Starting your life over completely is a scary, overwhelming and wonderful thing.
Along the way you run out of money, meet amazing new people, and parts of yourself come to life that have lain dormant for ages.
You have great days and weepy ones, and sometimes, right when you need a shot of hope in the arm, something good comes along to cheer you right up and give you renewed courage.
Like a birthday. In Australia.
I turned 37 this weekend and have to say it was the best birthday I’ve ever had. 🙂
My bear pulled out one surprise after another to make it a beautiful week of great memories and new adventures and I love him for it. 🙂
He started with Nearly Birthday Day, whisking me away to town for silly little things that make me happy. Like taking me to a new thrift store and letting me pick out whatever treasures delighted me: a slightly gaudy medieval necklace, a rather lethal looking rake, two wonderful old books by two of my favorite authors (John Buchan and Baroness Orczy), and a splendid hand-painted champagne bottle that looked like something from Eastern Europe.
We went to a tiny, local butcher and bought bacon that was over a foot long (!!) and a pork roast with a thick rind that will make the best cracklings. Then he loaded up with all sorts of fresh fruits and veg from the outdoor market – I’ve been juicing and cooking like mad with all those yummy things! Next stop was the shopping center for a hot date in the Food Court where we dine luxuriously on hot dogs, potato wedges with gravy, and coffee milkshakes.
Later bear surprised me with a lovely filigree pendant, two new chooks – gorgeous Belgian ones in soft gray with bright red combs – and three adorable baby ducks who cheep like crazy when they see food. We also had dark chocolate mud cake and a jolly visit with dear friends and wow, I felt utterly spoiled.
It is a gorgeous, sprawling estate of vineyards and flowers with a chapel and reception room for weddings overlooking the valley.
We climbed up further to the tasting room and cafe perched above the grapevines lining the hillsides and took in the stunning views.
Tearing ourselves away from the scenery we entered the Preston Peaks Winery tasting room and were greeted by Kor Ersoy, a lovely Turkish man who made us feel so welcome, answered all our questions, and lavished us with samples. While everything was good, my favorites were the Wildflower series, Golden Gleam (White Muscat), and the delectable Touriga Port.
What they had was a stunning view, cool breezes blowing in through the open windows, and a menu chosen to suit the wines they produced. It was perfect!
We were ravenous so we ordered our bevvies: iced coffee to perk us up after all those tastings, wine and Double Sars (double sarsaparilla) to go with our meal, and then tucked into a feast: spring salad, warm cheesy bread, to-die-for pizza, and an antipasto platter with olives, sun-dried tomatoes with lavender, pesto, salami, smoked ham, caramelized sweet onions, and roasted capsicum. Phew! Needless there’s no way we could eat all of it, and I happily did not have to cook the next day. 🙂
We drove home as the sun was setting over the hills, sleepy, full, and so very, very happy.
It was the best birthday ever.
What is your favorite birthday memory?