So, How Was Your Holiday Mike?

A common and appropriate question to ask which normally elicits the standard response of, "It was great, very relaxing and we ... [insert activity list here] ... How was yours?" Unfortunately this year I can't give the expected response as the "holiday" wasn't really one I'd like to repeat in a hurry.

Now, before I crack into the whinging let me say up front that, on reflection, the elapsed time was mostly full of good or neutral stuff. However, the last memory I have the 2010/11 Xmas/New Year time off was one of non-relaxing.

By the way, stop reading now as this is one of those "written for the author" type post-ettes and has little interest and certainly no deep philosophical learnings for any one else. Unless you're thinking of going camping with people you don't know in which case my deep learning for you is - DON'T!

Christmas Day was fun, the kids had a blast and it was pleasant. Not a lot of pressies came to the growed up Riversdale's due to a cash-flow lower than the Dead Sea but that was fine as I'm still struggling to come up with any actual item I'd actually like to own ... a flash new Android phone would be nice but the iPhone is still working so no real need ... big TV is top of the list but again, no hurry.

And Boxing Day was back into the car and a drive from Christchurch (missing the big Boxing Day shake) up to Tom Canes Bay in Port Underwood. Luckily (and awesomely) Graeme not only helped put our tent up (as borrowed from bro-in-law) but in reality did all the work and within 30 minutes it was up.

Second night (28th) was ... interesting, as the big storm of 2011 came bashing through and demolished 3 tents, threw Zoe off her camp bed onto her sister and managed to create two indoor pools for us. We eventually decamped to the house on the section around 7am after a crazy Wellington-inspired night of wind. But hey, it was just weather and a little bit of fun camping experience.

The rest of the holiday was trips into Picton, fun on the boat, fishing (but catching nothing) and lazy days around the section or on neighbouring bays. New Year's Eve was as emotional as it always is for me except it was a lot shorter this time around - still the fireworks were nice. Sounds idyllic eh ... but our deep and never-to-be-forgotten learning is that it's not the place, the weather or the activities that make a holiday but the people you're with.

The camping fell into 3 distinct groupings for me - those I'd happily share a wet tent with again, those that I'd share a beer with again and those that I'd cross the road to avoid the gruntings. Luckily our inviters and family (the E-A's) are firmly in the first group, as were the Brown's. There are then a very large band of people, families and individuals that fall into group 2 or 3 - and that's where I'll leave it.

Of course I don't know where we'd others would place me/us but I'm sure Colin B smiles inside and thinks I'm a tad "adventure adverse" for not going out on the water during the time there. There's always tomorrow ...

Ferry out of The Sounds

We arrived back home last Friday after another wet Thursday at the camp and therefore loads of indoor times (thank god for DVDs and The Beast). The ferry crossing back was smooth as we sat and yarned over a book with some mates that were also coming back (parked right behind us, odds on that happening are?) A few nights of Meg joining us in bed hasn't helped the bed/sleep routine and it was only on Sunday eve that I had my first proper, deep, no nonsense sleep of 2011.

And then work on Tuesday.

To be honest I've had one catchup, a visit to a soon-to-be client (we hope) and that's it - thanks Sam for taking the hairy man into your meeting room :-).

As for 2011 ... I look forward to a holiday!

AND, the Rugby World Cup 2011!!!

[Updated: changed "Jones" to "Brown's"]


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