We went away at the weekend. Not far, just down to Robertson for a 40th birthday party, one of the last now we’re closer to the other end of the decade. A bunch of friends on a pink pass.
Road trips usually involve me being in the passenger seat as Rory is likely to start shouting “watch out” and “what did you do that for?” if I’m driving, which makes me want to stick the keys in his left ear and sends me into such a complete anxiety meltdown that it’s best we just don’t go there. I nap instead and admire the scenery. Like Nana.
After we’d narrowly avoided rocking up to the wrong address and freaking out Fred and his elderly wife Rita across the road, we turned into the farm, our beautiful afternoon venue. The first person I see is in a dress; the second, in a dress. Oh shit they’re all dressed for a wedding and I’m in ripped jeans and an off-the-shoulder peasant blouse. I do however, have a very large hat, which is kind of wedding. Ish. I put it on.
The best strategy for inappropriately-dressed anxiety is to don an attitude of overt confidence and down a glass of champagne, at which point lunch arrives and we all sit French style along two beautiful white clothed tables strewn with cottage flowers under a marquee. It turns out I’m not inappropriately-dressed after all, or maybe I don’t care any more.
We’re surrounded by spring gorgeousness, “oh, it’s such a low maintenance garden” sings the apparently effortless Denise, our hostess. I ask her if she’ll come and do mine in similar low-maintenance fashion. She doesn’t seem too keen on the idea, but she does tell me the house is for sale which I contemplate at length. Rory looks nonplussed. “What would I DOOOOOO?” He muses in a slightly panicked tone. “Ride your bike up and down cardiac hill, trade and play golf.” He’s not convinced.
The afternoon parties on, the dancing begins, the birthday boy is on the tunes deck, the birthday boy’s wife is gyrating with a grin bigger than the view and a champagne in her hand. She’s left her three kids behind too and lovin’ it.
I start talking to a couple of twenty somethings who look like they’ve stepped off the pages of Instagram. One has, as it turns out. She’s a fashion blogger and married to the guy in the tucked in T-shirt, beltless baggy jeans and a pink cap. She says he looks like a bum and he’s the founder of a well known street fashion label. She gives me a lesson in Snapchat and asks why I’m so inquisitive about ‘online.’ “I’m a blogger,” I say, she looks bemused. I feel old.
More friends turn up, we sit in a circle and chat like old people. Someone keeps filling the glasses. Vidge is telling us all about his fat and carbohydrate management whilst hoeing into a beer and a slab of runny brie. None of the boys want to dance.
We migrate en masse to the Robbo pub where it all turns really messy. There’s a ring on a string that has to be thrown onto a hook. It’s the source of much showboating, hilarity and one embarrassed local with a sore nose. Birthday boy’s wife shimmies over to where we’re having dinner, says in her loudest voice “Tea? Fuck, why are you drinking tea?” and gives us a shoulder masssage.
It’s bedtime, we retire to The Robertson Country Motel. It’s way overpriced at $130/night but clean. If my pillow had any more stuffing it would be a wafer. The following morning they can’t remember how much they’d charged us. Later that morning they call us again to see whether we’d paid at all.
Driving home we take the scenic route and discuss once more whether we could live in the country. Maybe, just not yet.
Happy birthday Jeremy, and thanks to your lovely family and friends for a great weekend. xx
Some pic credits go to various partygoers
Where did you last go for a weekend away?