Birthday party photos…Oh, what a night!…

We’ll never forget this birthday as a special event for both of us; celebrated life, health, our experiences, and the acceptable friends we’ve made along the way.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush

Colorful face shot of a helmeted guinea fowl, many of whom are frequent visitors to our bush house.

It’s after noon, and I’m just getting started on today’s post. There were a few diversions this morning, keeping me from getting a timely start. One delay was due to my sleeping in until 8:00 am after a long stretch of wakefulness during the night. I guess it was the two glasses of red wine I drank during my birthday party. 

Secondly, I had complicated computer problems this morning (I won’t bore you with the details) when I sat down at the big outdoor table to begin the post. After a few hours of working on it and staying calm, I created somewhat of a workaround, hopefully lasting until I fire up my new yet unused laptop. 

I‘ve been trying to use this three-plus-year-old Acer laptop until it’s on its last leg, and it appears that day may be imminent. Based on all the jousting around in our travels and excessive use, I’m surprised it’s lasted as long as it has.

Dawn had decorated the table beautifully for the party.  Thanks, Dawn!  By the time we were all seated, it was dark, cozy, and romantic.

The second distraction was when our housekeeper Martha, who lives in a tiny house on the property, asked to help fix her TV. We walked to her little place and played with the remote, attempting to get a signal.  Finally, we got it working, and the dear woman hugged us with gratitude. 

We could only imagine how hard it would be for her to be without TV during her free time. Although she works for us and a few other properties for Louise and Danie, she has idle time that could be lonely and difficult without the ability to watch her favorite shows.

The third distraction was to run to the little market in Marloth to see if we could find mushrooms for a dish I’m making tonight. The mushrooms are an integral ingredient in the recipe, and it just wouldn’t be the same without them. 

Wow! We were thrilled with the “cake of the world!”  Janine even made the two representations of Tom and me totally by hand.

We didn’t feel like driving to Komatipoort for mushrooms since we didn’t need to do any other grocery shopping right now.  The round trip drive is over an hour and certainly not worth it for only one item.

There are two superette-type markets in Marloth Park, one with about 30% more inventory than the other. Alas, we headed to the larger of the two and found fresh mushrooms. That was surprising!

Back at the house, I settled into my usual spot on the veranda to finally get started on today’s post about last night’s birthday party. A few visitors stopped, and again I was distracted from the task at hand. Oh, well, here we are now, pushing 3:00 pm and anxious to share last night’s event.

Closeup of Tom and I in fondant standing atop the world!  So fun!

Tom and I arrived at Jabula shortly before 6:00 pm, where we met with Jannine, the cake lady, her husband Vincent, and their two kids while they waited for us in the rain tucked under an overhang. They’d arrived earlier than planned, and fortunately, we’d done the same.

Although it was pouring rain when we arrived, they’d already carried the cake up the steep stairs to the restaurant. As soon as we stepped into the bar and spotted the cake, we both smiled from ear to ear. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

As shown in our photos, the cake was made round into the shape of the world, with each of the continents added utilizing fondant. The two minor characters she’d made to represent us couldn’t have been more adorable and befitting. 

Kathy, me, Tom, Lynne and Danie at the end of the table.

What a talent! Known as the “cake lady” in these parts, Jannine can be reached through Vincent’s email here should you live in Marloth Park or nearby and would like a unique and delicious cake.

Shortly after Jannine and Vincent left, our guests began to arrive. We mingled around the bar until it was time to be seated. We paid for our cake, reasonably priced at US $56.54 (ZAR 650), and hugged them both for their attention to detail and for delivering the cake to Jabula.

Dawn, the co-owner of Jabula with her husband Leon, set an exquisite table for our group and had the plastic-encased menus printed with the selections as well as the photo of us sipping champagne on the Zodiac boat only weeks ago in Antarctica. It couldn’t have been more perfect. (See image below).

Linda, Mick, and Louise, with Ken and Don standing.

The evening flowed with lively upbeat conversation, not only about the commonality we all share in our love for Marloth Park but also many other exciting topics. The time flew so quickly, when it was time to go, we felt as if we hadn’t had quite enough of this beautiful group of people.

The specially printed menu added a nice touch.

The food was exceptional.  We hosted the meal, and both red and white wine was served during the dinner. Afterward, I cut the cake, which tempted me to lick my fingers, but I didn’t taste a drop.  

I’d thought about making an appropriate cake for me, but I didn’t feel a need for it.  I try to avoid getting back into a taste for sweet foods, which I’ve all but conquered over these past few years.

I’d asked our guests not to bring gifts, but they couldn’t seem to avoid doing so. When doesn’t a girl love a 50 pound (23 kg) bag of pellets, a bag of almond flour, bars of scented soaps, and a bottle of fine South African wine in a lovely African cloth holder beside all the beautiful cards and messages? 

A few of the guys had “espetada,” which is well-seasoned meat of a hanging skewer.  Gee, I might try this sometime, but I always have the same meal at Jabula; peri-peri chicken livers with a Greek salad.

A heartfelt thanks to all of our friends for knowing exactly what I’d love, none of which I’ll have to add to my luggage next time we fly away after blissfully using up all of the items.

Back at our inviting holiday home, referred to as “Orange…More than Just a Color” I checked my computer to find more birthday wishes than I’d ever seen in the past; from our readers, our Facebook friends, our family, and friends. I must say I was reeling from the love I felt from all over the world. 

After the dinner plates were cleared, the cake was delivered to the table. Thanks, Kathy, for bringing the candles!

Thank you with all of my heart for making the 70th birthday one I’ll never forget, not for the celebration of the “number” but for the people who made it so special. 

Photo from one year ago today, February 21, 2017:

Views of the Huon River in Tasmania. For more photos, please click here.