32nd birthday of surprises

I hadn’t thought ahead too much to my birthday this year. It’s funny how after the angst of turning 30 passed, my birthday just became a bit uneventful again. Also being in Strasbourg, I didn’t have my gym crew or other friends close by to arrange a pub session like I would have if I was still in London. But I needed to mark 32 somehow, so I arranged a lunch date with girlfriends, another one with the man, and I thought that would be it. Turns out.. it wasn’t!

Birthday day

I met up with some GGI girlfriends on the Friday that was my birthday. We had a nice catch up, ate delicious food at East Canteen, I was wearing a favourite outfit that day, it felt like a pretty nice way to mark my birthday.

I haven’t been making many BJJ sessions of late – let’s face it, it has been a trend since my Strasbourg move. So going to class that night was on the agenda – what’s better than birthday rolls?! I had a few cards and little parcels sent to me by friends and family, so I left them on the coffee table for when we got home. Growing up, my mum always used to tell us that a present gets better, the longer you wait to open it.

Present surprise

The man had added his card to the pile too, and if I’d read it before we left the house I would probably have known what I’d find when he pulled his car out of the garage… but since I didn’t, cue shock and lots of happy/embarrassing crying!

I have wanted a bike for ages, and he got me the exact style/colour that I wanted, complete with a basket.

Black bicycle with basket


We’d already planned to head to a vegetarian restaurant on the weekend, and one of the girls I’d had lunch with on the Friday – Chelsea – told me to drop by her house to pick up a gift. Honestly, I had no idea, and no thought that it might be a ploy for something else… even when she suggested we head on in to their garden for a drink before we continued on to the centre of the city to shop! Yes I’m so gullible…

Hiding for the surprise birthday moment

And I was so overwhelmed.

DCIM101GOPROG0080571.Reacting to my surprise party - with tears

More happy tears!

It meant so much that Chelsea and Yannick had gathered all of the people in my life here in Strasbourg – from GGIs to jiu jitsu teammates, co-work office colleagues and French classmates. How lucky I am to have so many incredible friends in this place!


And I even got homemade lamingtons and fairy bread thanks to fellow Aussie Victoria, and a stunning cake thanks to Chelsea and Marlene’s excellent taste.




This birthday is going to be tough to top, definitely one to remember.


A big thank you to Andrea and Kevin for taking all of these great photos. ❤

So the big three-oh happened

Don’t worry, I’m not going to subject you to a missive about turning 30. I mean I was going to, but my birthday was almost two months ago now and so I feel like that ship has sailed.

It DOES still require a mention however considering how much angst I felt in the lead up.

Or maybe I just want an excuse to post yet another photo of my amazing cake.

sugar skull cake
Susie Q Cakes made this beauty.

Turning 30 also saw me back in Australia for the first time in almost two years… AND BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR (I totally remembered how to drive).

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.46.56 pm

Hanging with BJJ favourites happened. Thanks so so much for the warm welcome back FAFC, AET, AGIG and Dominance MMA (BJJ tourist, me? Never).




Back in London, I experienced my first official afternoon tea! Well, afternoon dessert really..

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych

I caught up with an old friend this evening who asked me if, given the chance and knowing what I know now, would I redo the past decade? I can honestly say no I wouldn’t.

There were definitely some bumps in my twenties and some of them I would smooth out the second time around, and I’d totally get into BJJ earlier than I did at age 27, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing.

If I did, maybe I wouldn’t have had my dream radio career. And maybe I wouldn’t be here in London right now, and it is exactly where I feel I should be.