Showing posts with label birthdays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthdays. Show all posts

Monday, January 14, 2013

golden jubilee

 Last Friday saw me having a Big Birthday: I am celebrating my Golden Jubilee this year!
 This was my face on Friday: I'm still pretty surprised and shocked by how old I am.

 That birthday card on the right at the top is from my brother and his bride and is my favourite: it starts screaming when you open it.

I haven't been sitting around in my tiara for the last three days while my slaves wait on me. I don't think people over about 18? should talk about or fetishise their birthdays too much: it looks a bit  weird and needy to me. We have been doing mammoth cleaning and sorting in daughter's room: 15 bags of stuff to the op-shop, 5 bags straight in the bin. All the furniture moved. Big, big job. In between this we had a little family dinner out on Friday night, BIG family dinner here last night, and non-birthday themed dinner with old friends on Saturday night.

When I think about it, it has been a huge ten years between forty and er..... this birthday.
Two months before I turned 40 I returned to permanent part-time work after 9 years of only working here and there in contracts and short term jobs. So I've just racked up ten years. I lost both my parents, have had significant health issues, moved house, have  survived the bulk of the teen years - still so much more to go! And for me, the last 12 months being the mother of a 15 and 18 year old has been the most difficult time I've had in the whole time I've been a parent. The earlier part was a total cakewalk compared to 2012.

Anyway, here's to the next 10 years: I wonder if I'll still be writing this blog in 2023?

S made me a marble cake...
... it was delicious
I made Peach Melbas for everyone last night
my work buddies brought round a new rose bush. Lucky.
This is what 50 looks like: grey hair, wrinkles, no lippy, happy as Larry!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

a birthday and a jubilee

My husband's birthday coincides with much merry-making in jolly old England for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee: sixty years in one job deserves a celebration. Who wouldn't love travelling down the Thames on the royal barge accompanied by a thousand boats! It sounds like something Henry VIII would do, not a 21st century queen. I'm a bit sentimental about the present monarch as she was born the same year as my mother.  As for the rest of them.... not much interest, and bring on the Republic of Australia...

I was looking for cake inspiration for the birthday boy (man) and found this recipe for the Queen Elizabeth Cake. Allegedly, it was the only cake the Queen's mother used to make and the "little princesses" would help.(This sounds to me like a  fairytale story, like the contemporary ones about models and actresses attributing their looks to yoga, water and lots of sunscreen - not eating disorders, surgery and diet pills). Anyway.

Reading a bit more about it, this was a war time recipe with only one egg and  60g butter so apparently could be cooked when the population was subject to war-time food rationing. It is really similar to sticky date cake/pudding, and the weird icing ( brown sugar, cream, butter) you are supposed to boil and tip over the cold cake and then sprinkle coconut over and grill it.  This sounded horrible to me until I realised it was a version of caramel sauce, used as icing. Because we are just having the cold cake for afternoon tea I slapped  on a very thin layer of icing with walnuts and coconut instead. Here is my version of the Queen's cake.

Queen Elizabeth Cake

1 cup boiling water
1 cup pitted chopped dates
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
60g butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In one bowl, combine water, dates and bi-carb. Allow to cool
In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and walnuts.

Cream the butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla.
Then alternate adding the wet and dry bowls to the cream bowl.
Mix well, cook for 40-45 minutes at 180 degrees.

Ice or not, or serve it hot with caramel sauce.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

last day of the birthday festival

Just a few photos from dinner out last night.
12 for lunch today then hopefully normal daily blogging resumes tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

little barrel on legs

Here I am, 18 years ago: nearly as wide as I am tall ( not very).
Birthday excitement for tomorrow is building, and tomorrow too, it's Autumn at last.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

the day after

Thank you for the birthday wishes yesterday. It feels a bit weird and needy to be talking about my birthday - I'm not seven years old wearing a party hat!

But I had a really nice low-key day, ending with dinner out locally: we four plus two friends who are like family, anyway.

S made me Nigella's Red Velvet Cake - it was delicious but "Red" is kind of poetic licence.
More a dull beetroot/rhubarb colour.
She used raspberry macaron powder for the colour as we had it in the cupboard.

More on this colour theme - two feathered fellows visited the bird-feeder at breakfast time and the bottom photo shows what's in the fridge at the moment. I get startled every time I open the fridge.
(gift for S from her Emo/Goth girlfriend).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Saturday, October 15, 2011

fourteen years ago today

This boy came into our lives.

