Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Birthday Weekend

It was Jim's 75th birthday on Sunday and we decided to make a weekend of it.

First, though, on Saturday morning we went with Lindsey to inspect a new to us garden nursery in Haddon. It was a lovely morning for a country drive, and we enjoyed the nursery very much.  We headed back to the garden so Jim could plant the new arrivals in their new homes.

While he was doing that a huge, enormous, dark, dark black cloud headed towards us, bringing with it rain, wind and thunder.  Jim and I escaped to the station and took a train into Melbourne.

The storm cloud followed us!!!

We managed to get from Southern Cross station to the flat without getting too wet, but decided to abandon our plans to tram into Carlton for Pizza or to walk up Smith Street for Japanese or Chinese, or down Victoria Street for Vietnamese food.  We stayed snug and dry in the flat and had birthday pizza from the pizza bar beneath our feet!

We were both woken at just before five on Sunday morning by a very bright lightning flash followed almost immediately by an enormous thunder clap.  We were quite pleased that Sam wasn't with us.  It would have given him a heart attack!  Although Ian and Lindsey reported that the extended storm overnight in Ballarat meant that Ian had spent quite a lot of the night sleeping on the couch, stroking Sam.

Fortunately, the storm had subsided by the time we needed to leave for Jim's birthday/Christmas treat.  At Christmas Freyja and Simon had given us Red Balloon vouchers.  We had used Jim's half towards this treat and I had bought the rest for his birthday lunch.  We made our way to Central Pier in Docklands and boarded the Lady Cutler for a Seafood Brunch and cruise around the Docklands area

No sunshine but at least there isn't a storm in Docklands

The Lady Cutler, formerly a Sydney ferry and now a dining venue
The boat went out under the Bolte and Westgate Bridges, along the Yarra and out into Port Phillip Bay where we toured around past Port Melbourne and then back past Williamstown.  The crew brought us lots of very tasty seafood morsels, including smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwichettes, sushi, prawns, fried things, barramundi pieces, oysters, lots of very tasty things.  Then they had a buffet for the main course which I have to say wasn't as delicious as the seafood things.  It suffered from having been kept warm for a long time.  They would have been better to have replaced it with two or three extra seafood morsels and a bowl of chips.  The tiny desserts where as delicious as the seafood had been. The crew were charming and all in all we had a great day. It was an excellent Christmas present, and definitely a good start to a 75th birthday

We arrived back at the pier and took a tram back to the flat, narrowly dodging a band of rain that had come to see what we were doing.  Fortunately, the rain cleared before we headed out in the evening with Lindsey and Ian.  We went up Smith Street to The Noble Experiment where Lindsey and Ian treated to the Chef's tasting menu.  We've been once before, with Lindsey but not Ian, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This time the food wasn't quite as experimental as the first time but it was equally delicious.  I think the first time we had a couple of courses where I had thought "I wonder what on earth made them to think to do that" (smoked carrots, for example) whereas this time there were courses where I thought "Ooo, I wonder what made them think to do that" (Orange flavoured dashi, anyone?).

Believe it or not - Lindsey is drinking a cocktail!

We did get wet on the way back to the flat, but that didn't really matter.  It was quite late and time to change into our pyjamas.

It was a great day.  Jim enjoyed his celebrations enormously. Thank you to everyone who was involved.

We had a visitor last Friday afternoon:

I don't think the magpies or rosellas were quite as delighted by its presence as we were :-D
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