As we are almost certainly living on one of the furthest-flung corners of Her Majesty’s vast dominions, we decided to celebrate her birthday with a formal dinner. Coincidentally it was also Gina’s 27th birthday on the same day so we went for the double whammy. Imaginations ran wild with the royal theme, as you can see from the photos. This probably reflects NZ’s increasingly cosmopolitan heritage, although I was a little offended that my attempt at formal attire resulted in persistent enquiries about any good real estate deals or used cars I might be able to put people onto.
In another example of the six degrees of separation that connects us all, we realised this week that Gina is actually Franz’s daughter. Franz was a good friend and outdoor companion of Neil S. and Shona; I met him on a number of occasions in the mountains and out kayaking. I remember him for his determination to make his seakayak and his river boat himself. Tragically he died in an accident in Alaska some years ago.
Roast lamb was on the menu last night, followed by fruit salad and a chocolate cake the size of a cannonball. There were a few rousing toasts to the health of the queen (and Gina) and a good time was had by all.