family dinner at the playhouse hotel

The weather cleared in the afternoon and Barraba was a vast green bowl full of sunshine. Claire and Julia wore their Thanksgiving frocks. I wore the black dress I got from Jan, the ruby necklace I got from Mum, the pink pearls Jeremy gave me after Claire was born and the silver ring that Richard gave me just because.

“We’re eating outside,” said Andrew.

There were coloured bulbs in the grapevines on the trellis, and candles on the table. The lights twinkled from the bottles and wineglasses. Everyone had dressed for dinner. Ross had spiked his hair, Kelly was wearing a silver chain, Mum was wearing an indigo blouse with a red and purple enamel brooch. Their faces shone.

“Aly,” I said, “can I ask a huge favour? Jeremy left his camera at Sarah’s house.”

“We brought it,” he said, and there it was on Kelly’s lap.

I poured myself a glass of white shiraz.

Moments of perfect happiness are awesome.

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