This weekend was my 18th wedding anniversary. How I managed to trick poor old Mark Robins into marrying me in the first place, I can't quite remember. Thankfully, neither can he. But if he ever looks shifty I just remind him that as a redhead, and a faded one at that, he'd be hardpressed to find anyone else who would allow him to sprinkle his ginger pelt dust all over them the way I do and that seems to settle him down for a bit.
To celebrate 18 years of wedded bliss, we had one of the best days ever. It started with me going to the gym. This in itself does not make a great day because the gym is exercise and in a perfect world, exercise would be replaced by drinking champagne and eating chocolate. However, what I liked about it on this occasion, in the real world, is that I just went and did it instead of thinking about it, putting it off, thinking about it some more, putting it off again, thinking about it more seriously than ever, running out of time, not going, feeling bad and fat.
Next came lunch, which my husband bought for me at the Matakana Farmers Market and then we went to the movies to see Unstoppable, the amazingly taut runaway train film by Ridley Scott starring Denzel Washington and the new Captain Kirk. If you like a bit of excitement and are not going on a train journey any time soon, this is the movie for you. It's a very credible nightmare.
(By the way, the night before our anniversary I watched The Hedgehog on DVD. This French movie is based on one of my favourite books, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery. I wasn't sure about the film to begin with but by two-thirds of the way through I was blubbing so hard that the dog went and got my husband. Even though I knew what was going to happen, it still got me. Big time. Loved it.)
Anyway, after our heart-stopping train trip I squeezed in a tiny bit of shopping buying an adorable pair of navy and white brogues which will probably only give me 50 blisters instead of 100. Then I came home and tidied my office which you think would make me mad but it didn't because I have my first ever bookshelves and I'm finding that quite exciting.
Next we went to O'Connell St Bistro for our celebration dinner. O'Connell St Bistro is one of my favourite Auckland eateries and has been since it first opened when I was a food writer for the NZ Herald and reviewed it, saying something along the lines of, "I hope no one else ever discovers it". They have, but it has retained its intimate perfection and the meal was divine. We started with a glass of Veuve Cliquot rose, then Mark had tempura king prawns and I had the carprese salad with local mozzarella. He went for the beef (I mean really went for it) sirloin as a main while I had the seared scallops with chorizo oil and then we shared a Valrhona chocolate tart.
So I guess I ended up having champagne and chocolate after all. Maybe this is the perfect world!