A Birthday Adventure and Clive

It was once more round the sun for me over the weekend.

This was meant to be the obligatory photo of me blowing out my cake candles. Unfortunately, Colin discovered the cake whilst it was cooling; he’s rather partial to carrot cake/cake/just food in general. The Chef was not happy.

I can vividly remember, in my younger years (yes, THAT long ago), rolling my eyes at my elder’s claims they wanted nothing more than a family get-together to mark another year passing. “Yeah, right!” I’d think, mentally leafing through a birthday wish list to rival War and Peace for length. Yet here I am, just one global revolution off what is quaintly referred to as a landmark birthday, frustrating my loved ones by uttering just those words. What’s more, I mean it.

Of course they didn’t take me at my word and there was a nice little pile of ribbon bedecked goodies to open on the prestigious morning, plus a salvaged bit of cake to follow my breakfast in bed, but the best bit was they had an adventure planned. My sort of adventure…

Revisiting the beginning of last year’s Union Homestead School for Colourful Thinkers field trip, we travelled 125ish kilometres through our gorgeous backyard to once again to partake of the homegrown, quintessential-kiwi-at-it’s best goodness that is Barker’s of Geraldine. Sure, it’s a long way to go for Eggs Bene and a slice of Coffee Walnut cake but birthday adventures aren’t always sensible.

Oh, the stories that were told and the memories rehashed (and possibly reinvented) – the best birthday present!

We then followed the recommendation of a great many people (“you guys will love it!”) and backtracked to Mayfield to visit the huge, diverse, full-on second hand/antique/curio shop, Overflow.

No words I could come up with would come close to describing Overflow. Rooms and outbuildings and more outbuildings and yards and housefuls of stuff. Have a wedding to go to? You could find an outfit for every guest, the happy couple and attendants, a toastmasters book circa 1970 to aid with speechmaking, enough crockery and cutlery of a standard suitable to grace any banquet table, a reel to reel tape deck and handicam to record the event, and an appropriate gift as well. As it was, we came away with some pretty crockery, a curtain rail holder thingie, and a pitchfork; we were very happy with our haul.

Then it was back home to squeeze in a takeaway from Satkaar, our local Indian restaurant, and a glass or two of a local pinot gris while supervising the newest addition to the Homestead whirr rather haphazardly but enthusiastically around our feet – because nothing makes you feel more pampered than someone/thing else doing the chores.

Firstly, I must quickly address the elephant in the room: Clive was not one of the ribbon bedecked goodies I unwrapped that morning (because unwrapping a vacuum cleaner , even one as personable as our handsome Clive, on my birthday would not make me smile). Rather, this is the beginning of a new Homestead initiative in which we invest in some well-researched, reliable, labour saving devices to free us up to actually Homestead.

I would thoroughly recommend those in the same boat investing in one of Clive’s contemporaries but suggest you do as we did and bestow a name and personality on it. You see, it has taken Clive a while to decode the Homestead floor layout and were he just a collection of plastic, electronic voo doo, and removable dust compartment I would get mighty sick of him messaging me to rescue him from under the sofa…again.

Instead, when my phone bings I smile fondly, drop what I am doing, and thump up the stairs yet again because…well, he’s Clive.

And he’s learning! Today was his fourth day unsupervised and he only got stuck twice!

6 thoughts on “A Birthday Adventure and Clive

  1. Clive sounds a most interesting addition to your household, will look forward to hearing how it all works out. Glad you had such a wonderful birthday outing. Belated best wishes from one who has already been there.

  2. Happy Belated! Looks like a fabulous family day, exactly the right sort of birthday. Been there with the dog who thinks the cake is for them…gingerbread houses in my case, but no doubt similar emotions are brought on. Barker’s…I follow a couple of other South Island folk on socials who also laud this wonderful maker of all preserves. The vintage shop sounds amazing, and worth an outing all by itself. I had/have ambitions for a cousin of Clive to join our family when we moved to the new house in December…but it was not to be. He decided he was fine with vacuuming the old fashioned way (despite needing a lesson in how to use the machine we’ve had for 25 years, lol), with the proviso that the money not spent would go towards a heat pump for providing air conditioning in the summer. I was beguiled, and indeed we are enjoying a delightfully cool house whilst the sun bakes everything outside. And vacuuming is happening from time to time, so there’s that. Maybe someday.

    • Thanks, it was a fun birthday adventure. Someone else putting their hand up to vacuum is domething worth celebrating. To be fair, folk around here were happy to vacuum but not always when I wanted it. Frustrating!! Hooray for the cool house…a good trade!

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