What am I saying? There is no such thing as a small family in the Gillman family! Why we wouldn't recognise a non-epically celebrated birthday if it walk up to us, slammed a caramel cheesecake with chocolate ganache in our face, and kept walking! (We wouldn't run after it to remonstrate since that would involve wasting valuable cheescake eating time!). But some birthdays, to paraphrase George Orwell's Animal Farm (when I say paraphrasing, I mean making the most oblique of references to it!), are bigger than others, and so it was that in recognition of that axiom, Steve & I flew into the Gold Coast in April to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday.
|Andrew, my Nanna and Steve|
|Steve & I on the train at Currumbin|
|My sister Helen, niece Zara (who made the most hilarious growling noises when she saw any animals) and brother in law, Shayne|
|My darling Mum and her granddaughter, Zara|
|Zara & Helen, Rachel (pregnant with Bodhi), her husband, Michael, and Steve|
|Mum unwrapping the yummy baclava we brought up from Sydney|
|Hiding from the rain - Helen & Zara, Steve, Rachel, Nanna & Mum|
To see her you would have no idea she is anywhere near that age, since she has the youthfulness of all the Woolley women (her matriachal line) and the zest of someone half her age, but 70 she is and so we made a BIG weekend of it, with the whole family family turning out in force. It was Steve's first time with the family proper - he had met Mum & Dad and my brother Steve back in October 2009 - and he did very nicely, getting along famously with everyone, including the birthday girl. The weekend consisted of a return to Currumbin Sanctuary, where I hadn't been in 30 years - the bird feeding railing and area had shrunk remarkably! - which was brilliant, a birthday dinner at a Korean restaurant near my sister's and a trip to Mt Tambourine on the Sunday during which it poured but who cared? We were together as a family, the pies were great, and we gave my Mum a 70th birthday to remember!
Not on quite the same scale - OK not true all of my birthdays are epic in scale and need a cast of thousands and an extravagent catering budget should you choose to re-enact them (and why wouldn't you?) - but I celebrated my 45th birthday in a week long festival filled with a romantic night out, a friend visiting from BrizVegas (and a movie marathon day that would tax tha hardiest of celluloid tragics), and a feast of Nepalese food with 25 near and dear friends.
First up, on the day itself (Thursday 25th November; which I spent at work, which may sound like madness unless you factor in all the lovely birthday wishes from work colleagues, and the breakfast and lunch catch ups with close friends), Steve showered me with gifts before taking me to The Boathouse in Glebe, right on the water, for a romantic dinner of wine, salmon entree, Cowra lamb main and the softest, yummiest banana souffle ever. It was a perfect night.
The next day (Friday 26th November) I sensibly took off and spent the day seeing movies with my great friend Jason down from BrizVegas - first The American (awesome slow moving drama with the impossibly good looking George Clooney), then Monsters (a touching story of love in very unusual circumstances) and finally, Copacabana (a fabulous French movie centred on the life of a fre spirited French woman). In the middle of all this cinema inhabiting, we had a sushi lunch, a nap, and a pizza dinner. Too much fun for one day but we did our best to cram it all in!
Then on the Saturday (Saturday 27th November) I gathered 25 of my closest friends together, in an event organised by my best friend, Warren, and Steve, at the Marlborough Hotel first for drinks (so many cocktails - yum!) and then a Nepalese restaurant where the food, service and ambience were all first rate. I had a blast even managing to stay awake till 2a.m. when a few of us made it to a club for some drinks. Beaucoup de fun!