Last night we all went to the Wellington International Ukulele show at San Francisco Bathhouse and got home ever so slightly late for a Sunday night, after much singing along to “Africa” and “Sweet Child O’Mine” (works surprisingly well as a happy cheery folky song) and everyone’s favorite “Heartache”. This morning when I got into work one of the other girls had seen it too and we spent a long time discussing whether their rendition of “Push It” had worked—I felt they had the lyrics down well but the ukes needed a little more oomph, personally. (We did agree that we very much enjoyed the bass player’s shiny gold sequined shirt, though).
Of course before this conversation happened our whole office building had to evacuate for what we thought was a fire alarm but turned out to be…an anthrax scare. I still can’t get over it. We never found out the details because we all just went for coffee instead of waiting around the car park, but later we heard all these rumors about it actually being chalk dust or some nonsense. No idea.
I didn’t much care though, as long as everyone was safe, because I had very exciting Cuba Street lunch plans with none other than my old flattie A. You remember A! She of pasta and nature shows on the couch, who moved away to Vancouver last year when I went back to the States and whom I have missed very much this year. She’s back home for a couple of weeks before heading off to Switzerland (I know) and so it was that we met up on Cuba Street as she’d just rolled in from Whanganui.
Just as you’d expect, it was like we’d never been apart. I was hit with this big wave of nostalgia, seeing her, thinking about our little bachelorette flat that first year and a half, about all the talks we’d had and all the pasta we’d eaten on the couch together in our uniforms of black yoga pants and black singlet tops. Of course we’ve kept in touch since February 2008 so it’s not like we were completely ignorant of what was happening with each other, but I can’t quite explain how deeply satisfying it was to see this gorgeous amazing woman sitting across the table from me at a café. I think it’s really true, what people say, that you never really lose the good ones, no matter how far away from one another you may be.
Sentimental musings on the nature of friendship aside, I spent the rest of the day wrapping stuff up at work and reenacting the Orchestra’s rendition of “Jolene” (with sweeping hand gestures) for those who had not been fortunate to be at the show last night, and then whoa, hey, day was over and I was officially on holiday! I celebrated by going to the Warehouse for last minute pre-trip errands and meeting Eric for dinner, where we chatted about neurology, behavioral processes, feedback loops, and materialism, until it was time for me to flat-out sprint for the bus so I could go home and pack. As I was walking home from the bus stop I passed this four-piece brass band, in uniform, playing “Silent Night” as the late summer sun went down on the other side of the hill.
Rachael was baking Christmas cupcakes when I got home and Yasmin had put the pictures from last night on Facebook and I ran around for a while packing various heavy books and board shorts and my bikini for my fabulousCoromandel Christmas holiday, about which I have been thinking and talking since, like, September, and for which I have to get up very early tomorrow to make my plane. I should be sleeping right now, in fact, but instead I have been writing this entry and updating Facebook and Twitter and buying tickets to see Neko Case in January.
So it’s the end of the year, now, and it’s time to go away for a little while: beach, bach, barbecue, a dive in the marine reserve, lovely and gorgeous weather (I hope), lovely and gorgeous friends (I know), and time to relax, to let it all go, to let it all wash away and to go into the new year with a different frame of mind and a calmer sense of peace.
If you’re celebrating holidays right now I wish the same for you: peace, calm, perspective, everything that gets close to the centre and lets us see clearly. I hope the same thing for all of us: that we can let go what we need to let go, and hold on to what we need to hold onto.