The eve of 33

I’m sitting here on the eve of my 33rd birthday waiting for orange syrup to reduce down before I crawl up in bed to read another chapter of Optimism by Bob Brown. A book that so far at the start of chapter 34 has had me laughing, crying, smiling, sobbing and pondering.

I have pondered many times over the past years, the updates required to this little blog on my little corner of the interwebs. When you no longer update the blog regularly (hello Instagram) should you do big catch up posts on the miscellany that is my life or should I just post random snippets of this life? It then of course all becomes too hard and the number of unpublished drafts increases in numbers and the pages in my various notebooks that contain my thoughts increase.

This evening though, as I look  into tomorrow that brings 33, I have an urge to write, to press that post button and not to overly stress about the editing of said post.

I thought it might be interesting to look back on this post from 10 years ago - Birthday Eve, oh how life has changed, but also how life has not.

I look at the content of that post and I realise.

  • I still love wondering round the galleries, quite possibly more now than I did then as I recognise the ability of the gallery to calm my mind.
  • I still love a good gallery gift shop.
  • I miss the days of flex time.
  • I still love Lush, maybe not as much as I did back then but Rose Jam will always have my heart.
  • It is comforting to see that 10 years later, Keen has not changed the overall page hierarchy of their website and a link from 10 years ago, takes you exactly where it was intended 10 years ago!
  • Blue Cat Chocolates has closed now but I still love a good craft chocolate shop.
  • The Northside Flower Market is still my local flower shop (though, it has been the family flower shop for gosh at least since the early 2000s.
  • I’m pretty certain I gave that tablecloth in the pictures to the opshop say 5 years ago. Looking at those photos now, I wish I still had it. Maybe I do have it though and it is just shoved in the back of a cupboard somewhere… or maybe I gave it to Mum. Who knows but time will tell.
  • Pabbi, as any former regular reader of this blog will know, died back in 2010 so no more skonsur cooking by him. I am now hankering for skonsur writing this….
  • Mum still gives me hankies every so often as a present.
  • I’m thinking I need to re-watch The Hollowmen as I am struggling to remember the show!

Tomorrow, actually scratch that. Some stage this week I hope to write a new birthday goals list, like those posts I’ve done before, a list of 33 things that I plan on doing/seeing/achieving/sorting out before I turn 34. Let’s see how I go at making two posts in one week!!

Also check that out, no photos!

The Hippeastrums say hello

 

Hippeastrums

Well I must say I hadn’t planned on it to be over two months between posts but such it is.

In that time uni has been well uni. It’s my last semester and and the two subjects I’m doing are ones that require a lot of brain wrangling.

Textbook pages a flutter

 

I had a birthday. I’m now 27. Gosh, it’s hard to think that this time ten years ago  I was busy decorating my formal dress, having fun and looking forward the two and a half months I was having going round the world instead of going to schoolies.

Tim tam pikelet stack

 

The girls at work made my desk into a “winter wonderland” aka filling my drawers and covering my desk with very finely shredded paper and then wrapping it all up in bubble wrap and presenting the above tim-tam wrapped berry and cream pikelet stack to me as my cake.


Bubble wrapped

Mum sent me a bunch of flowers to work which was very nice.

Birthday blooms from Mum

My birthday presents to myself was a tablet (Google Nexus 7) which I love and would be more handy that I imagined in the past few weeks, a pair of new shoes and nose surgery.

Nexus 7

These are my shoes. They’re silver. Oh so pretty. Oh so comfy. They Spin in silver from Ecco.

Shoes, Silver Shoes.

 

For the last couple of years I’ve pumped drugs up nose on and off in a bid to clear it. I’ve not really smelt or tasted things very well. One reason, why I’m always slightly paranoid about people’s response to the food that I make; does it taste ok? That all came to head earlier this year when I got sinus pain whilst flying. A change of nose drugs didn’t really do much so it was time to consider other options. I had a septoplasty and turbinectomy at the start of the uni mid-semester break.

Gosh, I’m still in recovery and if it wasn’t for those who I’ve spoken to who’ve had the the surgery previously I would seriously be questioning why I undertook it. Imagine a tap on your nose that you can’t turn off and splurts out rubbish down your nasal passage and your throat all day long.   I work in the medical field, I’ve seen, read and heard enough gory surgical tales that 99.9% of it is water off my back. Facial surgery though is that .1% that makes me go argh. I do though get a kick out of the fact though that I can now say I’ve legally used cocaine.  Yep, it’s commonly used during nasal surgery as a local anesthetic.

