The Secret Diary of Adrian Petford Aged 39¾

Happy anniversary!

Posted in Uncategorized by Adrian Petford on August 3rd, 2009

Jet lag’s got me again, 3.30am and I was wide awake! Later I was delighted to see blue sky out of the window as dawn broke. It turned out to be a lovely day and I started in coat and jumper but could have easily ended up in a T-shirt, really warm. This is my first experience of New Zealand in winter. I am finding it much colder here than usual, when it is cold, but it’s very tolerable in comparison to winter at home!

It has been fantastic having my new netbook – a Samsung N110 – with me; in many ways it was an impulse purchase but I absolutely love it. It’s been so useful being able to keep up with friends at home and all the fun and games on Facebook!

Chris and I had some breakfast and then headed out to Manukau to pick up my hire car. I’ve hired from this place several times before and everything worked out really well. I have a lovely blue Toyota Starlet which I was able to get back into driving effortlessly having had them before. So far, I’ve been able to navigate around Auckland without looking at the map once, not bad considering I haven’t been here for four years. We stopped at a shopping centre on the way back. The sky was a glorious blue as an Emirates plane – which I think was EK406 that I was on this time yesterday – roared overhead, really low on approach to the airport. Hope they had a better flight than I did!

After lunch at my favourite kebab place it was time to head over to Steve and Cherie’s as I had been invited to their anniversary party; it’s ten years since they moved to New Zealand. Wow, ten years. I was their first visitor then and now I’m back! It meant so much to me to be able to be there.

It was a great feeling driving in and being greeted by Cherie, Steve and Chevelle. I still can’t quite believe I’m here to do this! They made a huge fuss of me and even Chevelle put her arms around me! What a lovely little girl she is. She remembered me from when I met up with them in Liverpool last year and I can’t believe how much she’s talking! I found out later it’s her fourth birthday party next weekend and I’ll be able to go. We had a brilliant afternoon, great company and full of laughs permeated by buffet snacks and awesome pizzas courtesy of Steve in full chef mode. I met a couple of their friends and their kids, reacquainted with the next door neighbours and it was particularly great to see Tania and Mike (Cherie’s sister and brother in law) again, with Max who was a lump in Tania’s tummy last time I was here! Chevelle had a great time riding her bike and playing with the other kids. There were zombies, monsters and all kinds of things going on! I loved looking at the new photos on the walls, of Chevelle, Steve and Cherie’s wedding and some new family photos, I found it quite overwhelming and emotional. My only regret from today is that I didn’t get chance to take any photos, but I’m sure Chevelle’s birthday party will make up for that!

By the evening people started to go, but I stayed until around 9.00pm. We caught up, watched some videos but I was seriously flagging by this point. Steve said I should go back to Chris’ while I was still able to drive, so I said my goodbyes. They both made a big fuss of me as I left and said how wonderful it was I was here again, especially as it had fallen into place at such short notice. I agree, not least because of them. They’ve done so much for me and bring so much fun and happiness into my life.

Overall this was an exceptional start to my holiday, what a brilliant day! Here’s to the next ten years…