Jono's 30th birthday BBQ (16th December 2011)

We're celebrating Jono's 30th birthday today!

As Jono's birthday falls on Boxing Day, we agreed that it was best to bring forward the birthday celebrations so that friends would be able to attend (hopefully not already taken off for the holidays). Jono decided that he would have a BBQ party at home for his birthday this year and we've been busy planning for the day with a long shopping list of things to buy. The most important item on the list was the BBQ which we only purchase a little over a week ago and tested it out last night to make sure it would work this evening. Yes, it works!

The early afternoon was spent shopping for ingredients and food needed for the BBQ (guests were told to bring their own meat and drinks while we provided bread, salad and other snacks). After some 3.5 hours out and about, we finally got home around 3pm for a quick lunch and then back to work, cleaning up the house and me making my well-loved orange sweet potato salad and butter cake. 

It wasn't until around 5ish that we were done and managed to squeeze in a break from all the cooking and preparations to put up our Christmas tree. We bought it today from Big W (a large discount department chain store similar to Kmart and Target) in the suburb of Campsie while we were in the area doing our shopping. With Christmas just around the corner, we scored a pretty good deal for our tree - cost $19.50 for the 195cm artificial tree and about another $35 for baubles, tinsel and Christmas lights. Jono had put together the tree, fluffed the leaves and wired up the Christmas lights as I busied in the kitchen. "Wait for me so we can do the decorations together," I kept reminding him from the kitchen, hands oily from olive oil as I mixed up the cut sweet potatoes to bake in the oven. Putting up the decorations is the best part and I don't want to miss out! Plus it was our first Christmas tree so I definitely want us to decorate it together :)

"Ok, ok, I'm ready!" and we got a handful of the silver and gold baubles each and started hanging them on the tree. This is so much fun! Once the baubles were done, we draped on the red tinsel and silver bead garland - tree is looking good! Last but not least is the silver star that goes up the top of the tree. "Here you go, you can put it up," said Jono, giving me the star. "But I'm not tall enough to reach! " I exclaimed, one hand with star reaching for the top. Even on my tippie toes, I still cannot reach :( So Jono hoisted me up on to his shoulders and that gave me enough height to secure the star - success! Great teamwork! Yay, our Christmas tree is all done and looks very pretty with the multicoloured lights :) 

Ken was the first to arrive around 6pm, pulling out his chef's knife, pastel and mortar, and other ingredients from his backpack. "I thought you said you were making sushi?" I asked warily. He literally took over most of my kitchen, making sushi and roasting herbs and pounding them to make a dry cumin rub for his Jira Chicken which was to go on the BBQ. I don't mind him overtaking my kitchen (ain't the first time), just not very keen on cleaning up after him. And he knows well that it gets to me when he messes up the kitchen - 6 weeks of living in our apartment was enough to establish that he was better at the cooking and me at the cleaning. I would just have to turn a blind eye and let him do his thing. Hopefully it won't be too much effort cleaning up later.

The Heskeths arrived soon after bringing with them a huge salad, followed by Natasha and Pavel, and Ken's friend Rini. Some of Jono's other colleagues were still at work and wouldn't turn up until after 8pm so we kicked off the BBQ around 7ish. With drinks in hand and a plate of food, we chatted and laughed over all sorts, moving between the balcony (where Jono was cooking the food) and indoors to talk to various people. Ken put on his chef's top that he brought when he took turn to man the BBQ, making him look as if he was the private chef we hired for the party! Dragos, Jon and Adrian made a brief appearance around 8.30pm for a few drinks but perhaps it's our location, everyone headed off by 10.30pm (which was quite early, I reckon). Still, it was really nice having friends come over and hoped they enjoyed their time at our place (FYI: this is the first time we hosted a party). This is the first of many BBQs to come this summer so we'll definitely be having friends over a lot more :)

Guests enjoying their wine and the food

The Masterchef and his kitchen hand?

Jono standing next to his early Christmas gift (the BBQ)

(l-r): Beryl, Jono, Natasha, Pavel and Tim

With the last guest gone, Jono and I poured a glass of red wine each and sunk ourselves onto the sofa, sipping wine and admiring our Christmas tree. What a day it has been and I hope our birthday boy had fun this evening!

Our Christmas tree!


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