Our visit to Wellington wasn’t supposed to be either wild or for the weekend, but the weather wizards threw a wobbly, so that’s what we got.
A couple of weeks ago, sis and I tripped off to Wellington for secret women’s business, and got a lot more than we bargained for. Cards on the table, sis and I are on the wrong side of woke. I used to consider myself woke, and probably still am in various ways, but when I saw how woke started careering off the rails I decided not to follow the inevitable train wreck. Sis and I have got a bit of deeper thinking going on in our noggins than that, and don’t give a fig that we haven’t hitched our wagons to current popular thinking. We fully expected there might be some wobbly-throwing from the wokerati outside the ‘un-woke’ talk we were attending, and weren’t disappointed, but when the weather wizards joined in, although I know they have their own agenda and don’t actually give a toss about what we mere mortals are up to, it made for some extra ‘thrills’.
Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand, and is renowned for windy weather, but on this occasion it upped the ante and turned on a gale for us. We arrived on Thursday at midday, got collected from the airport by our hotel’s courtesy van, and booked into the two-bedroom apartment we had for two nights. All good so far. The plan was to attend the talk on Thursday evening, dinner afterwards with some ‘good-bad’ women – which we all mightily enjoyed, helped along by margueritas and wine which were generously paid for by a ‘good-bad’ lawyer woman who couldn’t be there herself – and then mosey around central Wellington on Friday, before flying out at midday on Saturday. That last bit didn’t go as well as planned.
The wind and rain started picking up on the afternoon we arrived in Wellington, and escalated over the next two days. Our hotel apartment was on a corner of the building and the wind howled and shrieked around it, giving both of us a couple of nights of fitful sleep. Still, we ventured out on Friday and got the bus into the city, where we had an unexpectedly good lunch in a poky wee Chinese cafe, and then visited the Gallipoli display at Te Papa. Te Papa is Wellington’s museum, and in combination with Weta Workshops, who also did the special effects for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, have created a sensational display about the horrendous WW1 campaign at Gallipoli in Turkey. All I can say is that it is truly humbling, and if you ever visit it you won’t come away untouched. It put battling our way back to our hotel into a slightly different perspective.
On Saturday morning our flights out got cancelled because of the weather, and the next available one wasn’t until Sunday night. Our hotel was fully booked – school holidays! – so they couldn’t give us an extra night’s accommodation there. We had to go hunting for somewhere else to stay.
After a bit of googling, that somewhere else was found and after a brief, very brief, consideration of catching the bus there with our bags, we took a taxi. Only to find that the booking had been made for the following Saturday night in error. And there was no room at the inn there, either. More googling, and a shared room in another hotel was found twenty-six minutes’ walk away, according to Google Maps. Most of it under cover of shop canopies, the helpful receptionist told us.
Off we set with bags in tow – and walked and walked and walked amidst wind and rain, and not under nearly enough shop canopies. I have a sneaking suspicion we took the long way round. Tempers were not jolly, but life experience has shown us that the best we can do under trying circumstances is to keep our lips zipped as much as possible. It’s hard, because all we want to do is vent and blame the other for something, anything. But we can’t take back what gets said, and we seldom forget it, whereas we can recover much more easily from the odd silent evil look cast our way.
Once ensconced in our new room, we got our books out and didn’t budge until we went out for dinner. Normally sis and I don’t share a room, because she snores and snorts and whistles her way through her slumbers, and I have a condition called misaphonia, which means that I can’t stand sleeping in the same room as anyone who snores, snorts and whistles their way through their slumbers. Yep, another night of fitful sleep for both of us as sis tried not to snore, snort or whistle, and I thought she snored, snorted and whistled for half the night. But I must insist that I would not put a pillow over her face while she was sleeping, as she claims she fears. Hilariously, she told me later that at one stage during the night she thought about taking the mattress off her bed and dragging it into bathroom and sleeping on the floor there. What we think seems perfectly rational at night, can be funny as hell the next morning. But that’s what comes of having a dragon-sister such as me 🙂 Although, I would say that sis is no slouch in the dragon department, either. We’re quite a good match, really – as long as we aren’t sharing a bedroom.
On Sunday we caught up with a couple of good-bad women who had also attended the talk for lunch, which restored our spirits somewhat. And then we were taxied out to the airport by a charming young man, which restored our spirits a bit more, to hang out there until our flight at 8.30pm.
Man, it was good to get home.
Looking back, it confirmed how I must never share a room with sis again. Just joking – although also not joking. Really, it showed me once more how easy it is to get dispirited when things aren’t going well, and how hard it is pull oneself out of it. We are very reliant on our external circumstances being conducive to our wellbeing. If our circumstances are not good, we find it extremely hard to “rise above it”. If we have some life experience, have built up some resilience through that experience, and have some knowledge of how to improve things, as well as the ability and resources to do it, we can change our circumstances. For those who have none, or very few of these things, and are dispirited from their circumstances, it is a different story.
The wild weekend in Wellington also reinforced the friendship-saving strategy of just shutting up when things aren’t going well. And how a wild weekend means something different to us now than it once did 🙂