Labour Weekend: Party Time!

Labour Weekend in Wellington brought typical Spring weather with four seasons in a day, from wind and rain to glorious sunshine and fun in the garden.

The origins of Labour Day in New Zealand can be traced back to the eight-hour working day movement that arose in the newly founded Wellington colony in 1840, primarily because of carpenter Samuel Parnell’s refusal to work more than eight hours a day. On 28 October 1890, the 50th anniversary of the eight-hour day was commemorated with a parade. The event was then celebrated annually in late October as either Labour Day or Eight-Hour Demonstration Day. In 1899 government legislated that the day be a public holiday from 1900. The day was celebrated on different days in different provinces. This led to ship owners complaining that seamen were taking excessive holidays by having one Labour Day in one port then another in their next port. In 1910 the government “Mondayised” the holiday so that it would be observed on the same day throughout the nation. Nowadays for the majority of New Zealanders it’s “just another holiday”[Ref: “Labour Day: A History”].

Dan took the girls on Saturday ‘avo whilst I browsed the book shops, caught up with the lovely ladies at the hairdressers on all their carefree single girl fun and prepared for a night of fun with Marrisa and her lovely friends to celebrate her Birthday. I even donned my heels for the occasion (storing them in my handbag till party time!). Marrisa really knows how to party (check out her amazing post on the celebrations here) and celebrate her Birthday (goodness knows what she’ll plan for her big ’30’ next year!). She’s only been living in New Zealand a couple of year’s but has thrown herself into life here, establishing strong friendships with locals and expats alike.

Marrisa (centre) with Kiwi gals Joan and Susan:

It was a fabulous evening with colourful stories, lots of laughter and too much to eat (just as well considering how quickly the drinks were going down!).

We met up at ‘The General Practitioner‘, starting early at 4.30pm, before moving onto dinner at ‘The Crazy Horse Steakhouse‘.

Despite us dining at a steakhouse, I ordered a ‘half chicken’ not really thinking of what was going to be delivered on my plate! I’d already had a few drinks before ordering and glanced over the menu reading something about a free-range chicken with a random thought of, ‘Jamie Oliver would be proud’ and ordered away!

Marrisa looked fabulous as ever and made sure everyone supped up and had a good time. It was great to hear how everyone had met and Marrisa threw in the question that we all mirrored one another in someway and have a common bond – the question being – what was the thread that bound us together – all but one of us in the group were mothers, we all had a man in our lives, many of us wrote blogs (and met through them) and we all definitely knew how to let of steam in a fun way!

After a delightful dinner we stumbled on to ‘Electric Avenue‘ on Stef’s recommendation (a recent expat from the UK). She has set up a blog to keep family and friends abreast of her new life and you can visit her at ‘Smudgers UK-NZ‘. Stef never fails to have her camera on hand to capture all the action – and she succeeded in capturing some very entertaining (and embarrassing shots) – check them out here.

Stef trying to cool us ladies down and Marrisa and I at Electric Avenue (took me back to my student days!):

It was getting onto 11pm by the time I opted to chicken out of the dancing. I was so tempted to stay on, but with no option of a day in bed on Sunday I decided to leave whilst the going was good! It was such a pleasure to join Marrisa in celebrating her Birthday and by the smile on her face she certainly seemed to enjoy herself! It was also great to become better acquainted with some of her lovely friends, particularly Catherine Cattanach (awesome portrait photographer) and Dawn (an American expat who also keeps a blog). It was a fabulous evening and if saving up for Christmas wasn’t a priority right now I’d be looking for a good excuse to repeat the experience very soon! Then again… BBQ season is looking promising (if only the Spring winds would ease up a little!).

Thanks Marrisa for being a fabulous friend. Who would have thought a chance meeting at a playground and a cup of tea would have taken us so far! I can’t wait to share many more good times with you in the near future! Your enthusiasm for your new home is boundless and you deserve every happiness. xx