La la la, news and current affairs, I can’t hear you…La la la la la la…No, you see I have managed to avoid you for a full three days now and I’m halfway through my fourth. Not sure I miss you, either, not sure at all. Everything has seemed rather pleasant and indeed sepia-toned since I stopped reading the paper. Take Friday, my birthday. Gosh that went well – no nasty headlines or sensationalised gore to be seen. My day started with a fierce battle for my attentions between Llew and David Sedaris. I was reading When You Are Engulfed in Flames in bed when Llew returned from his secret, early-opening florist bearing a gorgeous bunch of tiger lilies. I stuck a finger in the book to mark my place and regally accepted the bouquet. Then I extended my other hand and took the proffered cup of tea. The gift bag had to just lie on the doona – just how many hands does he think I have, anyway?
Llew went to work, leaving me alone in bed with David. I had to make myself stop reading, otherwise I would have just sat on, propped up against the pillows with my breakfast tray, until the book was gone. Once I realised with mounting disappointment and alarm that I was already into the final essay, I snapped the book shut and decided not to even sneak a peek until today (when I practically assaulted it). I distracted myself from David’s charms by going for a run along the coast walk. Just my usual route, but on a superb day. I then hopped on my bike and rode up to my friend Zana’s. She and her daughter had been baking me patty cakes in anticipation of our play date (her son just looked on as he cheerfully attempted to eat my mobile), and they were just coming out of the oven when I pulled up on my Townie. I tell you what, hop on a bicycle with a wicker basket on front and you will feel like you are ten years old. Every time. It simply never fails and is much more age-defying, I guarantee you, than breast implants and collagen injections. The wind in your hair, your feet loosely working the pedals, that casual, knowing way you ride up the dead centre of a tree-lined, two-way street like you own the place, seriously, it’s just the best feeling.
I coasted home and jumped in the shower just in time to get ready for my lunch date with my friend Tamsin. We went shopping for something specific; never do this if you can possibly avoid it. That mission failed, but in its place was the smoooooth operation whereby Tamsin handed me a fabulous top over the change room curtain and I proceeded to first try it on and then buy it. A “Birthday Top” isn’t like other tops in my wardrobe. No, no, the normal rules (wear something I already own, for instance) don’t really apply. Birthday Tops are s-p-e-c-i-a-l. Especially special was the Birthday Top Tamsin sourced for me on Friday. “Well,” I told Llew during my Birthday Top confession, “we have been saying we want to support that store.” See how thoughtful I am? After my BT was in hand, Tamsin and I repaired to the Manly Wharf Bar for caesar salads, champagne, and hysterics by the sea. Perfect.
Being chauffeured to my hair appointment (and you wonder why I didn’t blog on Friday – who had the time?) by my lunch date all seemed in keeping with the pretty dandy day I was having. Even when it meant Tamsin had to go totally out of her way and sit in a traffic jam for an hour, I still felt like it was all coming together beautifully. For me, anyway. And that was the prevailing sentiment for the remainder of the evening: Kim my stylist – an incurable narcissist on any other occasion, the dear boy – obliged me with an actual double take when my Birthday Top and I arrived at Valonz. Good Birthday Top! Then he worked his usual magic on my hundred hairs. Thank goodness for Kim. I’ve already told him if he ever attempts to leave Sydney I’m going to kidnap him and dump him in a shallow… salon. Out on an abandoned farm, maybe, and I’ll make it real, real nice. Boar hair brushes and all. He won’t even miss Valonz, you’ll see.
Once I was newly coiffed, I strolled down Oxford St and then down Palmer to Lucio’s Pizzeria, passing Naomi Watts on the way just for good measure (I’m pretty sure I caught her checking out my Birthday Top). Lucio’s is in a little piazza beneath the Republic apartments, and I actually had another birthday there a few years ago when it was still Pizza Mario’s. What can I tell you? I love that dough. Had a lovely, lovely night – eight of us for a relaxed al fresco dinner – with gorgeous company and even presents (how spoilt am I??? SO SPOILT), and not even being the only one at the table aside from Llew who thinks Obama is going to be the next President of the United States could rain on my parade. In case you weren’t in Sydney Friday night, it was perfect. And I hear Obama’s back in the lead.
(THANKS EVERYONE for all my calls and texts and emails and facebook messages – you’re the best! x)