The Princess turns 20

Today is my princess's 20th birthday.

She is my youngest and came along after two boys. When I was pregnant I remember thinking how noisy the house would be if it was another boy.  When she was born the doctor said "it's a girl"  and her father said "are you sure?" and raced to the other end to check.  "Thank God" he said – "we don't have to do this again".

Her brothers (about 5 and 3)  were thrilled at the prospect of a new toy to play with and whenever I put her down and turned away they would be right there ready to poke and prod to see what sort of noises this toy emitted.  They also discovered what fun it could be to almost launch her from the bouncinette.   

She was a tough little thing but she is such a softie now.  The sight of a less fortunate person or some injustice will make her cry. Her favourite movie of the last few years is The Pursuit of Happyness which she has seen more than 10 times and she cries every time.  I once took her to the movies to see a Lassie film and we had to leave because she would not stop crying so loudly it was disturbing other people.

But she can also swear like a trooper at her brothers and packs a powerful punch. 

I have not seen her since March 2008 which was when I was last at home.   She attempts to worry me by sending photographs of herself like this one  – these are not her brothers:  







Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Another revolution….

It's my birthday today.  I have survived another trip around the sun and hope to go a good many more rotations.

When I was growing up it was always exciting when anyone in our house had a birthday.  That was the only time that we were allowed to have soft drinks and sweets.  This extended to parents birthdays as well so 6 times a year we kids flew high on sugar!

The birthday person got to choose what the family would eat for dinner that night.  I always, always chose roast lamb (baked dinner).  My mother cooked the best baked dinner and gravy.  I've never found anyone to rival her.  Even now, when I go home, I request a baked dinner even though my poor mother is in her 70's and has to use a walker to get around!!

So in the absence of a baked dinner what will I have for dinner tonight?   Pizza from great El Salvadorian place.

Feeling quite a bit better today – happy on the inside; but still a bit crappy around the edges.  

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

My last couple of weeks…


I learnt that mentioning offhandedly to an eye doctor that the little light looks brighter in one eye than the other will lead to hours of tests and tasks at a neuro-opthalmologist.    The specialist asked "why are you here?"  -  I responded: "Because I said that looks a bit brighter in this eye to the other guy".    "No -  it must be more than that",  he says and reads the notes….   Mmmm – no, that's exactly all it was!  Nothing wrong.

I learnt that Radish seeds are incredibly easy to germinate.  I assumed a fair percentage would fail …   not so:  Now I don't know whether to transplant some or just separate and destroy!   And, how do you tell when a radish is ripe enough to pull up?

But – when it came to the spring onions?   They are sort of straggly & pathetic looking:

I bought a hen & chicks plant last trip to the nursery because it said "drought resistant".  Although I have seen the plants in many gardens I had never seen flowers on them until mine produced a batch last week.   The Latin name for the plant is Sempervivum tectorum which translates roughly into evergreen on roofs.   Apparently they used to be planted on thatched roofs in Europe as protection against lightning induced fires.  Wow!  A versatile practical plant – drought and fire resistant and pretty:


Last year I planted a day lilly and promptly neglected it after it finished flowering.  This year it is attempting to make me notice it by being prolific with the flowers:


A few weeks ago we went to friends for a bbq which included some Maryland crabs.  4 yo boy says "uncle manservant are you sure you know how to open crabs 'cause it doesn't look like it" !!   I'm not much on having to fight for my food so I was happy to eat from the fish selection. 


Last night I held a little gathering of ladies -  a gaggle of girls??  – to celebrate a 50th birthday of one of my friends.  There were 10 of us – only 2 under 50 – a total baby of 30 and a 47 yo.  The friendship of a circle of females can be a very strong and supportive bond.  We 50-plusers each told how we had felt on the day we reached the milestone and shared some of our bucket list items.   We ate well and drank better.   The highlight was the chocolate cake and bubbly! 

Mixed company is ok but nothing beats a bunch of women for some enlightening conversations!  After a few drinks girls get down to nitty gritties that I'm sure would make you guys nervous! 