Roses from work in a Figgjo Flint Lotte jug

Work sent me these lovely pink roses (I can sort of smell them) and no, they didn’t see the irony in sending me roses as they came from head office and not my office. We got a laugh out of it though. I also finally picked up the Figgjo Flint Lotte water jug that I’ve had my eye on for some time.

 

Bed time

Now it’s time to have a little nap before I venture off to uni this afternoon. I’m not using four pillows anymore but am down to two pillows. The blanket came from the farm, the pillow and sæng cover are from Ikea, love those dots.

And here is another photo from the garden to sign off with. I’m so happy it’s finally raining! Not only to settle the dust so it doesn’t irritate my nose but to water the garden and to give the tank a good fill. Not sure about you but my water tank has been empty for almost two months. A Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) enjoying the Grevillea.

Lorikeet

I just about did it.

referring to a declaration I made a little over a year ago. Number 8 in fact.

Halina's birthday cake from me

I made a rainbow cake, not the style of rainbow cake I had planned to make a year or so ago but an easier one both to make and to consume. I used the butter cake recipe from *that birthday cake book*, doubled it, split it in to a number of bowls, added a liberal amount of food dye to each bowl, stirred that food dye in very well, dolloped it into a bundt pan, baked it, covered it in yummy chocolate ganache (the secret to shiny ganache is a little dollop of a plain veggie oil) and then sprinkled gold sugar over the top.

It was well, it was smile material.

In progress shot.
mmmmmm cake

One of the girls at work is a day younger than me, so to celebrate our birthdays we made each other a cake. Oh it was a day of cake last Monday at work.

This is the oh so so so yummy double layer chocolate cake she made me.
My birthday cake from Halina

mmm rainbow cake.

25 things to do before 26

Well I’m most certainly 25 now; I had a lovely weekend, went to Gerties on Saturday night with some friends, had breakfast at Sassafras on Sunday with N and then a browse at the Paddington Antique Centre, where I picked up the most amazing find; a Figgjo Lotte Salt Box/Cellar. I remember when I first saw one of these listed on ebay, I just was awe; the amazing shape, the placement of the designs, the everything. I also remember the price the auction finished, whoa that was some money. The next few times I saw one come up on ebay, the auction finished at similar prices. I can happily say that I picked up mine for a whole lot less.

Isn’t it beautiful? I’m not sure what I will put in it yet but I can assure it won’t be salt.

A lovely birthday find

Yesterday I had a great day. It was a training day at work so no candidates and a chance to have lunch together as a department. I went to the orthodontist and got the news that I’ve been wanting to hear for the last nine months or so, it’s time to go see the prosthodontist, yay! I have an appointment on Oct 5, which will hopefully be an x-ray to confirm root placement and the like and that we can move forward with the implant procedure. Cross your fingers. It’s now week 9 at Uni which is hard to believe, it seems like just yesterday I was looking at my lecture notes for week 1 and thinking it sort of makes sense. I’m really looking forward to next year. When I got home from uni I was presented with the most amazing bunch of red, magenta and orange gerberas from one of my flatmates as belated birthday present. It’s gorgeous, I’ll have to take a photo later.

Now to to the meat of this post. 25 things that I wish to do/complete before I turn 26 next year.

  1. Be finished with orthodontic work.
  2. Challenge myself to take more thoughtful photos.
  3. Ride my bike more.
  4. Get a will.
  5. Get better with my practice of one thing in means one thing out for my belongings.
  6. Spend more time creating.
  7. Print and frame more photos.
  8. Bake a rainbow cake.
  9. Do more study.
  10. Go to the Drive In – hopefully the Wonga one if it re-opens in the next few months.
  11. Go media-free for at least 48hrs.
  12. Make marshmallows and honeycomb.
  13. Be more regular on my blog (gee, that sounds like an All-Bran ad).
  14. Grow my investments.
  15. Reduce the stack of clothes in my mending/alterations stack.
  16. Make my own tea blend.
  17. Make strawberry jam.
  18. Get fresh flowers more often.
  19. Write and comment more.
  20. Grow professionally.
  21. Get my routines started again – planning meals for the week and exercise.
  22. Read some more classics.
  23. Finish my granny square blanket.
  24. Make mulberry crumble or pie from the mulberries in the freezer.
  25. Turn 26

There it is, some things are small, some things not so, some things are little, something things require effort.

