Tuesday, 23 October 2012

James is nearly thirty...

On Sunday James turned 27 years old (four years since we had our first kiss at the Action Man (him) vs Barbie (me) UEA LCR... how time flies). He always says that he's not bothered about birthdays but I know better! I've always had a monthly countdown to my birthday and loved the birthday cakes, banners, balloons, cards, presents and dinners that my Mum always ensured I had. In later years my birthdays were made special by my lovely girlfriends. But boys don't tend to buy into all the frills of birthdays so I think James has forgotten how it's meant to go down! So I made it my mission to remind him of all the fun elements birthdays should have!

As James was working 10am - 9pm my plans were limited to breakfast and dinner. In the morning I made a sleepy James his current fav brekkie, an Omlette with feta and Choritzo. He also unwrapped a few presents and cards. I caught up with James' Mum, Debbi, in England in September and, like all good Mums, she was prepared with wrapped presents and card for me to take back for James. Her present was an amazing book made up of all different photos from our time out here. It's so much better having someone else choose the photos for that kind of thing because it means that when we look at it and we have to figure out where the photos were taken and it brings back so many memories.

While we were away in Byron I asked James what his last meal would be - he replied that it would be a burger because there are so many options. After chatting with my friend Pascale she gave me an amazing pulled Cajun pork recipe which went down a treat. I also picked up a marble cake from The Cheesecake Shop which James has branded as the 'best cake' he has ever tasted. We also have a tradition of buying each other Champagne for special occasions, but as we are so far from France here it's pretty pricey. I worked out that I could get three bottles of good sparkling wine for the same price as one bottle of Champagne so I went for quantity! But we only had one that night (we have been known to consume more...) as James had an early surf lesson the following morning... I think it's safe to say that he enjoyed being spoilt a bit.

Happy Birthday again to James, I can't wait for many more together.

Birthday feast

Make a wish!

After giving surfing a go about a year ago I have stuck to body boarding and James just throws himself about in the waves. With some lesson vouchers to use James took his second lesson yesterday and I watched from the safety of the beach, but did finally take a dip after many months dry! He got some good stands and still has a few more lessons to take so watch this space... 

Get out my way lady!

James racing the old dude

I finally went in the sea after months of it being too cold!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Byron Bay and Oktoberfest

Last weekend we headed South...

On saturday we headed down to Oktoberfest in Brisbane with a couple of our Ozzie friends Anthony and Lauren. We didn't know what to expect but it turns out it's actually quite a big deal, Australians love their beer, it also turns out they love dressing up as Germans. The men squeezed into a pair of short shorts (James informs me this led to some urination access issues), pulled their socks up and whacked on a pair of braces. The girls went for the slutty farm girl look. We arrived around 4pm not in costume, purchased a couple of beers and tucked into some sausages before heading into the beer tent to enjoy some ropey German music and Robbie Williams' Angels by the ropey German band. More beers followed before James remembered the reason he doesn't drink lager. (Turns out he can't burp to release the gas, in fact he can't burp at all! Three and a half years together and I never realised!!) And the pork knuckle didn't help. He tapped out around ten and we went home, missing the inevitable bar room brawl. One of our group came across some neurofen and drunkenly decided to try to throw them in some nearby steins. Apparently one overweight man objected to his beer being 'spiked' and so it all kicked off... But we were safely tucked up at home and missed it. I'm not sure what reaction having a beer poured over my head would prompt (this happened to Lauren)... I hope I won't find out!

The next morning, after getting up to speed on the brawl, we all had breakfast at a beautiful little cafe in the Brisbane suburb of Paddington, James was in his element when he found out there was a 'breakfast burger' on the menu. We successfully negotiated the Brisbane road network (a rarity for us) and headed towards our next destination, Byron Bay. 

The boy was in charge of booking accomodation, so rather than finding myself in a luxurius Byron Bay hotel with easy access to beaches, cafe's and massages we stayed in the Hinterland... On a farm!

We arrived around 2pm and drove the short drive into Byron and did the famous light house walk. As usual we got a bit lost but there are far worse places to be lost. We didn't see any dolphins but we did see some japanese tourists and there were some migrating humpbacks showboating on their way past.

Despite the fact we were both pretty sweaty after the walk and I was wearing an interesting outfit (I hate being rushed when deciding what to wear) we headed straight out for dinner. We went to a place called Asia Joe's which is a little thai place serving thai style street food. Nicely full we headed back to the farm, got on the wine and watched 'ten things i hate about you'. We are that cool.

It turns out the farm James arranged was actually quite nice. In the morning we went down to the lake and took the rowing boat out for a lap. We also tried going for a walk but due to map reading issues didn't get very far.

After heading into town for lunch we headed back to the farm with a bottle of wine as the owners had recommended a spot on top of a hill just over the road from the farm with a good view of Byron Bay. So we spent a couple of hours on a hill, surrounded by cows drinking sparkling wine, playing scrabble on James' iPhone. I beat him which he wasn't too impressed at, he also got sunburned.

That evening I had to drive into town, after negotiating the cows which had set up camp in the middle of the road for the evening, we headed out for a quick bite. The next day we checked out and headed up the coast to Tweed Heads/Coolangatta for brekkie and then up to the Sunshine Coast, back to our hometown. We enjoyed our long weekend away but when you live in such a beautiful place it's always exciting to get home!