Sunday, March 04, 2007

Alison's 30th Birthday ...

I can't resist titling this post that way ... sorry Al.

I had a cup runneth over kind of day yesterday and realised that shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables at the 'foreigner's market' in the city, might just a cure for all kinds of things.

There's nothing quite like strolling between stalls, finding the best produce for the best prices, poring over the huge range of cheeses, and then picking out the crunchiest looking baguette at one of the bread stands as we leave.

But yesterday promised so much more for this New Zealander living in Belgie.

We were planning on calling in at Stone Manor, Belgium's Largest British Supermarket with more than 18000 different British products.

When you read British products ... read things I grew up with back home in New Zealand.

I was a-quiver and Gert was bemused as he watched me look round, quite unsure of where to begin. I found crab apple jelly jam, cheesecake ... cheesecake that I've never ever seen anyplace in Belgium, and Vegemite! Kiwis and Aussies, be sitting down when you read that 235grams of Vegemite costs 6.35euro here in the flat country. Yes, that would be just over $10nz ... I will treasure it.

Once the giddy delight of recognition was over, I exercised caution purchasing two steak and kidney pies (so Gert could know something of what I miss about home), a Cadbury's Flake and a small Cadbury's Turkish Delight, a couple of casserole mixes I wanted to show him, a packet of Gingernut biscuits, hotcross buns (Gert had no idea what they were), Crumpets (also unknown to my Belgian bloke) and that small jar of Vegemite.

We'll wait another year and pop back for that cheesecake and crab apple jelly jam when I'm a successful business woman with money for frivolous and unnecessary things.

And then to Alison's 30th birthday.

I have photographs however promises were extracted from me about publication so I can only publish those that don't infringe upon what I promised.

It was a grand night. Alison has slowly adjusted to turning 30 ... nothing I said made it easier and I hope she is gentle with me when I'm older later this year.

I'm not sure I've laughed so much in a long time, I stuck with red wine and while moving slowly today, I wasn't Mojito-ed and for that I am truly grateful.

We left the party after 2am and drove through Brussels city, delivering various friends to their homes ... it was kind of magical, especially knowing that Gert was driving new roads and was therefore completely reliant on others to get us out onto the road back to Antwerpen. It's a big city.

We pulled into our garage at 4.02am ... a slow and gentle day today, with me rescued by Veronica's superb soup just now.

Happy Birthday Alison!


Mlle said...

I have to be a silly girl and say that I had such a wonderful time last night.. I was absolutely filled with happiness the entire time.. There were quite a few times when I stopped to look around the room and saw it full of the people here in Belgium that I hold closest to my heart.. awww.

Thanks for the ride home. I hope your return was made with ease?

Manic said...

Those sweet British kinds of foods, how do they make me appreciate local cuisine :P.

4am? Now as a responsible child of a parent, I know that that's not a way to set an example.

woman wandering said...

We do know good people, don't we :)

We need to have more parties so Andrew can practice mojito making.

The ride home ... no worries mate, Michelle lived near some place Gert recognised, so once we got there we were fine. Oh, but your follow the tram line theory is flawed, that's a one way street just up beyond your place lol.

Manic manic manic ... the Vegemite and crumpets are so not sweet.

As for the 4am, I'm counting on Jessie not reading the blog :)

Alison said...

Thanks so much for coming you guys. If I have to be 30 at least I can have fun doing it :) It was a blast... although I still have enough limes to sink a ship...

woman wandering said...

Ahhh those limes ... we have quite a few two and there are 2 avocados ripening on the windowsill in the kitchen, just waiting for that guacomole moment ... :)

A great night, alsjeblief!

paris parfait said...

Sounds like a wonderful day and a happy birthday party for your friend. As for the treats, those have recently appeared in Paris and the prices are considerably lower. If you send me your wish list, I'll shop before you get here (after all, you have a birthday coming up). xo

woman wandering said...

Thank you for your kind offer Tara. It will be good to finally meet xo

ML said...

Oh, thank goodness, with the price of vegemite that high, you will not be tempted to feed me that HORRIBLE stuff when i come lol..
But the party sounded great and so did the store, esp. the Cadbury anything!! Have you told people that Dunedin has the most wonderful Cadbury factory delighting the smell of the street in front of it?? And a tremendous selection of cadbury candies, most of which I had never before seen!! Happy Birthday Allison!