. Oh no, that’s much too simple. All the gifts are placed in the middle, and then a dice is passed around the group. The first person to throw a six gets to choose a gift, which they unwrap, and so on. But when the next person gets a six on the dice, they can either chose a new gift or perhaps they rather fancy what someone else has chosen. Some gifts are quite sought after and change hands rapidly, adding to the hilarity, and the volume of noise.
Coffee and cake followed. As Calvin and Anne share the same birthday, she invited him to cut the birthday cake too.
We were entertained by the singing Christmas trio of Santa, Rudolf, and Frosty. It took a wee while to get them all set up correctly, and then one after another they started singing in turn. Not quite up to “New Zealand’s Got Talent” standard, but very amusing.
Then it was time to say our goodbyes, and head off on our way home. We joined the homeward commuters travelling north up SH1, and caught a glimpse of Kapiti Island over the sea wall – finally arriving home at 7.30pm. What a long day, but a good day, out with friends.