Sunday, 13 January 2013

I don't feel a day over 40!

I don't feel a day over 40!
12 January 2013

It's truly remarkable.  I don't feel a day over forty.  Which is absolutely incredible!  Especially given the fact that I'm technically just that.  Forty years and one day old.  Actually forty years and two days, but who's counting.

I had the most amazing birthday on the 10th of January.  My fortieth birthday to be exact.  For starters, I woke up at my Mom's house.  A charming and rambling old home in Tulbagh that has been named Muisnes.  This mainly because my Mom and stepdad, Daya, were operating through a haze of new love and hormones when they went for a drive in the countryside and saw a huge big house with a "For Sale" sign outside.  They proceeded to tresspass onto the property and peered through the dusty and dirty windows.  Fell in love even more and bought it.  Just like that.  Family lore is that their heads were so full of Muisneste (an Afrikaans term coined for new love romantic inflictions like this) that they acted purely on impulse and bought a house.  I mean, seriously!  Who does stuff like that?

Anyway, I've managed to distract myself.  Upon waking up, I managed to extract myself from the bed I was sharing with Amber and Cole.  Naturally I have to sleep in the middle so that everyone gets equal portions of Mommy.  Taking extreme caution to not wake them, the only way to successfully get out of the bed, is to attempt a sit-up.  Not dislodging either Amber or Cole's arm from me in a rough enough manner to wake them up.

My Mom and I then had a few marvellous solitary moments together before the masses woke up.  Very special quiet time.  We even managed a cup of coffee in peace.

In fact my Birthday celebrations had actually started the previous evening already when my Mom made one of my favourites meals for supper.  We had a double birthday celebration, as my brother and I each have a birthday just three days apart.  The table was beautifully set.  My very own too-die-for chocolate mousse was made. Well, it's actually Nigella's recipe, but pou-tay-tou, pou-tah-tou.  Fake champers was poured, speeches were made and the camera timer was set to capture the moment for posterity.

A lovely and very, very special evening.  Once more my Grantie was at home and couldn't join us.  Too sad.

Soon enough on my birthday morning the kids woke up.  Albert and his kids popped in and then it was presents and cards time.  Home made wonders from the kids.  They are simply my best.  And I always cherish the cards I get from my kids and keep them forever more.

My wonderful bonus sister, Katarina, made flapjacks for breakfast and we made a little flapjack tower on a cake platter to simulate a cake.  That way I got to blow out my candles, everyone got to sing "Happy Birthday" and we did the whole cutting and screaming cake thing.  A tradition in our home.  It is not for the faint hearted.  And both Grant and Daya pale at the thought and block their ears.

Eventually I left Muisnes and headed for home.  The kids stayed on and sad though I was that they would not spend the rest of my birthday with me, a wee little break is always good.  And we'd been having some real quality and quantity time together in any rate.

Big was my surprise when I got home.  My beloved and not very romantic Grantie, had plastered our home with "Happy 40th Birthday Babes" posters all over the house.  All over the walls, cupboards, even on mirrors.  And biggest surprise of all - he had also printed out pics of "Dirty Dancing".  For my birthday he had bought me a ticket to go and watch the show at Artscape.  My Twisted's are joining me.  Greater love hath no man.  He detests Dirty Dancing, whereas I love it.  I've watched it a thousand times, can talk along when I watch it, sing along, heck I've even tried and mastered some of the dance moves.  Hey, every generation has their corny dancing movie.  For some it was Saturday Night Fever, for others it was Grease, for many it was The Rocky Picture Show.  Heck, for my kids it was High School Musical.  

I also got flowers - most magnificent roses, chocolates, the whole toot.  So special.  We had plans to go out for drinks together before going for a lovely celebratory meal.  Grant's suggestion to do drinks first was pretty sweet.  Especially given the fact that I don't drink alcohol.  Yet he thought just going to a nice setting and stretching our evening out would be good.  And who was I to argue.

He chose a very trend spot - Casa Del Sol.  A magnificent place right on the Strand beach front.  Marvellous views of the sea and beach and uber trendy.  The hip and happening spot to be.  Hip decorating, all very cutting edge and minimalistic.  Even a DJ mixing station, little stage for live music and the requisite good looking waiters and waitresses.  I don't think they employ an cosmetically challenged people at all.

