Sunday, November 21, 2004

Birthday morning

Well, against all my expectations, so far it has been a very happy birthday!

I woke up to the smell of ham and eggs frying, and found Pia cooking me a lovely breakfast, with the table set with flowers and cards and a beautifully wrapped present – a gorgeous basket I’d admired at the POM Grammar Market last week, and which Pia had snaffled up before I could get my wallet out (to which of course I had thrown a minor tannie to myself before realizing that she probably had pushed me out of the way for this very reason!)

As I was eating, there was the giggle of a chorus of girls outside the window, who after a bit of whispered deliberation called out a loud “good morning Ms Conolly!” before launching into a Happy Birthday song. I had to go out in my pyjamas and wild-looking bed hair (courtesy of unwinding the braids one of the girls had plaited into it yesterday afternoon) to say thank you, and a couple of them had made me cards either using glitter and texta, or using Publisher and printing them (VERY exciting for them, who’ve only been introduced to the computer for about 6 weeks!). So that was a lovely wake up call (lucky for them I was already awake!! Might not have been quite as receptive had I not been up early in expectation of a call from home)

And then I’d just finished wolfing down the toast when the phone rang, with Sam and Mum singing Happy Birthday, karaoke style, to the old Romper Room record we’d loved when we were kids! Oh it was nice to hear their voices and giggles – it’s just not a birthday without home, and they brought that all the way into our spare room in Bomana. I’m looking forward to hearing from Dad and Em tonight, when they get home from Kiama.

And then another fantastic surprise – a call from L1, all the way from Birchgrove! Excellent to hear from her, and to know she wasn’t entirely buried alive under the weight of uni paperwork.

And then, as I was writing this, a call from Daddy Joyce! Rod’s own version of happy birthday is always unforgettable, and it was great to hear from him and all about how Meagz and Brianna are doing.

So now we’re waiting for Neil to come and pick us up and take us to Airways for lunch - a kind of last minute thrown together birthday celebration plan that seems to just be growing. It started off with me and Pia going for lunch in town, then Neil said he’d come, but could he bring 2 Aussie seminarians he was looking after for the weekend; so then I rang Mark to invite him too, and he’ll probably bring his girlfriend, and then Amarino from school will also meet us there, and Jon and Fiona just rang to say they were in town too… So it will be a much bigger lunch than I planned, and I’m looking forward to it!

Then later on tonight we’ll be going in to say goodbye to Justin and JoAnn who leave PNG this week – farewell drinks at the Holiday Inn, where I’ll catch up with Rick too (who couldn’t join us for lunch because he had not one, not two, but three commitments today!! And he doesn’t agree when I tell him he works too hard!)

So, all in all, it’s been an excellent morning, and I’m looking forward to writing the second installment, with stories about this last week too, later on tonight.


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