It's A Wellington Life header image 2

Meeting The Wellingtons

December 28th, 2011 by admin

The newest addition to Wilhelmina Wellington’s family-only Boxing Day lunch is sitting there, stunned. For Chelsea, yesterday, the mum who raised her teased her for wearing shoes at the Christmas barbecue. Today, the  woman who gave birth to her, Karin Kapiti, is sitting beside her at an Edwardian rimu dining table, saying, “The entire arts scene is just imploding in the recession. Nobody’s got any money for anything. Which means you can actually get some really interesting work done. Can you pass the salmon?”

After two weeks of being reunited after Chelsea was given up for adoption, this is her first time meeting the Wellington clan. Birth mother and daughter have spent half the meal turning to the side so that the rest of the family can admire their matching profiles.

The matriarch, Wilhelmina, smiles regally. “My nose was just the same when I was your age. That was the 70s. You’re even in the same dresses we wore then, down to the floor. Time does fly. I’ll get some pictures out later.” Chelsea has been warned that Wilhelmina isn’t the sort to invite her new grand-daughter to call her Nanny. But Wilhelmina gave her a quilt dyed with locally sourced iron oxides, so gloomy and arty that it appealed to her Goth tastes, and Chelsea’s genuine pleasure set the seal on her welcome to the Wellington clan.

Helena Hutt bustles up. “Shall I bring in the pavlova?”

Her sister, Winona, stands up for the first time.  “I thought I was bringing the pavlova? I made one, it’s on the counter.”

“No, no, you’re not supposed to do anything, Win! I brought the pav.”

“I had a real kitchen for the first time this year, Mummy, I told you I was bringing a pavlova. With raspberries!”

“Oh well, nothing wrong with two pavs,” says their round little father.

“Dad!” the women shriek, together.

Chelsea slips away for a cigarette as the pavlova sniping grows more intense. But she’s not the only one seeking refuge. Win’s partner, Will, has stolen away to the side patio as well. “Are they always like that?” Chelsea asks.

“All intense about everything? Yeah, no…yeah. Relaxing isn’t a Wellington family thing. Even on Boxing Day. They’re kind of exhausting, but you get used to ’em,” he says, wiggling his bare toes on the cool flagstones with a cheeky grin. Chelsea slips her shoes off to join him.

Tags:   · · · · · · · 1 Comment

1 response so far ↓