Our team had a field trip today, to another city library two hours' drive away. The van ride over was pretty bumpy, frustrating any attempts to catch up on sleep after a restless, wild-weathered night and an unfeasibly early wake-up time (6.30am).
The library building was quite impressive - it looks quite like the Wellington Central Library but bigger. The day's tour also included a rundown of their Summer Reading Programme; a walk through their impressive archives rooms and computer room; and visits to their mobile library (it has a couch at the back!) and a branch library. It was obvious that they had more money to play with than we did, even taking into account that the population of the city is more than twice that of the city our library is in.
By about 3pm, the affects of sleep deprivation started to really affect me - my eyes were just begging to be allowed to close and stay that way. I was also worrying about getting away in time so that I wouldn't be late for my mother's birthday bash. I will always be grateful that no-one tried to persuade me to do my share of the drive back - grateful for as long as I remember, anyway.
The Eightieth Birthday
It was actually a lot more fun than I'd expected. We had a booking at a small northern Chinese restaurant known to be frequented by the likes of Peter Jackson and the Chinese Ambassador - we ordered heaps of food and everyone seemed to approve of the quality of it. My little nephew made a game out of "tunneling" under everyone's chairs around the table, popping his head up to greet whoever's knees were in front of him and disappearing as soon as a digital camera came out of an aunt's bag.
It was the first time any of the aunts and uncles had met my boy, and I was pleased that they seemed to like him despite his lack of Chinese ancestry. One aunt told me he was hot stuff (though not in those words) and that our future children would be very attractive; my uncle, a smoker like the boy, bonded with him outside over a couple of cylinders of the toxic weed. My wee niece was everyone's plaything; they were all falling over themselves to give her hugs and kisses and make silly faces at her.
It was all quite cool, really.