Auckland's exciting summer begins
I was meant to finish my Christmas shopping this weekend. Get it all out of the way: spend hundreds of dollars achieving a spot on my high horse that would let me gloat about how efficient I was, and free up the next three weekends for better uses of my time.
Did I tick any of that off the list? Not even a little bit. Instead, the call of the sun was far too loud - on Saturday at least (bloody Auckland weather).
Instead of stocking up on mince pies at the supermarket, I was loading my arms with stuffed peppers and homemade dips from the La Cigale French market, which was happily celebrating its 15th anniversary.
Rather than joining the throngs fighting for space in the local mall, I ended up sipping cider and making daisy chains at Silo Park as it marked the countdown to Christmas - that new advent calendar is marvellously massive!
It was a celebration, not of the suffocating Christmas madness that is threatening to overwhelm us, but of the first weekend of summer. A weekend when we realised just what's ahead: the chance to explore Auckland, find our favourite spots, get comfy and watch the summer unwind.
To play at the outdoor cinemas, to dance at Laneway Festival, to "ooh" and "aah" at the New Years' fireworks.
Of course, there is no complete escape from festivities. I might have missed Kim Dotcom flick the switch on the Franklin Rd lights, but I did force the boyfriend to head out and buy our first Christmas tree together - and a whole pile of fairy lights.
It's the way to ease into those horrible weekends about to be spent neck-deep in desperate mall shoppers. Good luck out there everyone.