Rory Gardiner's Webpage

15, Feb, 2010

Monday 15th February 2010


It's lunch time and I'm not yet on top of the tasks put aside during my brief break from family life.   I've been playing catch up all morning, and a mountain of paper work still awaits! 

It was a treat to be able to attend my good friend Cindy's wedding during the weekend.  Cindy is one of the 'girls' and we have been friends since high school.  She married Neville, a soccer-mad Englishman who she met in a pub in Auckland a few years ago.  After university Cindy spent 10+ years travelling the world, working in a variety of jobs, making many friends on the way.  She was a rolling stone.  It was always a pleasure (mixed with a touch of envy) to get emails from her from far off places describing her experiences.  Since meeting Neville, obviously the right man, her stone rolled to a stop.  They are now suburbanites and proud parents of baby Havanna.  It was a pleasure to be able to attend their wedding.  It took place in the garden at Alberton, an Historic Places Trust homestead in Mt Albert, Auckland ( ). 

Cindy arrived in a vintage car and looked beautiful in her white dress.  Neville was dapper in his dark suit.  The ceremony was held on the steps of Alberton, and I was touching as they exchanged their vows.  Of course the rest of the 'girls' were in attendance (Jo, Janine, Darlene, Mandy), with their partners in tow (Shelton, Michael, Marc, De).  The girls looked pretty and for a brief moment in time the blokes were tidy and respectable.  We formed the 'Naki' table at dinner under a large marquee in the garden.  The food was delicious and there were plenty of liquid refreshments.  Cindy had done an incredible amount of work for the wedding and there were many special touches; picture boards with photos and text which told a story about each of their guests, an empty picture frame for guests to have their photos taken in.  These are to be placed in an album we were able to write out best wishes in, and lovely decorations.  In between the ceremony and dinner we were able to look through Alberton.  It is a three-storey high, 18 room timber mansion, and contains 80% of the items owned by the family.  It felt like the family had only recently stepped out and someone had pushed pause on time.  We were also able to mix and mingle.  Our dinner was filled with much laughter.  It was wonderful to have all the girls together, and the blokes were in fine form.  The wedding speeches were witty, and we learnt quite a lot about Neville from his best man.  Elvis was a surprise gate crasher to the delight of Cindy and Darlene and dancing followed.  It was a lovely occasion.  When we got back to our apartment in downtown Auckland after the wedding it was nightmare to find a car park.  The girls, blokes, and the Bongo van, ended up in Sky City at the casino.  Sean and I opted for a little more sleep so we could have somewhat clearer heads for an early morning run up Mt Eden (Mangawhau) in the mist.  Thank you Cindy, Nev and the girls (not mentioning the blokes!) for enabling Sean and I to be there.  We had a wonderful time.  Please note:  if any photos appear of me crying or in a compromising position with Elvis they have been Photo-shopped. 

Sam and Rory spent the weekend at Whakapara with Grannie and Grandad Gardiner.  They always enjoy being the centre of attention, free of the rules imposed by Sean and I, and being spoilt rotten.  They kept themselves (and Grannie) busy with; cooking, drawing, building with the lego, reading, playing the Playstation, playing Monopoly, wrestling, having a foot spa, watching a movie, and shooting with their bows.  In spite of the occasion I couldn't help but be anxious about being away.  I worry something will happen and I will be too far away to make a difference to the outcome.  It was also strange seeing Starship but not having to visit it.  It is connected to us, like a lifeline, with invisible threads.  They are fragile and so important.  I thought about the children inside who were fighting as Rory had fought, and suffering as Rory had suffered.  It was very sobering. 

Rory crashed on Friday, as Psychologist Katherine said he would.  Even though I was forewarned it took me by surprise.  Rory has always been an early riser but I had to wake him at 6.45am on Friday morning.  He was subdued, solemn, and slow at eating his breakfast.  He nodded off on the drive to school.  I was worried about him.  With the luxury of hindsight I should have called time-out and given him the day off, but instead we soldiered on.  I thought he would pick up.  Unfortunately the school day started with a spelling test so Rory had to dig deep right from the bell.  This was followed by problem solving the problems in a story they are reading - Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Rory was struggling so I sat with him and we worked our way through the exercise.  When the class went swimming Rory declined and worked quietly on his name label with the pastels.  It was welcome time out.  At morning tea it was neat to see two Skyballs bouncing around, Rory's green one and the blue one he had given Kody the previous afternoon to thank-him for being his best friend.  We had stopped for delicious chocolate cake and pikelets at the Johnstons on Thursday after school.  It was good to catch up with Trudi, and for the boys to muck around, but it was a long day (we got in the door at Whakapara after 6pm).  After morning tea on Friday the children finished their problem solving, and had waiata with the middle syndicate in the hall.  Rory now sits on a cushion on the floor to minimise the impact on his left ankle.  After lunch Rory said he was tired and wanted to leave.  He asked if we could stop at the public library.  We called in and chose some books to take home, then returned to school to retrieve Sam who didn't want to miss capture the flag for PE.  The week ended on a positive note as Rory's group, the Golden Knights, were first equal for points and were spoiled with chocolate easter eggs by Miss Hallet.  After school Sam and I had our training run.  I enjoy spending one on one time with him, getting fit, and hearing about what is going on in his life, in his head, and in his heart.