We walked in, just for me to be whisked off by my Twisteds.  They had ambushed me and took me completely by surprise.  It was so unexpected that I burst into tears.  All five of them were there.  Even Gail, who's mother had passed away just the previous day.  40th Birthday helium balloons, gorgeous card and fabulous presents.  A delectable Rain body lotion,  a set of Carol Boyes salad servers and a charming CB bracelet (don't tell anyone - it's actually a serviette ring).  To say I was blown away was to put it mildly.

And what's a girl to do in a situation like this?  Well, it's actually pretty obvious.  Drink.  Everyone ordered lavish cocktails - strawberry dacquiries, mojito's etc.  It didn't take very long for me to change my order from a virgin Mojito, to the real deal.  Hey, one doesn't turn 40 every day you know.  It felt fabulous having a drink like a grown-up.  Complete with crushed ice, mint leaves, slices of lemon and two straws. It was awesome!  Rather surprising though was the fact that the manager bought us a round of shooters on the house to celebrate.  And as the birthday girl, I got two - which I obliged in drinking.  Naturally they were two different shooters of course.  But funny enough I maintained and felt great.  I suppose alcohol has that effect.

And my marvellous and unforgettable two hours with my Twisted's was followed by a fabulous meal with my man. So special.

I was humbled and completely overwhelmed by the very many, very special and thoughtful messages that I received.  Phonecalls, sms's, and loads and loads and loads of Facebook messages.  Many from people who read the blog.  Expressing their appreciation for the blog and sending their good wishes along the way too.

On the 11th my birthday continued.  My fabulous aunt, Bettie, tracked down some Jim Shore Father Christmasses, and couriered them down for me.  One big one bought for me by my Grantie and four little small ones are a 40th birthday gift from my Dad.  As mentioned previously, he is exceptionally thoughtful.

All in all, I had the bestest birthday ever!  A huge big thank you to each and every person for making it so special.  Your love is returned a millionfold.

I've given it some thought and have come to the conclusion that big milestone birthdays are the best.  Which is why I'll be celebrating my 40th again next year.  So there you go peeps.  Please start preparing.  You now only have 363 days to start planning a truly special birthday wish for me.  Not fussed about presents.  Words mean far more.  

I simply can't wait!

Getting everything ready for our birthday supper celebrations - so glad Albert and his gals were there too

Lighting the candles for a wee bit of ambience

Helpful little kids lending a hand

The cuteness - a.k.a. Frankie

Beautiful little Bella

Doesn't it look lovely?

Amber-Berry and Cole 

My precious family

All together now - everyone say "CHEESE!"

Camera man on duty

A magnificent rocking horse from my Mom - it is incredible!

Presents and cards - everyone watching on

Just look how chuffed Bella looks

Hi! My name is Helene and I'm 40!

Katarina making the most delectable flapjacks for breakfast

My three breath-takingly gorgeous kids - simply can't believe they're mine

Luke seems to have turned into a giant overnight

A fabulous pic of me with the kids - very special

Daya bracing himself for the squealing and screaming

You're supposed to do it loud and hard enough to make your throat hurt - Cole is unbeatable

My Grantie plastered the house with Happy 40th Birthday posters and Dirty Dancing print-outs

I love it! Especially because nobody puts Baby in a corner - me neither.

Twisteds at Casa Del Sol

My Gillie and I

I just adore this chick - couldn't do life without her

Sista's having a good laugh

Karyn and Rinette having a moment

The very brave Gail who just lost her Mom the previous day - evil Dementia

Group photo - I love these women with all of my heart - they'be become family

My beautiful serviette ring bracelet - stunning!

Opening pressies

Showing off my bracelet and salad servers

Evidence that I drank - cocktail and shooter - one in each hand

Everyone was so chuffed that I imbibed in alcohol - at 40 I'm becoming a real adult now

Last pic of all of us with the beach in the background - what a truly remarkable, memorable, fabulous birthday I had


  1. Thrilled to have you waking up at Muisnes.
    Hugely proud of you, my big gal, and so would Daddy have been!
    Hope it's because we did done some things right.
    But suspect mostly it's because you're so smart, so positive and so hard working.
    Love you much.

  2. Oh happy day!! What an awesome 40th! And got to LOVE the serviette ring!! xx

  3. PS. And I just LOVE the fact that Maggie gives the littlies "champagne" in her fabulous expensive heirloom glasses! You the best, Maggie!!