As a for-instance, here's an excerpt - I have tried to put some actual descriptions in but only for a few of the characters. The other characters could look like the invaders from Mars Attacks for all we know.
Andrea, Catherine, Helen and I were sitting out in the shade of the veranda enjoying cigarettes and coffees, an eclectic selection of music blaring from inside the house, when a silver Toyota Prius, driving slowly down the road as if the driver were searching for something, came to an abrupt stop just past our gate, reversed up a bit and turned into the driveway.
I tried to make out who was in it as I did not recognise the car at all but the angle of the sun was such that the windshield was a streaky pattern of glare.
“Visitors,” said Helen. Her voice was tinged with both puzzlement and expectation, it was clear that she also didn’t recognise the car.
“Could just be someone wanting directions,” said Catherine.
“Yeah, nah,” said Andrea, “they stopped too suddenly when they got a clear look at the letterbox. They were looking for us.”
The Prius slowed to a halt on the driveway and a tall man with light brown hair got out. It had been years since I’d last seen him – his face was a little fleshier and his stomach was no longer flat – but I instantly recognised him. A slender woman with long light-brown hair, whom I also recognised, emerged from the front passenger side of the car.
They grinned and the man yelled, “surprise.”
I was very surprised to see them, of course, but I wasn’t inclined to show it. I looked at my watch. “You’re late,” I yelled back, eliciting laughter from our visitors.
“I hope we don’t inconvenience you,” said the woman, “I told Artur we should phone but he wanted to surprise you.”
“Das macht nichts, Bettina,” I said, “Art knows of old that I always welcome a surprise visit.”
Artur grinned. “I’ve brought us beers.”
Attracted by the shouting, my children came running around the side of the house, Conal in the lead followed by Carlin then Vanessa, with Talia bringing up the rear.
Artur said something I didn’t catch then the rear doors of the Prius opened and Artur and Bettina’s two blue-eyed, pale-haired children got out.
There was a period of confusion and bedlam while introductions were made. This was the first time I had met Karl and Erika and it was the first time Artur and his family had met my children. Artur had met Helen on one of his earlier trips to New Zealand but neither he nor Bettina had met Andrea or Catherine.
Once introductions were out of the way, I sent Carlin to fetch sun hats for our guests then my tribe dragged Karl and Erika off to show them their toys and the tree house while we adults settled down on the veranda with fresh coffees and cigarettes.
“So what brings you back to New Zealand?” I asked.
“We figured that if we didn’t visit now, we’d never be able to afford to ever again,” said Artur. “The price of everything keeps going up and business was getting slack so we thought we’d come and spend some time in New Zealand.”
“How long are you here for?”
“Only a couple of months,” Artur was the only German I had met that could pronounce “th”, “it’s all we could afford.”
“We’re booked into a hotel in Hastings,” said Bettina.
“Well bloody-well unbook, you can stay here. You know you’re always welcome.”
“Yeah, I know,” said Artur, “but since we were making a surprise visit, I wasn’t sure if you were home or maybe already had guests. Besides, there’s more of us now.”
“We’ll fit you all in somehow,” I reassured him, “there’s a chook house out the back if necessary.”