On Thursday night this week, I had a lovely surprise. OH told me that he'd been in discussions with my sisters in Australia and Yorkshire and that he had been trying to hatch a surprise gathering for my 50th birthday in October.
I was very taken aback, as I am not the sort of person who likes surprises and was shocked that he'd done it, but in the end he'd decided to tell me, as he knew what I was like and thought it better all around if I knew, so that I could plan for it.
Anyway, the outcome is that my sister, who moved to Australia 7 or so years ago and hasn't been back to the UK since, is coming over in October for a visit and I'm super excited.
It all got a bit complicated, however, as our other sister, who lives in Yorkshire, is due to fly out to Cuba for two weeks, two days after she arrives, which is a great pity, but can't be helped, so the logistics of getting us all together for an evening was tricky.
Anyway, we've all agreed to meet at a hotel half way between London and Yorkshire and have a meal together on the eve of my birthday, which will be lovely. OH just has to book the hotel rooms and we should be set.
It was a really lovely surprise to find out my sister was coming over, as I haven't seen her for over 5 years now, since we visited her in Brisbane.
We were going to visit again this summer, but our plans changed when our neighbours unexpectedly agreed to a side extension of our kitchens and we needed to save money for that. We were still hoping to return to Australia, possibly next year.
Anyway, my sister's forthcoming visit was facilitated by the fact that she has recently taken voluntary redundancy from one of her two jobs, which gave her a window of opportunity, and I'm so happy and humbled that she's using it to come here and visit us. What better birthday present could I ask for?
I'm so looking forward to doing normal sisterly things with her, that we never get the chance to do, like days out, shopping, chilling, and catching up with each other's news.
We're hoping to take a trip up to Yorkshire too, so she can visit a few friends and family members and take in a few old haunts. We're currently looking at booking some accommodation for that too, so it's all very exciting.
I had a good Skype conversation with her on Friday morning, (OH finally hooked up my computer to Skype) to find out all about it. She's coming on her own due to the rest of her family having work and school commitments. It is a long way to travel alone, but the tickets have been booked and it is actually happening I hope.
So, it's been a rather overwhelming few days since I found out and it is now beginning to sink in and I really can't wait. I can see a lot of cleaning and decluttering on the horizon, plus food shopping and other preparations, in anticipation of her arrival. I can't wait to get started.