Having arrived in Sydney at 3:30am on Friday morning after driving through the night, an 11am family get together was probably a big ask. It involved meeting all of Tom's aunts and uncles and cousins and anyone else vaguely related to him (or so it felt) and given that I really only function on a minimum of eight hours sleep (I know, it's pretty decadent) my performance that morning was probably always going to be sub-optimal.
Add to this the fact that one of my jobs involves writing for a mothers magazine. This alone is enough to make people a little nervous, because I'm not to their knowledge a mother. (Nor to my knowledge for that matter, and I would probably know.) They ask me polite questions about what I write about, and when inevitably the word birth is mentioned (or sometimes I'll just say 'vaginas' if I want to shut down the conversation super-quickly) they usually offer up some attempt at conversation about the topic, such as 'I read an article about how dangerous home-birth is, I heard women are dying because of their foolish attempts at this' (or words to that effect). I'm not really a strong advocate for a particular way of birthing because although I have my own views I feel it's something that's pretty personal, but it is something I now know quite a lot about. So I inform them of the differences between home-birthing with a medical professional and free-birthing without one, and that it's usually free-birthing that's dangerous and the media should make this distinction. We then have some chit-chat where I say I think the state of birthing in Australia kind of sucks, I give examples of why, they back slowly away making nervous pointing gestures to outdoors and saying things like 'I'll just...' 'I might go and..' 'Aaah...' etc.
After scaring Tom's uncle away like this I retired to a chair in the sun and only spoke to other people sitting in chairs in the sun. This generally involved the elderly and hungover. This suited me just fine.
Tasks for the holiday: impress the family? Tick.