Good time gals: Sarah-Kate Lynch enjoys the ultimate girls-only getaway

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1 January 1970

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sarah-Kate settles into the friend zone on a gabby girlfriend getaway.

Having recently been to the Cook Islands with my Ginger beloved, I was naturally keen to head off almost immediately for a girls-only weekend getaway.

I mean, it’s all very well holidaying with your other half, but mine isn’t much good when it comes to chit-chat. You can ask him a question and he’ll answer – if he’s awake, which on holiday is only about 20% of the time. But mostly he’s off in his own world, thinking about garage doors, retaining walls and, most likely, beer.

But take four opinionated women – who all worked as radio journalists back in the day – to an idyllic holiday spot, and chit-chat is bouncing off the walls.

Of course, getting four opinionated women to agree on where to go and when generally has a touch of the UN peacekeeping mobilisation forces about it, but I circumvented this by simply booking my favourite house at Coopers Beach in the winterless Far North and alerting the other three to the fact.

I’m far from the bossiest person I know, but I think I have great potential.

We arrived in two lots at about the same time on a cold Friday afternoon, and to atone for my forcefulness on the accommodation front, I cooked dinner. Although when I say “I”, I really mean the Ginger, who had bought the fish, made the stock, crumbed and herbed the sourdough topping, printed out the instructions on how to put it all together and packed it up for me to take away.

Yes, I mock him behind his back, but I would really be quite lost without him. Although he does get sick of me talking all the time, so is quite keen to get rid of me for short stints. Plus, he likes getting the dog to himself.

Anyway, I digress.

Up in the winterless north, the fire was lit, the dinner was had, wine was drunk and we all caught up with recent events in each others’ lives.

Of course, when you’re of a certain vintage, a goodly amount of time has to be spent on talk of blood pressure, hip joints, sleep, knees, skin, hair and back pain. But once that’s done and dusted you can get on to the good stuff, like what’s on Netflix, which is the best podcast, who’s reading what and four ways (cooking) with an eggplant.

The next day there were walks on the beach, fish and chips at the famous Mangōnui fish shop, a trip to New Zealand’s northernmost winery, a roast chicken, wine and four more ways (cooking) with an eggplant.

There may also have been dancing. I think there often probably is?

To be honest, I could live like that forever – although I suppose after a while you’d run out of ideas for the eggplant. But oh, it’s good for the soul to spend quality time with kindred spirits! It was a rarity for me, as I know it was for each of them, which made it all the more precious.

To be honest, I could live like that forever – although I suppose after a while you’d run out of ideas for the eggplant

There’s something about conversations in front of a fire at night (in a house where someone else will be doing the vacuuming) that go deeper than in any other setting. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that no one ever runs out of anything to say on a girls’ weekend away. Ever.

By the end of the trip, my stomach muscles ached from laughing – it sure as heck wasn’t from doing sit-ups.

Real life beckoned us home all too soon, but what a reminder of the uplifting power of female friendship. And the versatility of certain vegetables.

But mainly friendship.

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