Great company of the ages

01:56, Jul 26 2014
hanmer springs hot pools
HEAVEN? For some the pools in Hanmer are. Beck Eleven thinks otherwise.

There's something cute about going away for a girls' weekend when a couple of the birthdays being celebrated were set firmly in the early to mid-40s.

But you're only as old as you feel and while we may have felt slightly geriatric on rising, a world of fun and immaturity was still to be had.

At this age girls' weekends have changed. Mikaela had booked a house in Hanmer with a view, a house so enormous there was a Lazy Susan on the deck table. And although she would say it was no trouble, she had done some next level catering. The hummus was so artisan you couldn't buy it in a supermarket and the olives came seasoned in a plastic bag.

"We're not slumming it," she told us on arrival. Only our behaviour would lower the tone.

For starters, Hayley and I drove up on Friday evening. On Saturday morning, Hayley would discover that in her haste to escape the city (and four children after a fortnight of school holidays) she had accidentally packed her dirty washing pile. Suddenly there were half a dozen women offering socks and tops. Not me though.

As is standard on these getaways, there must be some bed sharing; Hayley and I are such close friends, we always share. I usually get a text message before we go anywhere begging me to bring a nightie and to promise to wear underwear to bed.


This house was so large that Hayley had located an extra bedroom through the garage. She was so happy with her quiet little space. Unfortunately, we had miscalculated.

"It's me!" I said as I dragged my stuff into her satellite bedroom and informed her we were together.

Her response is redacted.

The morning scene was somewhat different to that of girls' weekends of my youth. The dinner dishes had been cleared the night before and the coffee table was not strewn with dreggy glasses. Instead I arose to find a coffee table topped with ear plugs (snoring does not favour genders), a cup of tea and a pink shower cap shaped like a strawberry. TV was on in the background. Firstly The Living Channel and then someone found Grease which seemed a fitting backdrop.

Although, having written a feature on feminism the week before, I attempted a discussion on why the character of Sandy is a bit of a feminist failure.

We blew the night's grape-coloured cobwebs away by going for a walk. The hot pools had come off the menu as soon as someone called it "genital soup" and our brisk walk ended almost as soon as we passed the first shop. I picked up a cookie jar by the lid, the glass jar dropped and its fall was accompanied by a cascade of ceramic hearts. Nothing broke but the sound of falling items seemed never-ending. I looked up to see Hayley moving in the opposite direction.

By the time we returned, it was 5pm somewhere and so the first of the bubbly was popped. Oh, we put the world to rights I can assure you. The conversations fell a little short of Gaza and flight MH17 but we covered some important topics.

Hayley's search history included the question: "Why do men have nipples?"

While I vaguely remember the discussion, I can't recall how it started. I know I found two of my cat's nipples a few days before the trip so I presume this was the starter. As it goes, I don't remember the answer but I think that's because we were interrupted by Leo Sayer's greatest hits and it had been a long time between us and Leo.

Sunday morning arrived and with the kind of sadness reserved only for saying goodbye to fantastic company, the girls departed, the recycling bin overflowing shamefully into spare plastic bags as we left.

The Press