Betty’s almost entire family were up in Auckland this week to watch sister number five, Right-Angle Girl, have surgery. In between vigils, sister six (not a blogger) went out for breakfast with Betty and the husband person.
They began with eggs Benedict at Revel, and wandered around Karangahape Road, and then took the bus to Britomart and walked through the train station. Baggins (sister six) sniffed Christopher Brosius perfumes, examined vintage dresses and perused Scandinavian stationery with the best of them. After much walking, they popped into Raw Power and had a bowl of soup. Civilised, no?
Betty’s excellent sister Smokey had a baby. Here, the baby’s sister (known around the interwebs, as indeed in real life, as the Snortlepig) shares a cosy moment with her mother, admiring him. He’s two days old. Aren’t they all sweet?
Last weekend Betty’s niece, a formidable child, celebrated her third birthday. As Betty and the husband person were both on the invitation list, they tootled down to Hamilton and went slightly out of town to the Taitua Arboretum, a pleasant arrangement of ponds, fields, forest walks and gazebos. There they met the niece (who is variously known as the Snortlepig, Pig, the Dude, and sometimes by her actual name), the niece’s parents (Smokey the Magnificent and Information Highwayman), two sets of grandparents, a small array of aunts and uncles, and the Pig’s dearest friends, who – apart from the occasional baby – happen to be quite grown up. They gathered next to the pond to share a delightful picnic.
There was cake, made by Smokey the Magnificent and prodigiously up to snuff.
It was nommy. The Pig chased chickens and had a grand old time.
Betty has done many things since her last hurried post in the early hours of her wedding day: she has married the boy person friend, for one, but there has also been an array of other exciting things…
A lovely honeymoon in Queenstown, which may very well be the most beautiful place on earth:
She turned twenty-eight years old…
She celebrated Christmas in a cosy way with the husband person, and again in a largeish way with most of her family, at the zoo:
And, in one of the most exciting developments of recent times, she has taken three weeks off work, one of which is still to come, and she will assuredly spend some of it profitably, and catch up (more or less) on her blogging. To every thing there is a season.
Betty has a frightful cold in her throat, and so she is sitting up in bed drafting out her wedding service. The one that the minister gave to Betty and the boy person fiance needed a small amount of tweaking, not least because the couple whose service the minister used as a reference said their vows in Dutch after giving them in English, which would seem a little odd in this case, given that the boy person fiance (pleasing though he is) is not a Dutchman. Betty, therefore, has been googling the Book of Common Prayer with abandon (a more difficult task than one would think — the top hits always belong to a Jane Austen fan site, which, while it seems to have the wording pat, does not sit well with Betty’s instincts about reputable referencing).
So Betty took a short break to investigate one of the obligatory YouTube links: the wedding of Frederik and Mary of Denmark. Betty had forgotten how lovely the Danish language is — apart from reminding her of Garrison Keillor (always a heartwarming thing), it simply has a beautiful sound. What Betty did not know is the way this language simplifies even the stateliest of wedding ceremonies to its absolute essence:
[in Danish] Do you, Frederik André Henrik Christian, burble burble burble?
And not an overwrought, royal “Jah”, but the clipped “Jah” of an amenable small boy; sort of a Danish “Yup”. Quite beautiful.
Betty has been remiss, tardy, absent, lazy; a slacker, a vacant space, a write-off, indeed, practically, blogwise, the mistress of her own demise. It isn’t that she’s been sitting about painting her toe-nails (a family term for absolute slothful indulgence, though, Betty hastens to point out, she does indeed keep her toe-nails polished most of the time: people do it around here, it lasts for weeks, and anyway, it’s a free country). No, Betty has been far from idle: in addition to working like a crazy woman seven days a week, she has also killed a friend’s car, which she does not recommend. It was no good anyway and it died, barely a fortnight before its owner was to return from overseas, which Betty felt was a bit rich. She has made romantic train journeys to the home of her youth, which is lovely fun; she has lectured for half a semester and worn stockings every Thursday.
She has also become gloriously engaged to the boy person friend. In a scene too tender for the interwebs, but which Betty will say was most romantically devised, the boy person friend, his knee, and a sapphire ring colluded to steal Betty’s heart, and her wobbly eyes, the late evening light, and the expansive park all welled up joyfully and said yes.
And in all the excitement she has not blogged at all, but she plans to make amends.
Betty went back to the home of her youth on the weekend: always good for a giggle, don’t you find. While she was there, she had the privilege of viewing some of her small sister’s art. The child, as devoted readers will know, is a genius. Read it and weep.