IMG_8576aBirthday girl has to open the champagneIMG_8580aPurple hat platterHappy birthday


Read and post comments | Send to a friend

1984 Boy

It must suck having a birthday on Christmas Day or New Year's Day -  but then again,  people do tend to actually remember it along the lines of  – oh, poor so & so having a birthday on Christmas/New Year's Day. 

But it must really, really suck to have a birthday in between the two.  Everyone is recovering from Christmas and gearing up for the New Year.  Family need reminding about the birthday as they are not quite sure which one of those in-between days it is.   When you are young, most of your friends have gone away on holidays so your parents have to organise your parties before school ends for the year.  This means your parents are even more likely to forget your birthday when it actually occurs.  

There is probably not much fun to being pregnant at that time of year either (summer in Australia) – though I can hardly remember it now as it was so long ago.   I do remember that I had a private room in the hospital and that in those days they used to keep you in there for a week to make sure you knew what you were doing.  New Year's Eve was pretty quiet that year. . 

Today my eldest son will be 24.

I love this photo taken in 1990  -   everyone is facing the teacher except my son!   He spent most of his school life doing the same thing! 

He did eventually grow into those ears but he traded the tinsel angel wings for some ink:  

Happy Birthday LockBoy!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Time difference, what time difference

Cat's son came back …  and he brought a friend.  Friend's mother got all confused about the time difference between Australia and DC and rang at some unGodly hour on Sunday morning (it was still dark so it was certainly unGodly).  

The manservant answered the phone "hello, hello,  hello???   You ring me before 8am on a Sunday morning and then you won't talk to me!".   Hangs up.

Five minutes later phone rings again and he answers and without any ado says:  'hello? -  I'll put Emjay on".   I feel a little embarrassed as I take the phone wondering what she must think of these rude people her daughter is staying with.    She thought it was the middle of Monday morning here and was ringing to say "happy birthday"  to her daughter.

So today is now Monday and the manservant went to huge effort to get her a birthday cake – our ghetto Safeway does not carry birthday cakes – apparently people in my neighbourhood do not wish to celebrate their birthdays.  Poor guy trekked to Giant in the next "suburb" to get a cake.   Now we wait for Lloyd to bring her home so we can celebrate and she can report to her mother that we really are nice people! 

Edited to add the photo.   She was thrilled!  


Read and post comments | Send to a friend

The Experiment …


My experiment proved overwhelmingly that people will say "happy birthday" when forced to – oops - faced with, someone announcing it is their birthday – and you don't even have to make eye contact! 

Only one person did not – they responded "Is it really?  I feel bad, I didn't get you anything" and then walked off. LOL  Obviously they did not feel bad enough to say happy birthday! 

I think I elicited around 100 "Happy Birthday"s yesterday!  :-)  Office workers, delivery men, couriers, even the new post lady, were not spared the announcement!

I was so spoilt – the crutches probably helped there – with people at my beck and call all day.

My friend Miss Gee drove me home and then we had a "girls" evening of wine & nibbles. Most enjoyable! 

My astro-dweeb might be slumming it in Hawaii but he did not forget me – this lovely flower arrangement arrived at work during the afternoon:

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Today …

It's my birthday today and I can't go dancing!  

But I have made sure everyone knows that today is the day.  As soon as I got in the taxi this morning and dispensed with the explanation on my cast I said "It's my birthday today" !!!    Thus forcing the poor guy to utter my first "happy birthday" of the day.

Then a nice young man held the door of the elevator open so I could swing in and I said "thank you, it's my birthday today"….    prompting the second good wishes of the day!

I wonder if anyone replies nastily or ignores that announcement….  I will experiment all day and see.

A woman here at work just commented that she does not know any other grown up person who gets so excited about their own birthday.  

I found an unexpected surprise from my sister this morning on her blog …   Cat's "tribute"     but don't believe everything you read in the press!  :-) 


Read and post comments | Send to a friend