It is two years since we moved to our apartment in Devonport, a village at the end of a peninsular across from Auckland, where ferries, tankers, cruise ships and yachts fill the watery divide. It is a moving spectacle. Daily, I look out at the scene thinking how lucky I am to be living here. I am also lucky to have met the people I have since arriving. On Sunday 1st December we held an early Christmas party, as is our custom, and invited many of them to our home, plus others we have known a long time.
Kerry and I happen to love hosting parties, as the work is perfectly divided between the two of us. He does most of the cooking, which I’m thankful for, as he is definitely the better chef and I, the one with the art-brain, likes to arrange the room, pop flowers in vases and choose my favourite ceramic dishes which will best suit the table. My desire is, to have the place looking, well, welcoming. Nice for our guests.
Our circle of friends is widening, since my husband joined the community garden, and we asked a few of the members along. It was nice mix of new friends and old. We knew the food was okay, as was our home, but what we couldn’t know, was whether this diverse group of people would get along. I did alright, with my glass of bubbly filled regularly, and everyone seemed to be in good humour. Several of my women friends are artists, but working in different mediums; watercolour, pastels, oils and collage. Some were also gardeners. No trouble with them mixing.
There were also writers: of memoir, children’s fiction, and Sci-Fi. Three from the writing group I’ve recently joined, and two men writing histories. Then there were readers, many in bookclubs, like me. I moved around, trying to be a good host, and my husband is pretty good in that area too. Oh, a husband of a new friend was in the film industry; my ears pricked up. He was working on a television series my daughter auditioned for the previous week, and another guest was related to the family the story was based on. I mean… six degrees of separation? Make that two if you are a New Zealander.
This party was going well. My brother Bob, keen artist and singer turned up, and being the chatty-type he is, had no trouble making himself known. Friends moved around, talking to strangers, who soon weren’t. Stories were shared about nearly everything. Politics, gardening, film, theatre, art, writing, and books. After, Kerry and I talked about the wonderful diverse group of people and how well they’d mixed. What a nice way to kick off December.
Thank you Devonport community for welcoming us into your midst. Merry Christmas.