Thursday, June 4, 2009

Life begins

I have been keeping a low profile in blogland for the past week or so. Partly because I have shuffled off the shackles of full time employment, so I'm not tethered to a desk and computer for seven hours a day anymore. You can tell I obviously loved my job, by the way. Anyway, a brief rundown of the past week:

Wednesday night was the night before I was due to finish up at work. I was doing some shopping for the birthday party that evening, and then I called in to see a friend of mine. It was 11.30pm before I got to bed, and when I did, the most crippling gut pain enveloped me. I ended up running in and out to the bathroom all night. And not in a throwing up, might be pregnant way. More in a bad food poisoning Johnny Cash song way. Not good. The following day, I phoned work to say I wouldn't be in until lunchtime. So in I went around 12.30. Most of the day was spent copying files and photos onto a memory stick, emailing my goodbyes to overseas colleagues and saying goodbye face to face to Irish based colleagues. I was presented with a yummy cake, a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a voucher for my favourite beauty salon from my department, along with a 40th birthday card and a Sorry you're leaving card.

That night was a repeat of the previous one in terms of the tummy bug. John was working tirelessly on the sunroom all week to try and get as much of it completed as possible for the party. Mainly cosmetic stuff like indoor plastering and cladding. The house pretty much still resembled a building site the next day when I hit for Dublin to bring my niece to Beyonce. I still had the remains of the trots, but I managed to make it to my sister's house in Kildare by 5.30, and from there we bussed it to the O2 stadium for the concert.

I have never in my life bought a Beyonce CD, but I figured she would put on a good show, and that my 14 year old niece would get a great kick out of going to see her for her first big grown up concert. I was very right on both counts. The show started at 8pm with a warm up act from a singer called Chantelle. She said she was Beyonce's sister, but I don't know if she meant blood relation sister or sistah. Either way, she had a fine pair of lungs on her. The main woman herself came on stage around 9.15. And wow, she was totally worth the wait. As stunningly gorgeous in the flesh as she is on TV, she treated us to what can only be described as a spectacular show. She even belted out an Alannis Morrisette song at one point, as well as a rendition of Ave Maria in Latin. Amazing.

The following morning I was on the motorway again, heading home to prepare for the party. Thankfully the tummy bug had left the building at that stage. When I got home, John presented me with the first part of my birthday present, a Wii! I loved it! Then came the big surprise, when he brought me out to the sunroom to show me the work he had done, and there mounted on the wall was a 42 inch LCD TV. To say my jaw dropped would be an understatement. Shortly after that, an interflora van arrived, with two beautiful bouquets of flowers and a bottle of champagne from some friends who couldn't make it on the night.

I then set in and started vacuuming and making up beds for guests. At around 2pm my cousin phoned from the local hotel where she was staying. She turned 40 that day, so it was lovely to share a big milestone birthday together. For somebody who had never visited us in our house before, she totally rowed in and helped us with the cleanup. It was like "Hi Siobhan, welcome to Tipperary, happy birthday, now here's the vacuum cleaner, I'm off to the hairdresser's, see you in two hours, byeeee!" I had a hairdresser's appointment at 3.45pm, so I had to abandon ship for a couple of hours and leave my army of helpers to it. By the time I got back the place was gleaming, and my parents, sister and more friends from Dublin had arrived.

I had hired two eight foot tables, sixteen fold down chairs and 30 champagne flutes from a cater hire firm in Limerick. Totally worth it. Also, I went very grown up and posh and hired my next door neighbour to do the catering. And what a job she did. Her and her fiance slaved over a hot barbeque, and served up a feast. We set up the sunroom with the tables, chairs, white table clothes, silver star table confetti, gold helium balloons and lighted tea lights. It really looked fantastic. My mum had seen the building site that was our house that morning, and said the transformation was like something out of a reality TV show, like Changing Rooms!

We partied until the sun came up, and long after. The funniest part of the night was when the assembled crew sang happy birthday to me, with the help of the remaining helium balloons. It was like being serenaded by a small army of smurfs! One of my friends caught it on video, so when I get it off her I will post it on here. My brother brought his guitar, so around 2.30am the obligitary sing song started. Around 4am I have hazy memories of playing a four man game of Mario Karts, which I had to do with one eye closed as I was having difficulties focusing on the screen at that stage! All in all an excellent party and a fitting way to embark on my new decade.

The other amazing thing about the past week has been the weather. The mediteranean miraculously came to Ireland this day last week and it hasn't left yet. The weather has been up in the late 20's, although it cooled down a little today. This has meant we've had a few very pleasant evenings since the party, sitting in either the garden or the sunroom sipping rose and feeling like we are on holidays, which we will be this time next week. So I am taking to this life of leisure really well. Already my energy levels are higher and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. My 2 week wait is due to end on Monday, and quite honestly I'm not obsessing about it, which is a huge change for me. Long may this feeling last


Anonymous said...

Helium happy birthday! Awesome!
Glad you had a lovely time.

Mick said...

Happy Birthday. Sounds wonderful. You sound very relaxed.

Yes, long may it continue

Lisa DG said...

Happy, Happy Birthday. Sounds like bunches of fun!

Sarah said...

Good to hear from you Lovie! Happy birthday.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

That sounds mental!

I'm jealous of the party.

womb for improvement said...

Sounds fantastic. Start your forties as you mean to go on. And Happy Birthday.

Kim said...

Sounds like it was great. Here's to many more!

Paint it Black said...

Party sounded fantastic!

Jane G said...

HFF - the helium chorus was truly inspired. So funny.

Mick - Cheers!

Lisa - Thanks, it sure was!

Sarah - Thanks hon.

Xbox - It was a totally mental night. Well you were invited, next time you'll have to take us up on the invitation :) I hereby challenge you to a DUI Mario Karts duel!

WFI - If I continue my 40s the way they started, I wouldn't be sober for a year! I have to get back to the clean living thing again pronto.

Kim - Here's to many more indeed. We have the ideal venue for parties now :)

PIB - It sure was!