The 09:20 flight from Auckland to Brisbane seemed sound upon booking three weeks ago.

When my alarm rung out at 3.24am this morning however, especially after a mere four hours sleep (up late as per finishing off a writing piece), I have to say I cursed myself. Then I remembered where I was off to, and all was – more than just – right in the world.

Aussie! Comm Games! Seeing the bestie-slash-Uncle Cock (Richard, to clear up any confusion there) and the Queensland-cousins. And of course, watching The Pedaller take to the, well, pedals in the Velodrome.


And I have a fab sun kissed glow going on too. Not a natural hue, I will admit; rather the result of a friend back from the school days going at me with her noozle and Bondi (in a tanning tent, I will clarify; nothing untoward). Very natural looking though – much better than the one I got for Papa Henio’s 60th that had everyone asking who the Kenyan in the white dress was (me). I just decided, fuck it, why not back the boat out and get a glow going? (Though I was a bit of a bell end; after she blitzed me, I stayed and had a yarn with aforementioned friend for an hour or so. I now recall – though at the time, didn’t click – that I placed my palms on my thighs for a good portion of that hour, soaking the tan up in my hands, so I’m now also sporting some seriously sun kissed palms).

Mummy Deb came into my room as I was packing last night (yes yes, I am 26 and back at home yet again. Temp measure though; I will have completely moved out for good by the time I’m 35 or so, I promise). I had been stashing required (and desired) attire to take away in the middle of my floor the last couple of days and it was just needing to be folded into my categorised packing cells.

You see, when I booked my flight, The Pedaller and I decided hand luggage was all I needed for my six days Up Under; “I can always take some things over for you in my suitcase,” he said, leaving a few days later with none of my stuff. So 7kg Country Road bagging I go, minimalist AF and a big change from the girl who used to not even go away for a weekend without a good four pairs of denim shorts.

So I was sorting through my set down items and having a thorough cull, when I noticed a courier bag from The Iconic on my bed. The dress and top I bought the other day had arrived! (Isn’t it just the case that when you’re going away and may buy things there, items appear in your home base environment that you just have to have?). So I gleefully pulled each on to parade around and asked Mummy Deb her opinion.

LOVE the top, consensus was agreed. But when I put the dress on she got that funny sideways-mouth smile she gets when she really wants to say something, manages to keep it to herself for half a minute, then blurts it out.

“I think you might be getting a bit old for dresses like that,” she said with a good laugh. (This was after she started yodelling and calling me Heidi – yes, I must agree the dress does have features reminiscent of a barefoot, plaited lass in the mountains). (Fitting, really).

When the wind had come back after being knocked out of me, I responded with a – forced – heartfelt giggle myself, questioned as to whether she was taking the piss (she wasn’t), adamantly snapped the tag off to keep the dress and rolled it (fit much more in than the common fold) up into my blue packing cell (for day and more dressy wear; red for active, casual and PJ).

Too old my ass. I’ll be wearing flowers in my hair at the age of 88.

(She also said it was “rather short”; I was immediately transported back to Pakuranga Plaza, 2003, Mississippi Surf Shop changing room, pink “mini” skirt on my bod and Mummy Deb scrutinising me through the open door. I was desperate to get it – complete with “Roxy” emblazoned across the bum – for my upcoming school social. “It’s rather short,” Mummy Deb concluded. Mate, I wish I’d had a camera phone back then to show her the other girls with their skirts so short you could pretty much see their fanoos – my “mini” Roxy number was convent-worthy compared to the lengths – or lack of – some of those form oners went to).


So currently en route Intercity, somewhere just beyond Hamilton (please, please don’t break down in Ngaruawahia). Seat to myself, compact (and rather full) Country Road bag under my calves, new handbag (see? That case of, “That’s perfect!” just before you go away again) encasing my passport, cards, track cycling tickets and $137.20 Aussie cash at the ready.

I’ve left my diary (my absolute Bible) at home; my laptop at home; my always-with-me-holding-my-life-in-colour-coded-sleeves purple folder at home. I’m having six days of chilling out; no work, no stress, just pure calming play with no rigid time schedules or “have to do now” lists for every hour. Life’s been getting a bit too routine for me lately, so I’m pumped to break it up with a blitz to Aus. The only concern I’m taking with me is what to wear to The Pedaller’s final tonight.

I think my new Iconic (in more ways than one) Heidi gingham dress will do me nicely.

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