And the surprises just keep on coming …..

After our big surprise 70th birthday party, secretly organised by our two adult children and their partners, you’d think that would have been the end of unexpected but wonderful events. However, the following weekend brought about not one, but two, such astonishing happenings.

Our friends waiting for us to arrive at our surprise party

The first event was one I had known about for some weeks before. I can tell you it was a struggle for me to keep from inadvertently “letting on”! Fortunately, I didn’t let the cat of the bag and the surprise belated “hen’s do” for our daughter Hannah was a huge and happy success (she and her husband Pieter married with only their parents present during Covid).

There were no guests (other than parents) at Pieter and Hannah’s wedding

Organised by two of her best and oldest friends, Tilly and Nina, the day began with a surprise picnic breakfast followed by a private yoga session.

The first surprise was a picnic breakfast
Then there was a private yoga session

That wasn’t the end of it! After the yoga session her two friends suggested they went for lunch. Little did Hannah know that a group of her besties were waiting for her at a beautiful rooftop cocktail bar and restaurant in Brisbane’s famous Fortitude Valley!

Some of Hannah’s besties at her Hen’s lunch
An emotional moment with Hannah’s
oldest and best friend Tilly

The surprises didn’t end there either, as later on, Hannah’s husband, the two of us and some more of her oldest friends, were waiting to see her at another popular spot – Felons Brewing Company situated on the Brisbane River under the Storey Bridge at Howard Smith Wharves.

Hannah’s friends lead the way to surprise drinks with more of her favourite people!
Aww cheers to the bride and groom
Such a wonderful surprise!

What an amazing post-wedding hen’s “do”! Hannah was completely overwhelmed – happy tears were flowing all day and she was just so grateful to her friends for all the surprises.

A truly amazing belated “Hen’s “do

The final unexpected event was one that I had organised for Jonathan’s birthday, not knowing that a joint party had already been arranged for us (and which happened the previous weekend.)

Happy birthday Jonathan!

It was his actual birthday and I had invited a few good friends to a special lunch at Ben and Sarah’s home – including our yachtie pals Mike and Jill from S/V Yantara and one of our Sydney friends, Jackie.

More eating and drinking and it’s not even Christmas yet!

I had done very well keeping it all under wraps until at the last minute I sent a message to our son Ben and daughter-in-law Sarah about sleeping arrangements – completely forgetting that Jonathan was also in the Whats App group I used!

Hannah and Crystie recall their Australian Girls Choir days as they serenade Jonathan

It didn’t spoil the fun however, and we had another really fabulous day of eating, drinking and reminiscing with excellent company.

Cheers ladies!

There were plenty of other highlights sandwiched between all the unexpected events!

Loving the walks on Ben and Sarah’s property

Both the Bookclubs that I have belonged to for many years had Christmas get togethers to which I was invited. Well I actually offered to host the first gathering at our tiny townhouse. Sadly I was so excited to see everyone that I forgot to take any photos but it was a great night despite being a little squishy!

The second bookclub (of which I was one of the founder members) was started in 2007 and now consists of a lovely group of ladies some of which I have been good friends with for many years and others who I don’t know well but are great friends of the members I know.

A lovely group of ladies

Partners were invited to this celebration and we had a fabulous time catching up and amongst other things, discussing the latest book!

Let the celebrations begin!
Checking out the “book reviews” book –
started in 2007

Interspersed with these events have been some great catch ups with friends and family including a visit from our good friends Lesley and Denis who we had known from the time our children were in kindy and playgroup together in Sydney. We hadn’t seen each other for more than 25 years (although we had been in touch via social media) so there was much to catch up on!

A great catch-up with old pals

In amongst all these lovely events we also had some great family times – making memories to help sustain us when we are far apart.

A wonderful day at the beach
It was very windy though!
The waves were crashing onto the rocks
at the headland
The empty beach in the background – we had it all to ourselves!

A windy day at the beach with a fish and chip lunch and the whole beach to ourselves; long walks with the dogs on Ben and Sarah’s property; sunset drinks at their lookout and having goes with the yellow tractor are all things we will look back on with the greatest of pleasure and re-live once again when we return to our wanderings on the other side of the world.

The dogs enjoyed the picnic
Back at Ben and Sarah’s, the dogs doing what they love to do
Wild ducks on Ben and Sarah’s driveway
Fun riding in the back of the ute
Another glorious sunset
Pieter at the tractor controls
Off he goes!
Making amazing memories to sustain us while we are apart

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

3 thoughts on “And the surprises just keep on coming …..”

  1. What a fabulous set of happy occasions and gatherings! It sounds as though you put together several years’ worth of celebrations all packed into a couple of months! So glad for all of you – some amazing treasures for the memory bank. Xxxx

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