Time to catch up.

If nothing else, I feel I should write in order to catch myself up. I guess I have been busy, I certainly feel as though I have particularly with work and on the home front.

Two glorious long weekends in a row. I wish it were all our lives. It's just not as much fun unless your partner stays home too. Last weekend P and I made invitations for my birthday party which is on May 14. I finally committed myself to a party - A BIG ONE for the BIG ONE. In my view after 35 they are all BIG ONES, but this is one of those birthdays, the ones that happen every 10 years.

Theinvitation expresses my sentiments on this birthday exactly:

I am having one of THOSE birthdays.
PARTY Therapy will involve copious
If your inclined you're welcome to
by the 80's or NOT!

I have had an awful time trying to decide what to do, run away, run away I kept thinking for a long time, Sydney, Melbourne I would love both, Tetsuyas, Vue De Monde lots of lovely dining choices... but the thing is, I decided this getting older business is much easier when you have amassed some great friends and family, so who better than to share it with.

The party is going to be held at a great venue. Our friends, M & J live in a warehouse in the inner city. We have been to many fun parties there. They live in an apartment in one section of the warehouse and on the second floor they have a reception area and rent space to a fellow who sells gorgeous upholstery fabric. M&J run their own business from that level too (landscape architects). They used to have a set of drums set-up smack bang in the middle of that floor but have sinced moved the drums down to the studio they built downstairs. It's a fantastic space and 80 people won't make a dent in it. M will convene a band for the night - cool jazz and my sister will sing and we will dance and dance and drink and dance. NO KIDS!

Now the ambitious part - P and I have decided to do the food. We decided we wanted to have more money for the drinks and some staff to help. My plan is that on arrival, there will be two cocktails, one is a Cosmopolitan (I know it was soooo last year but I still like them!) and maybe something with an Asian theme, Japanese Slipper or Singapore Sling.

To start we will serve sushi (avocado, cucumber and salmon) and vietnamese rice rolls (chicken and prawn). I am planning that we (my sister too) will make the nibbles on Saturday morning i.e. sushi and vietnamese rice rolls for 80!

For hot food - we are going Chinese. We are using those Chinese food pails so no plates, and no sit down needed. The Chinese food will be simple. P and I are practising on a couple of dishes tomorrow. I think a lemon, ginger chicken with almonds and a marinated beef with broccoli and bok choy and of course fried rice. I will be cooking them on the Friday before the party.

Dessert? I am not completely insane I am buying cakes from my favourite pastry shop, a flourless chocolate cake? a flourless almond and orange cake? a tiramisu torte? Maybe two or three I will decide later.

So lots to think about with that happening shortly, like the practical side where do you keep food for 80 people, do we hire a fridge or get a huge esky from some friends and buy some dry ice? The latter I think . How many glasses? How much sparkling, wine and beer etc? Coffee?

The week after the birthday party will be fairly busy but I am so looking forward to it. We have just booked to spend some time in Mooloolaba.

Elliot will be out of school but I just really need a break I haven't had any proper time off since Christmas and before then it was when I returned to work last May from having Gabriella and moved house, so time off as a family is way overdue.

When we get back from Mooloolaba we will be going to a wedding on the Friday night at Samford, dress is optional Victorian wite tie would you believe. I have a very formal long black Laura Ashely dress that I am going to wear. I have a black faux fur coat that I am going to wear over that (should be cold out there) and I had a groovy leopard skin pill box hat I had made for another winter wedding a few years ago i.e.


I decided to use this picture because the only other picture of the hat was one of two very skanky girls wearing MY hat with completey hideous outfits. This hat and a bright blue dress puhlease! I would rather be thought of by the internet as a ponderous Eastern European man than a skanky chick in completely uncoordinated garb!

Well my attire isn't particulary Victorian but I was not going to have something made that I may never wear again, and the dress is quite formal and long and I think I just need my wrap with beaded fringe when I am not wearing the coat - and maybe a black lace like beaded choker and that is it. I have a black handbag with some leopard skin trim on it and some high black patent Italian court shoes.

Given that there will be some women there with bustles I don't think I will look that out of place. For P white tie is optional I think he is going to wear a black suit.

The wedding itself is in Samford at the Glengariff (Historic) Estate (love that musak!) and the ceremony itself won't be until 8.00pm so I think we are in for a very interesting evening.

After that evening the next day we may be getting a lift with some friends of ours to go to the house warming of some other friends up at Rainbow Beach. Rainbow Beach is what Mooloolaba was about 30 years ago a relatively undeveloped beachside town. Fraser Island is just off Rainbow Beach and I think I was last there 10 years or more ago, doing this


and camping. It was a great time and I hope that when Gabriella is older we will be introducing our children to a few days of beach camping though somewhere a bit closer more likely Moreton or Stradbroke Island.

Our friends B&V built a beach house up there with another couple and it will be available for holiday rental. Knowing B&V I bet the house is very stylish - they had it designed so that there could be two separate pavillions so that two families with kids would not feel crowded in it. They are having drinks of the beach first then food back at the beach house.

It will be great but it is a bit of drive at least 3 and a half hours each way which is why we won't go unless we go with our friends. We will also stay over in Rainbow for the night - NO KIDS!

So that's a snapshot of my next couple of weeks.

On the food front I have been so busy in the kitchen I haven't actually had time to post about all the culinary discoveries I have been making on my no wheat, no dairy, no red meat diet, which I am seriously considering adopting for the long run.

Last night I made a pumpkin, leek and zucchini, garlic and lemon soy cream sauce to have with my rice pasta spirals it was very tasty. I have been surprising myself with the joys of mostly vegetarian food. I have made a pecan, date, fig and carrot cake with no dairy, little fat and no wheat. Wheat-free blueberry muffins, nourishing and tasty vegetable and lentil soups and curries, leek and spinach brown rice pilafs etc. etc.

In long and in short for me life is... currently..... good.


At 1:51 pm, Anonymous Elissa said...

Your life sounds so action packed and exciting at the moment!

On the practical aspects of the party, ring around the places you are going to buy alcohol from - many of the ones in Sydney will lend you glasses for free if you buy all your booze from them. You only have to pay for breakages. I think 1.5 glasses per person but you may want more if you're doing cocktails etc.

My old rule of thumb for bubbly is 4 people per bottle, unless you have a lot of friends who drink nothing else.

The party space sounds fantastic - I am very jealous because I had no party for either 30 or 35 (Nell was 2 weeks old for 35) and I really want a party this year.

If you're really going to do all the food (which I think is v. ambitious) PLEASE book yourself in for a massage or similar in the afternoon so that you have a chance to rest and feel good the party itself.

Does Brisbane have somewhere like the Korean baths? It's a bit like a Turkish Hammam where you can soak and be scrubbed (and even have a little sleep if you want!) and it's not too expensive. If you were here I would INSIST that you go there on the afternoon of your big night - that's what I did the day before my wedding and it worked like a charm!


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