I found out a couple of weeks ago that a bunch of relatives are coming over from Hong Kong for a visit - my uncle (my mum's brother), his wife and my aunt (my mum's sister) have taken advantage of some cheap airfares to come to New Zealand. So they're stopping off in Auckland to visit another aunt and the four of them are coming to my hometown to visit my mother.
It's going to be a houseful of seventy-somethings.
My brother was complaining that they could've chosen a more convenient time to make the journey; he's an architect and in the middle of the busiest time of his working year. For me of course, there are only two three-week periods of the year in which I'm not juggling full-time work with part-time study; this is not one of those times. Still, it would be nice to see them, and we'd be bad hosts if we didn't at least try to spend as much time as possible showing them around the place. For two of them it will be their first time ever in this country.
It was a revelation to realise that they are all here to celebrate my mum's eightieth birthday, something which the birthday girl herself denied wanting to doing anything about.
My brother has arranged a late lunch meeting at my mum's house today, to work out among the three of us how we are going to keep everyone entertained. Perhaps I'm paranoid, but I interpret it as a meeting to bully me into doing the bulk of the driving. I should have told him that the two of them could just work it out themselves and let me know later - that's what they usually do anyway.
Unfortunately, the boy isn't going to be around much of the time - he's going overseas for ten days to visit his wee daughter. So not only will I miss his support, but the rellies aren't going to get to meet him.