Friday, October 13, 2006

adventure of a day

Friday the 6th of October began early, with a mystery trip to merivale carpark. i later discovered i should have bothered putting on make up given the sheer quantity of photographs that followed. but there i was, at 5.30 in the morning, sitting in a car, beside luuk, in merivale mall carpark. then other cars started arriving. people even got out of their cars - so i of course suspected they were going to rob the place...

i had figured out that we weren't going to breakfast at the mall, and andrea had speculated an potential early morning activity... and i of course was hoping there might be something fabulously romantic (perhaps including a ring...) and then breakfast. i do love breakfast. best meal of the day.

then a bus pulls in, towing a trailer with what looks like a cage on it. i'm looking at it, desperately trying to read the words on the side - its dark and moving and behind us... then i see what it says: 'up up and away'. hot air ballooning! (good speculating andrea)

up up and away we did - after bussing up to darfield, laying out the balloon and standing back to watch some boys help inflate it. took loads of photos but i'm on luuk's laptop and they're on the computer at home, so shall be included in later installments. then suddenly it was up and we were scrambling into the basket. then the pilot was firing the burners more and more, accusing us of lying about our weights because it wasn't taking off. i'd just guessed, but turned out to have overestimated by 2 kilos! (as i discovered at the doctors 3 days later) never overestimated before :)

it rose really fast and suddenly, smoothly, we were way above the ground with an incredible view of the mountains. the sun was pretty much up at this point, and behind me so i was taking photos. grinning, taking photos and tyring not to kiss luuk with too much enthusiasm - given that there were about 15 other people in the basket with us...

we travelled north, took photos, watched in awe - the view... eachother :). yeah, sappy, i know. deal with it.

then we landed. well first we almost landed, but we were going very quickly... toward trees. so we lifted up over the trees first, then we landed in the next field - first we all got in landing positions - which means basically spooning standing up, with your knees bent, and holding wee rope handles on the side of the balloon. the basket didn't quite tip and as soon as the balloon dropped we piled out and had to pack it up. this involved rolling and squishing, like a tea bag. more rolling, kneeling, gripping, squishing, rolling... then picking it up and moving like a snake to pile it in the big bag by the trailor. the boys shoved the basket back on the trailer and i tried to help until i realised i was just getting in the way.

next there was champagne, in beautiful crystal glasses, and the pilot read the ballooners prayer and advertised the photo he'd taken - hanging a camera off a cable off the balloon while we all tried to fit our heads in places we'd be seen and not block others.

back on the bus, driving past dead sheep in gutters, we put our names down for photos, then headed back to merivale. luuk and i went to victoria's in new regent st. for breakfast, and with the champagne in my stomach, and the vast amounts of beautiful smoked salmon on my eggs benedict, i almost made myself sick. that, and the fact that we'd both got up terribly early, prompted us to spend the remainder of the morning napping. which we sort of did.

then we visited the supermarket to get what luuk's kitchen did not supply for a picnic lunch, and drove to the closest end of sumner. we picnicked on the beach, and i tried not to think about work - where i had to be at 3...

but, despite other enticements i managed to get to work and actually do some work - the stuff i'm paid to do, and when that lagged, the stuff i'm meant to be doing right now - the 10 000 words due in 2 weeks :)

luuk went home and cleaned his car out, rather than the nap he intended to have, then drove back to the cafe at the end of the road i work on. he'd had a ten minute nap in the car when i woke him up and barely kept him awake over dinner. again, i ate too much. but castle rock cafe really is fantasterific.

i begrudgingly finished my shift, while luuk slept in the sun, in the car, in the carpark. at 8 i woke him up again (poor man, i just won't leave him be - but we did have to lock the gate).

sleepily luuk started taking the wrong route home but when i tried to suggest otherwise there was a suggestion made that it was i who did not know where we were going. ha! now i was suspicious again... by this point in the day i'd kind of abandoned the idea that there might be proposals to do more than have an early night... how wrong i was.

we started heading up the hills where we, well to put it bluntly, went to the spot where we parked up on our first date ;)
i thought he was going to ask a couple of times before i actually did. he kept saying the beginnings of things that sounded like they might have more to them. and then he'd obviously loose his nerve, and kiss me, and act like there was nothing else to be done.
but there was. and he did. and i said something along the lines of,

"yes. yes. yes. yes. yes. yay! yes. yes, i would love to marry you. yes. yes. yes!"

i won't fill in details here but later there was lots more

"yay, i'm going to marry you. we're engaged, oh my gosh [laughkisslaugh]" etc. you get the picture.

and then we had green tea at luuk's and i didn't go home till much later than our self-prescribed curfew of 10.30... actually that's been blown out the window all week.

sorry it took me a whole week to get this up. there were families to tell, friends, etc. and plenty of study to be done to. grr...

in the next edition: telling the families :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

breath away