Like an addict I can’t wait to get to the airport early in preparation for my homebound flight. Check in takes 30 seconds in the queue and a minimal 3 minutes to confirm I have packed my bag myself, have nothing flammable or otherwise likely to explode, yes I requested a vegan meal and here is my little plastic baggie of liquids and gels. Departure dutifully tax paid, and then the fun begins.
My first taste of wireless internet after laboriously navigating email on other peoples’ oh so slow dial-up, for days (it hasn’t been an out and about, sitting in cafes kind of visit). The Wellington Airport log on speedily hits my browser and we are off and flying. Bloglines, Facebook, mail, gmail - my daily ritual on hold for 4 days. It’s like a dose of caffeine bolting through my system. The connection is fast and plentiful, unlike Melbourne International where the seat you choose to sit on is the difference between getting any service at all or a lukewarm dribble.
Ah Wellington, how I love you. The sun has come out at last and I am staring at my familiar MacBook rather than the azure patch of water across the anorexic strip of runaway.
I’ll be back again in less than 7 weeks. I’m amassing all-weather possibilities to amuse my Aussie partner with when he joins me after Xmas. There are lots of walks to be explored – the bridle track above the Ngaio Gorge (with the convenient organic store and café at the bottom for refreshments), one up through the hills near the sea at Island Bay past the house where my mother and father first met at a party and perhaps even the Pencarrow Lighthouse or Butterfly Creek (is there still a walk over there?). There is the ferry to Days Bay, which I associate with lots of booze and a just pregnant Pixie many years ago (fortunately a fine young man has since developed with no foetal alcohol syndrome what so ever). A pilgrimage to Makara, where I once almost drowned in the sea if it wasn’t for the swift action and strong arms of my sister’s then boyfriend (David if you are out there, I thank you!). It was also the site of an extraordinary first date, a picnic up in the hills with a view across to the South Island – he made quiche and I, a thermos of brandy and freshly squeezed orange juice on ice. There is art of course, for the inevitable foul days – the Dowse, the city gallery, Pataka in Porirua. My father wishes to drive out to the middle of nowhere, Otaki Forks, though his days of doing the Southern Crossing are well and truly over (and mine remain highly unlikely). But what else can I do to amuse the visitor – who may love to eat and drink or equally, could be vegan and tea total at the time (the joys of loving a Gemini, you have a brand new relationship with the same person, many times over)? If the imbibing version comes to Wellington there is the classy architecture of the St Johns bar and a bar crawl around the waterfront. But I need to plan for all contingencies.
The voice on the tannoy suggested I should have cleared customs by now, so it is time to put the laptop back to bed and gather all my documents.
Home soon, but just what home is that?