We've just returned from two weeks in Melbourne. It's amazing how different two places in the same country can be. Under ordinary circumstances it takes less than 2 hours to fly between Brisbane and Melbourne, but they are worlds apart. Yesterday was jumper and trackies and the heater on most of the day. Today is shorts and t-shirts and 'where did we store those electric fans'?
I said under "ordinary circumstances" because our trip wasn't. We were delayed in Melbourne (have no idea why) and then arrived in Brisbane the same time as a tropical storm. Poor girl across the aisle from us was sick, and I wasn't feeling overtly briliant myself. The pilot got about 5 or 6 metres (or it felt) from the ground, and then decided to abort the landing and went 'round again. The Man (hubby, student pilot in a previous life) said he'd prefer to fly with a pilot prepared to abort a landing than one who took the risk. I guess, all things considered, so would I, but at that stage I just wanted to be on solid ground again.
But about our holiday. It's always interesting staying with other people, however close they are, and however much you love them. The best bit about it, often, is coming home :-) We stayed with my SIL (The Man's twin sister) and her family. Very different. Even more different than chalk and cheese.
SIL has raised five kids (four boys) and recently taken in another teenager. All on a single income. The noise level in their house could easily compete with the busy road outside our place. Three conversations, two videos and miscellaneous music all happening at once. When the phone rings, everyone ramps up a notch so they can hear over the phone conversation. In our house, everything gets turned down or off for the duration. Not to mention that two of the boys are drummers and are constantly (CONSTANTLY) tap, tap, tapping away on something. The worst bit about tapping is that it is contagious and you find yourself doing it.
They eat differently too. Being a small family on a relatively good wage-and-a-half we eat well. Steak, chops, chicken, heaps of fruit and veg (I avoid pre-made wherever possible and practical). SIL's family, being large, eats lots of mince/sausage dishes (both meats nowhere near my top 100 favourites), and (surprisingly) very little fruit and veg. I always find it surprising when people eat less fruit and veg than me - 'cause I don't really see how that's possible. The Man is always telling me I should eat more, and he's right (not that I'd ever tell him that).
Of course, there's all the standard things - different bed, different pillow, different shower, different TV likes/dislikes (ie no MASH for a fornight
The wedding we went down for was lovely. The bride wanted a fairy-tale wedding, and she had that. Actually she did it very well. Too often "fairy tale girls" end up with horrid amounts of lace and ghastlies, totally ruining the effect. The bride's dress, in this case, was very simple, but very elegant and very fairy-tale. The bride's maids all wore black. Strange colour maybe, but three of the four were Maori girls, so it looked lovely.
The groom, hubby's nephew, was stressed all week. He's a bit of a practical joker, so the family was paying him out for years of harassment. Every time anyone mentioned doing anything even slightly out of the formal he snapped. The groom's men (all his brothers) were talking of doing a finger snapping, hip swaying routine while the bride came down the aisle - he was not amused. He wanted everything just perfect for his bride. Naturally, though, when it actually came to the ceremony - he was the one cracking jokes.
My BIL was probably just as nervous as the groom. It was his first wedding as a pastor, and his first child to get married. But he did a lovely job.
I haven't been to too many weddings, but I thought it was strange in some ways. There was an item presented by some relatives during the signing of the papers, but otherwise no singing at all. And the only prayer during the whole event was the grace before dinner. Guess different people think different things are important to include.
That's another snippet of my ordinary life. This week its back to cooking, cleaning and studying. And I guess I should show up to work at some stage as well.