The lunar cycle takes approximately 29½ days; the average month is slightly longer so you occasionally get two full moons in the same month. The second of these is known as a blue moon, and occurs every second or third year, hence the phrase "once in a blue moon". A far more unusual event is happening this month, on this side of the planet at least, for February won't have a full moon at all. I don't know what the technical term for this is, but I'd tend to call it a "no moon".
Moon or no moon, February is now upon us, so I've now officially been boring people rigid with my inane ramblings for a whole year. I like to think I've made some steps in the right direction in that time, but the last couple of days clearly show that I've got a considerable way to go.
All that wedding stuff is finally over and I'll be heading back to Auckland later today. I'm glad about that. About 85 people attended the wedding; it turns out I was invited after all. The church bit was fine, but predictably I found the reception an ordeal. Worst of all were the speeches. Everybody spoke at length and with a remarkable level of confidence. Where do they get it from I wonder? Of course there were endless jokes, or rather anecdotes, the sort of jokes that Kiwis love and I struggle with. It's not that I don't get them, just that I personally don't find them funny. My cousin and her husband are successful people. They've been living in London for the last two years, making a lot of moolah and travelling extensively throughout Europe and beyond. They've been everywhere. Partout. Dappertutto. As I listened to tales of what they got up to on their ski trips or at the running of the bulls in Pamplona or the Palio in Siena, I really just wanted to crawl into a hole. After the dinner and speeches there was dancing of course, but I successfully escaped that. We were home around 11:30 in time to see the end of the men's Australian Open final. What a finish it was. I felt a bit sorry for Murray - he was unlucky not to at least win a set, and it was obvious after the match how much it meant to him.
The next day we had what they call the after-match function. I ate and drank almost non-stop, not because I needed (or even wanted) any of it but because it gave me something to do. I've now learnt to stick to beer rather than wine at these sorts of events, because you can drink much more of it without having to pay for it later. I did also make some conversation - my extended family are good people on the whole, and there are one or two I'm able to talk to reasonably easily. Somebody, who obviously doesn't know me that well, was desperately trying to convince me to go on an Outward Bound course.
There are no more family weddings on the horizon (though someone from the tennis club is tying the knot the weekend after next, and I'll be going to the reception). Last weekend Mum said to me, "wouldn't it be nice to go to your wedding one day?" I imagine that day will be some time after the next no moon.