Babar the Elephant visits Wellington!

Babar is a very well-loved elephant in our house and we were ecstatic to hear the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra bring the story of Babar to life on Saturday at Te Papa. Miranda Harcourt narrated the story and held most of the audience in raptures (though many of the very young ones preferred to roam in the adjacent toy store on Level 2!).

Sophie adores the Babar stories. Her love affair started in the Lyall Bay surf cafe where one of the employees had an old copy of one of the traditional Babar stories. For six month’s we read that same book – until she could almost read it word for word to me! Sadly, ‘said’ book went when ‘said’ employee moved on – alas! However, we managed to buy a newer copy of the Babar stories (but they’ll never be the same).

Picture book author-illustrator Kevin Henkes writes of the stories of Babar, “Where else could one find a balloon accident, a deadly poison mushroom, a runaway carriage, an extraordinary flying machine, a snake attack, fire, war, death, birth? These books are full of adventure and fantasy, but they also deal with the stuff of real life. And I’m convinced children long to see both the dark and the light sides of human experience reflected in their books just as much as adults do, perhaps more.” I have to agree. We’ve certainly had an armful of ‘why’ questions from both the girls after reading the stories of Babar!

Babar was really there! – At least in someone’s backpack – but that was good enough for SJ!

Anyway, the morning was wonderful and Charli was so delighted to be in the museum. Since starting school she’s not had a chance to visit and misses it a lot (after all, it was practically her second home for nearly five year’s!). She was also rapt to come home with a beautiful poster of the Orchestra and both the girls treasure their Babar posters.

Thankfully, what started out as a dreary, cold Saturday turned into glorious sunshine and balmy temperatures. And after the delights of the orchestra we enjoyed a fabulous play in Te Papa’s bushland walkway. Charli met up with an old Kindi friend, who is now at a different school, and we ended up spending two hour’s playing in the sunshine. Sophie delighted in the play two – especially with the younger siblings of Charli’s friend – a pair of highly energetic twins! Both the twins got a little too close to the pond and ended up getting soaked!

After all the fun we raced on home so I could get ready for my night out! The girls were brilliant for their Daddy. I was a dirty stop-out and arrived home around 1am to find Dan asleep with Sophie (she’d woken asking for me – but was good as gold for her Daddy and went back to sleep – and he decided to give up waiting for me to crawl home and join her in slumber land!). Needless to say I had a fabulous evening, officially starting off with a 30th Birthday toast at Vespa Lounge to a good friend (but I admit to stopping off for a swift merlot at the Tasting Room prior to that – I needed a quick chill out after Dan and the girls dropped me off!). The rest of the evening was spent mostly at The Matterhorn (the most fabulous place for whiling away a night – I was in danger of waking up on a table there at 6am!).

Musical notes scattered on a score was very much how I felt by the time I got home…

Wellington has a plethora of bars and restaurants and in our pre-children days we enjoyed a very hedonistic lifestyle indeed! These days, I’m more than happy to curl up at home with a good book, a movie or a cuddle with hubbie (or waste countless hours on the Internet!)… HOWEVER, there comes a moment when a night out is very much needed – and suffered the next day! I have to say I’m not in a hurry to repeat Saturday night, even though it was a blinder! I just can’t cope with hangovers and children combined! I was a pathetic excuse for a wife on Father’s Day! Dan even allowed me a lie in so I’d be a little more civil when I finally emerged from bed!