Well I've been a super spoilt, super lucky girl this last fortnight. Though it wasn't quite as lavish as last year's birthday month, it has certainly given me countless moments to reflect on my blessings, feel incredibly loved, be surrounded by amazing friends, and generally just be a very smiley (and inebriated) girl indeed! It started out with being totally unprepared for my birthday's arrival, given the crazy month I've had. The day before my actual birthday though, the lovely Ange, Krin and my dance partner Sam took me out to lunch at DUMPLINGS, which totally counteracted the awful rainy winter day we were having. Then they took me to dessert at Max Brenners - I'd totally forgotten just how good it was, and it was all I could do to stop myself from applauding the sweet treats as they arrived at our table.
The evening of the birthday eve, I last minutedly requested that a small group of friends join me for a chilled drink nearby the studio after a coaching lesson I taught. It ended up, as soirees with good friends tend to do with alcohol as a fuel, being anything BUT chilled. Let's just say that 4 hours later, we ended up at a place called Sahara Nights across the road - the local middle eastern shisha kebab nightclub complete with LIT UP hats and headbands, pop music mixed into belly dance beats, giggles and shisha inhaling madness, cocktails with way too many umbrellas in each one, and it just gets dodgier and dodgier the more I try to dredge up the memories in my head. Let me show you just HOW dodgy and insanely fun it was:
By the time I stumbled home, S was already in bed and I lovingly tried to cuddle him to sleep. He told me the next day that I smelt like a brewery and that I should have kept on my own side of the bed! CHIVALRY!
My actual birthday morning, S tiptoed into the room, sure that I would be hungover as hell. Well, I was not. I bolted upright in bed, yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!! And put my arms out for a huge cuddle and kiss! To my extreme excitedness, my handsome man came bearing an armful of gifts!
Plus, remember that Shopbop parcel that's been lying in wait for me to open it?
We also had lunch at Hellenic Republic with his lovely family, and I met his cousin Maree for the first time, who was just a delight! Amazing food, wonderful company, S' mum surprised me with some flowers toooooooo, and some new moccasins for winter at my request. Nothing not to love there.
I must've still been a little err drunk from the night before - I only had 2 glasses of champagne at lunch, and then was a little "giddy"... and then when the birthday dessert got served, I squawked "AND NOW SING ME THE BIRTHDAY SONG!" and wonderful family that they are, they totally complied! HA!
S and I spent the afternoon doing something we practically NEVER get to do since we don't get the same days off - we wandered around the Melbourne CBD. I love how beautiful Melbourne is, and walking hand in hand with S in the drizzle, waltzing around various stores, kissing on street corners and enjoying the day was simply sublime.
My birthday night was the evening of the Australian Salsa & Latin Open - Victoria. I had to work at this event - judging it - but it was ALL good even though it was my birthday, because I got one of the best birthday presents a coach could ask for. I got to watch my "kids" NAIL it on stage. All 4 of them that competed simply danced their best that night, the best I've ever seen them, and exactly what I had always envisioned of them, and it was overwhelming and simply more than I could've asked for. Nothing more gratifying to pour your heart and soul into people and watch them shine as a result.
The day after my birthday, and after a GOOD sleep, S took me to my birthday dinner. He has a habit of choosing absolutely brilliant restaurants for my birthdays, and this year was no exception. We went to MAHA, and feasted like sultans. It was a brilliant night shared with a special man, and I felt utterly adored and adoring in return! (Also, just as a bit of random relationship advice - there is NOTHING better than a man who upon watching your eyes light up at a certain shared dish, proclaims it ALL YOURS).
A week of work went by after that weekend, and then THIS WEEKEND, it started all over again.
Firstly, S took me to Rock the Ballet by Rasta Thomas - we'd watched it last year and absolutely loved it! As always, we made a night of it by frocking up, having dinner at the Arts Centre Curve Bar, and then watching the show itself with cocktails at intermission!
The next night, he took me to a BALL at the Crown Palladium. How absolutely fun to get frocked up, and venture out with him, dance, eat good food, and watch the fashions out there. It was a footy ball of sorts, so there was PLENTY of bad fashion and skunky behaviour to watch and be amused by! I know it sounds terrible - but when you have girls throwing up in the bathroom by 9pm, you know you're at a special kind of ball! In any case, we had a brilliant time with a couple of his friends, plus the great band, funny MCs and great food.
On Sunday, I embarked on my yearly birthday luncheon with the laydees - the champagne lunch at Number 8, also at Crown. This year the free flow was Moet Chandon, which was super duper pleasing, and the menu has expanded and the food and service was still impeccable. PLUS, I got to hang with some of my favourite women who inspire me with their fabulousness, have an amazing time, and oh, did I mention the free flow of Moet?
That shot was taken at the BEGINNING of the lunch, when we were all still very sober, thank you very much.
Needless to say, after 4 hours of Moet, by the time I headed to my birthday party itself at Trunk, I was... HAPPY. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY OH YEAH OH YEAH.
Unfortunately, by this stage, I no longer had presence of mind to remember that I even owned a camera, let alone use it, so I don't have any photos of the evening. :(
BUT I was superbly elated to walk into Trunk to find OODLES of people who had come despite my 5 DAYS notice that I was having a party. I'm serious. I thought there may be 10-20 people. But everyone kept showing up in droves, DROVES I tell you,and ever 5 minutes was a moment of OH HAI! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU CAME! THANK YOU FOR COMING! and more (hic) drinks, good vibes everywhere, and friends from my different communities and walks of life coming together.
Wow. Highly amazing, having a room filled with such wonderment. At one stage, I remember (blearily) gazing upon everyone sitting in little clusters, enjoying good conversation over wines, sound of laughter pealing across the bar, and was filled with great gratitude - to have good friends is one thing. But to have a community of truly nice people around you? Who rock up on a super cold day just to celebrate your birthday and present you with the HUGEST card you've ever seen? AMAZING.
Plus, I hear that everyone banded together to create me the best present EVER, TOTALLY unprecedented, and organised by the one and only Alison. But I'll wait till I receive it to confirm. Because this is truly a once in a lifetime moment of specialness.
If you're still reading after this 1300 word essay that was my birthday shenanigans, congratulations! You survived!
Seriously though, wasn't it amazing?
SAY IT WAS AMAZING.
(yup, maybe still a little inebriated after all. and GLOWING from all the goodness around me.)