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It's my niece's wedding, and I treat myself to face painting – I never wear makeup – and hair tizzying. When I scrounge around online I have no idea how big a treat it would be. Abby of Finesse Makeup (http://finessemakeup.com/palm-cove-wedding-makeup-and-hair/) turns out to be a mobile operator and she comes to my cabin on the side of the hill with all her gear in a back pack. She straps her toolkit around her waist and begins brushing me over. Then the hairdresser arrives. So I sit in my eyrie and chat while the transformation takes place: hair and face simultaneously. My eyes are praised, and the softness of my hair (40% grey: I now have it on expert authority). Abby used to be a news journalist and made a career change when the pressure got too great: she runs, and the hairdresser is a serious cyclist. We chat and I realise that the planes do make a noise. I hadn't tried to talk over them before.

It took a lot of equipment to deal with my face, and perhaps I'll dare to flaunt the finished product, although I haven't quite mastered the art of the selfie: I look at the camera with too quizzically, and I'm too busy clicking to smile.



My niece invites me to join her and her bridesmaids for “some girly time”, an honour I wasn't expecting, so I set off for the Shangri-La Hotel and more new experiences. Kate is having false nails attached: the photographer is acrobating to take photos in a crowded room and trying desperately to find a place for the empty dress shot; the bride is keeping an anxious eye out the window on progress setting up the parkland venue; my six year old great-niece is flirting with the camera and enjoying her sparkly sandals (“Are those jewels real?”). The champagne begins to flow.

The ceremony takes place against the sky and the blue of Trinity Inlet, the speeches are made and the partying begins. My niece is now a married woman.