I've just managed to have my summer holiday, by dint of being able to get Harvey's caregiver in to stay, and tacking one night with friends and two nights at Mt Maunganui on to a trip to Tauranga and a night with my sister Ruth for my birth mother's 90th birthday.
Mary looked wonderful - my sister Ann bought her a terrific new outfit, a very nice soft long-sleeved top in a beige and blue patterned crinkly material, and a longish skirt, also crinkly, in a lovely soft teal blue. It was all very easy to wear, but also smart and up-to-date. She wanted sparkly earrings and silver shoes, and Ann got her those too. She had two parties, a family one at the old homestead on Sunday, and a rest home/friends/Anglican Women one at the rest home on Monday (her church, Holy Trinity, sent a huge bouquet of flowers), and she enjoyed it all very much. I was able to be there for both parties, and she knew me and was pleased to see me, so that was all good.
And then I swanned off to the Mount. No car, I didn't need one - that was the whole point. I'd booked a small apartment - Absolute Beachfront - on the ground floor, but they upgraded me to a big one on the third floor! Fantastic. The best thing was the beautifully shady balcony - I sat out there for breakfast, lunch and dinner (the takeaway Turkish round the corner, eaten out there with a sensible mini-bottle of red, was infinitely better and cheaper than the mediocre offerings at the cafe next door). But the first night I went out to dinner with Beth. We started and ended with bubbly on the balcony, and we had an Italian waiter who looked exactly like a faun.
Because it was a grey morning on Tuesday, I even walked round the Mount, very slowly - not because I couldn't walk faster, but because I wanted to make it last. It's one of the loveliest little coastal walks in the land. I thought about my husband, and the son I still have, and the son I haven't had since he was 18. I sat on the seats commemorating Ashley, who died at 19, and Chris, who died at 18, and thought about their parents too. Then on Wednesday I came home and picked up where I had left off. But it was good, and I might well do it again.
The greatest writer of our time showed us that a large and generous heart is no impediment to genius, says *Peter Carey* Peter Carey -The Guardian, Satur...
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