A couple of weekends ago we lured Oliver’s parents and sisters to dinner at our favourite restaurant under false pretences. We had a pretty special surprise planned.
We had to make sure they all cleared their diaries for the surprise to work, so we invited them for a very belated engagement dinner at The Potting Shed. After gratefully (and somewhat guiltily) accepting our engagement gifts – oops didn’t think this through – Oliver did an incredible job of faking a telephone call which required him to leave the restaurant to deal with “an emergency”. I didn’t do such a good job at my side of the bargain and burst out laughing when he said that he had to go to the office as the alarm was going off. I blame nerves!
After avoiding a near fatal roadblock when his Dad insisted on going with him (Oliver had to basically run away from the table), the plan was in action. I spent almost an hour chattering like an idiot (I blame the nerves + the espresso martini for that one) glancing towards the door every time I saw a hint of movement.
Eventually I saw him rushing back in, with the precious cargo in tow…while the Sydney-based members of the family had been blissfully enjoying their sharing platter, he had whizzed to the airport to pick up his big brother Taylor who had flown over from London! They obviously had no idea what we were up to as it took a good few seconds for everybody to realise who Oliver had brought with his “from the office”. Priceless.
What followed was a wonderful evening, everybody giddy with excitement, catching up and changing plans to maximise the time they could spend with their son and brother.
The next morning, we all joined Tay in his jetlag-induced early wake-up and headed out to cheer Oliver on in the Sydney Running Festival. Although it was a grey spring day, it was a great excuse to walk over the Harbour Bridge and the atmosphere was brilliant.
The boys headed down to South Australia to spend some quality time with their Nan & Pa.
When they returned we tried to cram in as much as possible, soaking up quality time with my future brother-in-law and showing him the our favourite Sydney spots which hadn’t been there last time he was home five years ago.
First stop was Brewtown Newtown and a very Aussie lamington cronut or two for breakfast dessert.
Then on to Deus in Camperdown to have a beer, shop and generally admire their awesome store.
The following morning we met in Waverton for a family dog walk following the harbour’s edge and up to Moorish Blue for brunch in the sunshine.
Yep, that is fairy floss!
Kids enjoying the car wash. Me included!
Before we knew it, two weeks had passed and it was time for Tay to fly home to London. We returned to the scene of the surprise for breakfast at The Grounds on our way.
It was so great to have Tay here. Not least to get to know my brother-in-law-to-be a little better before I marry into the family in a few short months. It was also very special to see the brothers together, their in-jokes dating back thirty-one years. I felt like I learnt more about Oliver by watching him with his older brother in their family home.
It was sad to say our goodbyes but Tay’s trip just served to get us more excited about him returning in February, with more of our family and friends, to celebrate our wedding. We are so very lucky.