The birthday of Baby Cheeses was celebrated with too much eating on our deck with family and friends. The weather was gorgeous, leading me to go through a little bit of guilt as half of our country is flooded and the other half was scortching (a land "of droughts and flooding rains" indeed), not to mention Europe and parts of the US which were frozen.
Nothing to be done about it but open gifts, eat many more prawns and oysters than is strictly necessary and gaze in wonder at the 10kg ethically raised ham.
Speaking of gifts I can now proudly confirm I am the owner of a WeeSing Robbie Williams for Wii game. After a couple of glasses of Bella and a couple more lychee martinis I may have
There was also some gorgeous Pandora earrings and a new charm under the tree from my very generous family. A fantastic new glass mixing bowl for my KitchenAid from my sister's main man M (who is now forever more known as the Gift Whisperer). A fabulous new Sheridan quilt cover set and pillows from mum.
The Entire Beast cookbook by Chris Badenoch (from the first series of Australian Masterchef) which is a book I've been coveting since I first watched Chris cook on the show (who can forget his Roasted Half Pig's Head?). I have to say that this book is worth the price of admission if only for the fabulous, darkly quirky styling and the great Introduction by Chris which really resonates with me. The recipes themselves are simply an extra bonus. Thank you JB for this special gift.
Lots of other bits which have escaped me right at this moment. As always I was very spoilt as was everyone in the family. We're a generous bunch, if I do say so myself.
Boxing Day entailed more entertaining, more eating, more gift giving and receiving... as well as a game of Sticky Wicky (a cricket game invented by one of the families at our school, so I'm giving them a plug). Despite the heat and my general abhorrence of anything cricket related it was really fun and even mum had a go. We cooled off in the pool to finish off a really great day.
The Monday public holiday was spent relaxing (a little), cleaning up from the two prior days and getting ready for more entertaining. That evening Big Jay's birthmum, uncle and friend came for dinner (as well as his brother, SIL and their little son who were here for the whole holiday period). So yet more cooking, cleaning and overeating. Let the good times roll.
Tuesday we hit the city for some sale shopping (I'm nothing if not a glutton for punishment) with my gorgeous, super stylish SIL and my best ladies C and M. Finishing with a big family dinner (all the dads and kids joining us) at Wagamama at King Street Wharf. The big surprise for the evening was bumping into a friend from the dim dark past fondly remembered as the Fitzroy Street Squat days. Mark (aka Woody) has certainly made something of himself - not that you would have predicted that back in 1982 - and now has a gorgeous wife, four kids and an important job with the Bank of America. Go figure!
So where are we? Yes, Tuesday the 28th of December. I worked the next two days (oh, the bliss of a quiet office, a nice cup of tea and no meals to cook for the hoardes).
Friday Big Jay was working and I wasn't so I took the kids and our visitors to Paddington and Woollahra to visit Victor Churchill (it's like porn for carnevores) and some more fashion for the SIL. We finished with a late lunch at the Seafood Markets (note to self: avoid Doyle's at all costs... they should be embaressed by the crap they dish out, have been coasting on the name for too long now).
Which brings us to NYE. When Big Jay came home from work we settled in for some eating, drinking and fireworks gazing on the deck of the apartment his brother and SIL had rented in the building next door to ours. Their apartment was on the top floor and while the apartment itself was quite ordinary the deck was magnificent. It was not only huge but afforded 320 degree views of the Sydney skyline, including the city (or at least some of it, the main part of the Harbour Bridge was obscured by some buildings). Anyway, we were able to see not only the big city fireworks but also the many and assorted smaller ones going on all around the greater Sydney area. Cool!
New Year's Day we sat around the pool all morning which was not only gorgeous and relaxing but meant I finally finished Val McDermid's The Mermaids Singing (the first of the Tony Hill novels which became the Wire in the Blood series). While I like her writing the book didn't really blow me away because I am so familiar with the show and particularly with Robson Green as Tony Hill and I guess there really wasn't any suspense factor because I knew what happens in the end. I'm just glad I finally got through it because it feels like I've been reading it for years. So then I started straight onto Thousand Splendid Suns (love my Kindle, finish one book, download another) which is the book for January for the local book group I'm thinking of joining.
Oops, just realised I'm technically into 2011. Better stop now. Some photos to post and then let's roll in the new year. Twenty Eleven will be a big one.