This is the song I sang to him when he was a baby.

Happy birthday!

Friday, June 3, 2011

take away his elevator shoes and his fake suntan and his capped teeth and what do you have?

Another family birthday today. Here's the birthday boy, fishing on the Murray River with his brothers close to forty years ago. (FORTY YEARS!! What the?)
He still sports the flannies for rose planting and lawn mowing, despite his daily suit and tie attire for work.

So I'm cake making today for our little family party tonight.

Today, ironically, he gets to meet the people who've taken over the company he works for: the business has been sold. It is what it is - after over 30 years in his industry we are blase about it, and just get on with life.

In other news, if the problem is worst-case-scenario with my car, it will cost too much to repair (over $2000) and won't be worth fixing. My car is 15 years old ( yes, an antique): a navy blue Falcon sedan that I love because it is so reliable and plain and daggy. I am creeped out by mums driving four wheel drive deathstars so if I have to get a new car (kicking and screaming, because I can't think of a greater waste of cash) it will not be one of those. Husband drives one, but I only drive it about twice a year in an emergency. They are too big for me.

Anyway, this ramble does not get the cake made or the house respectable.
I have some op-shop goodies to show too, but I think that will be another post.

Happy birthday.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

birth day

This little chickadee was celebrating her first birthday in this photo. Today it is her seventeenth birthday.

I vividly remember everything leading up to her birth, and the first couple of months after she was born because we went from being a couple who had been together for years, to being a little family. Big changes.

Around the time her brother was born three and a half years later I read an interview with the actor Kerry Armstrong. She said this:

"I think (having) children is about losing the life you had, and from there you find another life. They're both enormous losses and enormous gains, but you have to be prepared to let go of the other life before the new one comes in. Or you will die."

I don't know about dying,but you'd certainly suffer enormous frustration and possibly a broken relationship if you tried to go on as before.

I found Kerry's words spoke to me more than any parenting manual, advice from other women or dumb statements from celebrities about "motherhood being the most important thing I've ever done".

I wrote the words down, they meant so much to me, anyway, I don't know if others would agree with me.

So seventeen years later, here we are celebrating another day!

Happy birthday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


So grateful for another birthday.
Grateful for everything.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

birthday cooking

You don't have to be a kid to get a silly decorated cake in this house.

This is supposed to be a fisherman, BUT he is holding a piece of wire (?)
(Looks more like a construction worker with a hard hat to me).

He will stand on a chocolate cake - blue or green icing - surrounded by Gummi frogs (no fish available, alas).

Made some more pretendy macarons - not sandwiched yet.
Actually, just really good almond biscuits impersonating macarons!

A Thai curry and some basmati will precede all the sweet stuff.

Monday, March 1, 2010

happy birthday autumn baby

How clever, 16 years ago, to have a baby on the first day of my favourite season.
(It was a close thing, she was born thirteen minutes after midnight).

Never a dull moment with this girl (and I mean this in the nicest possible way).

Happy birthday!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

goodbye to february and more stuff

The man with the van came again and took away lots more stuff. Yay. I have also done other things this month such as delete hundreds of emails, old homework and photos from the computer. I've also used up all the old chutneys and curry pastes and other sundry bottles from the fridge. Little things, but it all adds up. A long way to go still.

Day two of the birthday festival continues. Daughter and boyfriend are currently in the kitchen assembling butterfly cakes (pictured) for this evening's dessert. None of us have ever made them before so we are just making it up. Should there be jam in them?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

the festival of [ insert name of child]

Kid's birthdays last for 3 days around here. There is a party tonight, and dinners on Sunday and Monday nights. The Actual Birthday is Monday, the first day of Autumn.
The baby pictured - nine hours old - turns sixteen.
I can't believe it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

my birthday: got drunk on art and a squirrel ran up my leg

True! Yesterday was my birthday, not a milestone one, but only a few years left with a 4 in front of them now. So we went to the National Gallery and I reeled like a drunk from painting to painting not believing what I was seeing - Sunflowers, Turners, more Renoir, Gainsborough, Leonardo etc etc until I could feel art filling every pore. Then lunch and took the tube to see Buckingham Palace, one of the dullest places ever, but the kids wanted to see it. On the way through Green Park squirrels running about, how sweet I thought until one RAN UP MY LEG. Shrieked and it jumped off. Husband is still in hysterics over this. Now have a squirrel phobia and I am burning my copy of Squirrel Nutkin. Hong Kong tonight, there for a couple of days!


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