Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A Risky affair

We just spent the weekend away with our friends. Before we all had kids, this group would pack up and head away for most of the long weekends in the year. We had many trips to Gorokan (my husband's family has an old fibro there on the lake), the Hunter Valley (where we would inevitably drink all the wine we bought before we'd even left the region), the Blue Mountains (for a bit of bushwalking between beverages), Byron Bay for the music festivals and Little Hartley (where one of our friend's family has a wonderful farm). These have been some great times. The best in fact.

It was a pretty big deal to get away together again. It has been awhile since we managed to get away. Everyone has been busily breeding and finding an appropriate 'gap' hasn't been easy. I think we last had a trip together in 2006 (if you don't count the Port Douglas wedding for R and G in 2007). This year is our ten year anniversary of all being friends (some of us have been friends a lot longer, but all of the parties have been in there for at least 10 years now). That is a lot of weekends away, and a lot of fun and games to be had. There are now seven children (five and under) to accommodate, as well as 8 adults, so getting away is a much harder prospect. We have two amazing women in the group who love to plan and organise (not me!). They are whizzes at googling and researching and found us a wonderful homestead on the Central Coast.

It wasn't our first trip to the Central Coast, Gorokan (or Gozza as it is affectionately known) is there too, but it was our first one where all of the electricity in the house was fully functional, where we all had ensuite bathrooms and where we had a tennis court and pool for all of our entertainment needs. Plush. It was a great house that really did suit our needs. The kids had plenty of space, we could contain them (tennis courts are awesome large play pens!) and see them from wherever we were. Tops. Once the kids went to bed, there were plenty of places for the adults to get on with things without having to worry about noise. The bonus was we even had lovely places to go to do some sight-seeing and driving when the weather turned on Sunday. The Central Coast is a beautiful part of the world.

After the kids were down for the night, it didn't take long before we got stuck into the wine. It took even less time for us to get stuck into our other vice. Risk! The battle was on. I don't know if you have played Risk? It is a boardgame about war and global domination using dice. It is a long game (usually lasts about 6 bottles of wine and a few night caps). Our group loves it! We have been playing against each other for years. Everyone knows everyone's game and yet, it remains as exciting (and time consuming) as ever. We often play in teams so that the game can go on even when someone is off cooking dinner, going to the loo, getting a 'round' or whatever. It really is an obsession with our mates. In the end there are usually a few narky moments (especially when the alcohol consumption increases) but all is forgiven once the winner is announced and the dice are put away. This weekend we had 3 nights away and 2 games of Risk. It was a good fix (and may have to last us another 4 years until we can all get away together again!)

This weekend has reminded me that good friends are precious. I am so glad that I find the time to nurture these relationships because they make a crazy world that little bit saner. We put in the hard yards 10 years ago to make 'friends for life' with this group and they are more 'frandily' than friends now. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life and for us to be able to take time out together to enjoy life. I look forward to our next Risky Affair together, because no doubt it will be accompanied by lots of laughs, story telling and memory making moments as has been the pattern for the last decade. Happy 10 years guys!

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