Popping the cork

Turning 54 wasn’t too shabby.

The day kicked off with the youngest asking me if I’d enjoyed my birthday breakfast – the snail pastry she’d brought home from Baker’s Delight.

I stared at her blankly and we both realised we’d forgotten to tell the eldest – who tends to scavenge in the kitchen in the middle of the night – that it was off the menu.

Ah well.

DD called me at 8am and sang me happy birthday in a just-woken-up, husky voice that gave me butterflies.

My sister also rang and sang. She’s good like that.

Lots of people messaged to wish me a bulk fun celebration.

I worked for 10 hours straight like a frantic dervish.

The eldest emerged at lunchtime and gave me an actual, grown up birthday gift of a candle, some timber coasters and a card. I got a bit teary about the milestone event.

DD collected me at 6pm for dinner at a restaurant called Betel Leaf at Bathers Pavilion in Balmoral. We were given a voucher by my sister and her hubby for Christmas and it seemed like a fab time to put it to good use.

The chef is Ty Bellingham, who was Head Chef of the Sailors Thai Group for 12 years. Sailors Thai was quite the Sydney icon in my pre-kids years and brings back so many delicious memories for me.

Betel Leaf was going off like a frog in a sock. Lots of cashed up North Shore types were living it up like it was 1999. There was even a “white party” on the verandah for what I presume was someone’s 40th or 50th. An epic number of cocktails were whisked past us. My brain boggled contemplating the astronomical bill.

We nibbled on delicious signature betel leaves with prawns and smoked trout, delicious scallops, a beef stir-fry and a vegetable curry. I drank prosecco and posted a LinkedIn update about Sydney Harbour Bridge turning 90, because a social media manager is never off duty.

As we sipped and supped we pondered the big issues, like where to rebook our tickets for Red Hot Summer. We sighed and decided maybe Sydney was safer.

We agreed we probably won’t return to Western Australia any time soon. Mr McGowan has turned us off. I reckon it’s a tough road ahead for his tourism industry.

The view over Balmoral Beach as the sun set was stunning.

We vowed to return for lunch with friends soon.

We also vowed to find some fun things to book into our diary that we can look forward to doing together.

There is far too much work and far too little play in our lives right now.

Then DD dropped me home and headed north, with another crazy work day ahead before we see each other again.

And now I’m one year closer to eligibility for over-55s developments.

Go me!

Song of the day: Rod Stewart “Tonight’s the night”

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