The days counting down to our anticipated long weekend away weren’t promising. Quite unwell with a throat infection, by day I tried to convince myself staying home and doing little was self nourishing, and by night I coughed. Neither the G.O. or I got much sleep. On Friday morning I dragged myself to work via a doctor’s appointment and pharmacy for dreaded antibiotics and cough mixture. But there was nothing else for it; despite rest and a repertoire of natural remedies I was getting worse, not better. I spent a bare hour at my desk preparing for 3 more days absence.
On the way home sitting in the train I thought to call the G.O. to tell him I’d escaped, noticed my phone battery was very low and my keys absent from my handbag. And concluded my mind also was absent. Trying to explain the situation to him briefly to conserve battery took quite some doing. We agreed as I had a spare key but no front door or lift swipe that I’d see if I could find the building manager or a neighbour home and get them to let me onto our floor. No luck.
I called the G.O. again and he reported he was on his way home but would return to work. I waited on a sunny bench in the park for an hour which did me no harm at all. When the G.O. arrived sanity had prevailed en route and he announced he was finished for the day. He considered packing the ute and leaving early for our drive north but lack of sleep and imminent peak hour traffic swayed him to get a good nights rest. We were in bed asleep by 7 pm.
But we were up and on the road early, crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge just after 3.30 am and by the dawn of my birthday were well along the highway. We stopped for BYO breakfast & cups of tea at a rustic roadside area, and made it to the M.I.L’s in less than 6 hours. After a brief chat with the M.I.L. and quick grocery shop we arrived home at Taylors Arm around midday to a messy garden that needed rain and a house that could do with a tidy up, but we were happy to be there to do it.
A couple of industrious hours and a well-earned shower later my birthday proper started with a glass of wine & opening of a cat adorned birthday card plus delightful, colourful gifts amassed by the G.O., and culminated in a seafood barbeque dinner.
On Sunday we pleasantly pottered, put up the Christmas tree and were visited by a Blue Tongue lizard and Soossie Cat. On Monday we had business to take care of in town, and the garden got a welcome few hours of enjoyable evening rain. All too swiftly Tuesday morning came around; time to head back to Sydney via a stop at Dad’s.
I had prepared for the drive which we have done super-numerous times, by downloading our first ever audio book onto my phone for the diversion of listening to Diana Galbaldon’s Outlander (#1) which I’ve read and we recently watched the TV series set in Scotland, enjoyed by the G.O.
At Dad’s we handed over his cakes, a bottle of his favourite oysters we’d picked up at Sandy’s Famous Seafood and a bag of Christmas gifts for the family. Dad handed over a card decorated with rubicund poppies (a flower loved by both Mum & me) in which he’d penned “sentimental 49th birthday wishes” accompanied by gifts of 2 old books; Mum’s Commonsense Cookery Book c 1963 and Nanna’s Advanced Commonsense Cookery Book -Mum’s handwriting on the flyleaf, a gift from Dad, Mum and me c 1968.
It was generous of Dad to confer these books to me. Mum’s Commonsense Cookery Book in particular bears the marks of being long used… and worrying evidence of contact with a stove hotplate!
The start of the final year of my fifth decade was simple, sentimental and splendid. My sister marked the occasion by sending me Kimberley Coffee Company teas she’d bought on her recent trip and a National Parks & Gorges calendar to tick off the months until my next birthday at which time all going to plan we will be on the threshold of stepping aside from our city-working-week-world into the next stage… of country living and caravan-on-the-road travels.