I was expecting my mother earlier this evening.

She was coming to take me to Invercargill. My brother, the ghost who walks, is going down from Wellington for the Burt Munro Challenge. At the same time there was supposed to be a celebration at Knox Church for our respective birthdays. He’s a 50 year old Sagittarian, I’m a 44 year old Scorpio.

My mother got as far as Balclutha before she was caught in an accident. The car is a write-off, she got through without any major injury, except for a couple of splendid shiners I understand. After the ambulance people fussed over her the police took her back to Invercargill. My mother knows all the Nicest Policemen!

I decided against making any alternative travel plans. Even though it meant saying good-bye to ice-cream cake (my favourite birthday treat). I could stay at home with Tao and not put her under any stress, which a visit from my mother usually implies. She insists on bringing her dog with her, a constant frustration for me.

Southern Dave has offered to come to Dunedin to collect me. As my mother is now without a car and will probably not visit me again this year I have decided to go. I suspect that we will be in separate cities for Christmas this year, and she will not make it to see Aïda next weekend.

I think I can safely shut Tao in the house before I leave. I will only be away overnight and will return on Sunday with four bikers. What fun!