Work-related social events are coming thick and fast as our move to Petone beckons. On Friday we visited our new premises again. We attended a two-hour talk and then filed off to a café/bar to take part in a quiz. We drew team numbers at random from one to ten, the idea being that the people originating from different organisations would get to know each other, although I was unlucky enough to pick the same number as my boss. We didn't do very well. With a few exceptions, like naming the fish that a song by Heart is named after, I didn't know a lot. Most importantly, the people on my table seemed nice enough.
On Saturday morning Rhiannon and her boyfriend came over for the official opening of the Arras Tunnel. Named after tunnels built by New Zealanders serving in World War One, it's more of an underpass than a tunnel. I live pretty much right next to it and I've watched it take shape since late 2012. The opening drew a big crowd, including a lot of dogs. There was even an impressive, if extremely noisy, brass band. I'm looking forward to the War Memorial park, above the underpass, being completed in time for the centennial Anzac Day commemoration. More green urban space is always welcome, and with all the media exposure the park is bound to get next April, it should look pretty good. I just hope they maintain it once the TV cameras have disappeared.
Later on Saturday I went to another work "do", this time at my colleague's house in Johnsonville. Oh man. It never gets any easier, does it? My mind is good at blocking out really unpleasant experiences, of which this was most certainly one, and I'm already starting to forget the gory details. I remember feeling so tense that my arms and legs felt like they'd been stretched. My colleague's husband was the kind of extroverted joke-a-minute know-it-all Kiwi bloke that I really can't stand. He asked me far too many questions. Of course everybody else in the room was in a long-term relationship, and that only added to my discomfort. I gathered my boss wasn't in his wife's good books; Friday was his daughter's birthday but he was too busy with work stuff to spend time with her. She dragged him kicking and screaming from the party before he got too drunk. She's been into the office once or twice; she seems like a really nice person. Once he'd gone, my boss sent us a group text - he clearly wasn't happy. Everybody else at the party seemed to feel sorry for him. He's a good bloke - "good value" is the term, I think. Because he drinks a lot, he's so much fun to be around, and his habit of smoking when he's had a few gives him about 500 extra mana points. It's so unfair that his wife makes him spend time with the kids occasionally instead of with his workmates. He's 45. When I finally got out of there, into the rain and into my car, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I'd been there over five hours. I'd much rather have spent that time at an airport.
Yesterday I was supposed to be going on a walk with the autism group but the weather was awful. Instead Isabel came over. She got changed in my bathroom, taking my flatmate by surprise. She took me to the Chocolate Fish café at Shelly Bay. In the evening I went tenpin bowling in Petone with two other blokes. They're really pleasant people to spend time with. I bowled a pleasing 153 and a disappointing 118. My record, by the way, is 191. I got that in Peterborough. It was the middle game of three; I scored 502 over the three games.