And we’ll end off with two books that I’ve been enjoying immensely at the moment. 50/60/70 : Iconic Australian Houses by Karen McCartney and The Iconic House by Dominic Bradbury.

Two of my current books

24.99726 years

Tomorrow I turn 25. As of tomorrow I am most certainly in my mid 20s. 25 it sounds so much more formal than 24.

For everything that the last 364 days have brought me, from the good, the bad, the ugly, the forgettable, the unforgettable, the amazing, the challenging, the one thing that I think will always be a hallmark of my 24th year is of course Pabbi dying. My 25th year starts to unfold tomorrow and as the year passes it will be interesting to see what it brings. I’ve got a number of things I want to complete/accomplish next year but mostly I’m here to live and to make the most whilst doing just that; living life.

and to move away from birthdays but onto happenings of the last week.

For the past week I’ve been literally overdosing on strawberries.
Strawberries ....

I am very pleased to announce that I got 80% for my accounting exam last week, it put me in the top 9% of the class, I aim to improve on that as the semester continues. The exam was Saturday morning and Saturday evening was Riverfire which we watched from a hill in Wooloowin. Oh sigh, we had 3, yes 3 dump and burns this year from the one plane. Oh the F-111 is one special plane.

Dump and Burn

Tonight after work N and I had “dinner” at the 40 Days and 40 Nights of Chocolate Buffet at the Bistro Allure. Oh I’m just recovering from chocolate and sugar overdose. I’ll go again in a couple of weeks with some of the girls from work and I’ve got a game plan worked out. The plan from which I shall not deviate is to get one piece at a time, eat that piece and then go back for more. mmmm chocolate ….

One of the many cases of goodies
Chocolate Buffet at Bistro Allure

N’s plate
Chocolate Buffet at Bistro Allure

My plate
Chocolate Buffet at Bistro Allure

This is one of the adorable presents I got from one of the girls at work today. A mini tea set. The perfect desk accessory for a tea fanatic like myself. I had received the little sugar pot at Easter and was told that I would get the rest of the present for my birthday. Total gold. The best thing is that the tea pot actually pours 🙂

A mini tea set for my birthday

88, 89, 90!

It’s a training day at work today so I am able to get in a wee bit later than usual. Today Grandad turns 90! We had his birthday party last weekend and it was such a treat. The weather was perfect, a fair swack of extended family turned up which was great for a catch-up and of course there was food!

Lawrence Pryce Stephenson, born 29 Jan 1920.
Grandad

Grandad is Grandad and for all that he is, I quite treasure the time I spend with him. We typically go to The Farm, once a week to visit and have dinner etc.

This was the cake.
The week before when we were up, Mum asked Grandad what sort of cake he wanted, his answer was a plain fruit cake with no icing and that is what we had. I of course couldn’t let it go undecorated though! We used to play with this fishing rod and fishes when we were younger and spending time at The Farm. Grandad is a fisherman, not so much at all in recent years unfortunately as it is hard for him to keep steady on his feet in a boat.

Just like we have done in the past for other milestone birthdays, Mum had taped together 90 party poppers in bunches of fives. With a slight breeze in the air, they looked fantastic when they popped.

90 Party Poppers! 90 Party Poppers! 90 Party Poppers! 90 Party Poppers! 90 Party Poppers! 90 Party Poppers! 90 Party Poppers!

Grandad with streamers all over him.
90 Party Poppers!

Pabbi
Papa

Max and Ian
Ian and Max

Jim – Such a Stephenson face!
Jim

Of course, whilst historically hailing from the Northern Rivers district we are a Bundy Ginger Beer family. 😀
Gaye and Wally

I can tell you all since Grandad does not read this blog. Today he is having a surprise party in the shed with all the workers. The workers all call him Poppy, which is just so different from Grandad. There will be a big BBQ lunch and who knows what else.

Happy Birthday Grandad.