Sunday, September 25, 2011
Mum turns 70
Our adorable mother turned 70 on Friday. She doesn't seem anything like my imagined picture of a seventy-year-old, so I am now updating my imagined picture to match. Try to keep up, you other 70 year olds! [to be fair this pic was taken in 2007]
I have to thank Mum's brother Peter for alerting me to the fact that this birthday was a biggie. In fact when he called my first reaction was "Er... do you mean sixty?" Peter was stuck in Hong Kong on a business trip and couldn't be at the party we had yesterday, but we are looking forward to seeing him down here very soon. The last time he was in Tasmania, a black and white photo was taken of him holding me - I'm wearing a very fetching size 0 romper suit.
It's amazing to think that Mum was born during World War 2, while her dad was away in New Guinea fighting the Japanese. The world has changed so much in that time.
Here in Tasmania in 2011, we had a big lunch in Mum's honour yesterday. There was much too much food, but that is standard. We started with a walk - out the back gate and then up, up, up to the very top of the hill. Before Mum and Dad moved down south, Mum went on quite demanding walks every Monday with a group of ladies. Yesterday's was just a trundle compared to that, but still too much for the boys, who turned back threequarters of the way up, taking Elf and Winston with them.
Shortly after we got back, Sally and Matt and Arthur arrived and the serious eating began. I bought some massive king prawns and made a curry coconut dip to go with. Dad and I were struggling with the whole de-veining thing, and I had to get Mum to come to the rescue. She grew up in Sydney where a bucket of prawns was about as common as fish fingers today. I also made a blue cheese dip which was just right - not too bland, but also not belting you around the head with bitey-ness.
Then we had lemon and dill salmon with roasted vegies. I bought the fish already marinated, and cooked up the violently green marinade to serve as a sort of olive-green gravy. The boys did not like the salmon, which is a shame because they love it when it's not gussied up this way. The fillets were all different sizes and I didn't quite match up the rare and well-done ones with the right people - but complaints were muted and it was generally well-received.
One of Dad's duties was to bring some of Mum's favourite music. We started with Andrea Boccelli, an Italian tenor who unfortunately hangs out with some bad 80s-style session rock guitarists. I put up with this as I ran around because I know he is dear to Mum's heart. When it finished, Dad put on the greatest hits of Roger Miller. During Chug-A-Lug I asked Mum - do you actually like Roger Miller? Mum was non-committal.
Sally made an amazing baked lemon cheesecake, and Mum blew out the candles in one go. I forgot to mention that I'd decided to make mocktails - as none of us are big drinkers and it would a) include the kids and b)make us less likely to doze off mid-afternoon. It was while I was mixing the second round of pineapple/apricot/cream frothies that I reflected it had been a bad day for my cholesterol-lowering campaign.
As is the way of these things, eventually the footy on the TV went on, people fell asleep (despite mocktails), and events noodled to a conclusion. I was dog-tired, went for a short lie down at the boys' bedtime, and crashed hard. Organising things is outside my comfort zone, and I think I had probably been over-revving my brain a little bit for the occasion.