Ready for summer visitors

09 December 2019

Ready for summer visitors

Oh no, the in-laws are coming to stay again. Another summer of being judged and failing miserably. The difference this year is that I’m taking action to ensure there is nothing but positive comments.  Thanks to the great ‘getting ready for summer’ range at Albany Lifestyle Centre, I’m feeling ready for the in-laws and a great summer ahead.

It was three summers ago when the in-laws last visited from the UK. I love them to bits but every time they come, Jess and I are reminded why we choose to live on the other side of the world to them. They have an opinion on everything and always have a way of making you feel that you are failing at work, at home, with the kids or just life in general. I’m not sure if every son-in-law feels this way but I always get a sense that the underlying message is Jess could have married so much better.

I’m determined that this time, they’ll have no reason to live up to their ‘Whinging Poms’ reputation.

I’m going to focus on making our outdoor living area spectacular so they can see exactly how good a life we have here in New Zealand. We are lucky to have a large covered outdoor living area, off the lounge and dining rooms, that overlooks the pool and gardens. Over the last few weeks we’ve focused on getting the pool area shipshape, the lawns and gardens tided up and all the paths and grounds tidied.

We head down to the Albany Lifestyle Centre with a clear plan in mind – outdoor couches, outdoor dining chairs and a new BBQ. The best thing is that everything we’ll need is all here. We start by wandering around all the furniture stores – Danske Mobler, The Design Store, Hunter Furniture, Freedom Furniture and The Importer – looking at all the options before deciding. We agree on the stunning Seahaven rattan outdoor lounge set from The Importer. It’s in a crisp white which will look nice against our dark grey house.

Last year we bought an outdoor table from The Design Store. It’s a striking gun metal grey colour with a glass top. So we buy the eight Rookie outdoor chairs that go with it, creating a very stylish and comfortable outdoor dining set.

All that’s left is the BBQ from Mitre 10 MEGA but on the way there we spot the most amazing lounge chair in the window of Freedom Furniture. It has a huge footstool which makes it feel like a daybed. I think about how lovely it would be to lie in and read a book. Jess’s mother is a big reader so she’ll love this. I realise that if we place it right, Jess’s dad will be able to lie back in it and watch the cricket in the lounge. With the Boxing Day test on this summer, this will keep him happy (and quiet) for a few days.

The selection of BBQs at Mitre 10 MEGA is huge and we hardly know where to start. The service attendant is really helpful and talks us through a number of the options. We settle on a Weber. We’ve had one before and we loved it. It will fit nicely next to the double French doors, making passing food in and out of the kitchen super easy.

We set up what we can and then wait for everything else to be delivered during the week. By lunch the following Sunday, everything is looking amazing and ready to go. Jess loves it and says knowingly, “Mum and Dad will love it too.” We have a family barbie and christen the new chairs and the lounge set. I finish the afternoon on the comfy Freedom chair, thinking about just how easy it was to turn our okay outdoor area into something top notch. Thanks to one morning at the Albany Lifestyle Centre, we are more than ready for summer - and the in-laws!

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