Oh, if I was more happy I would pop. I have such wonderful friends!
Today started off a little stressful because we realised that the place we were going for lunch was closed on saturdays...at the last minute...like, half an hour before we had planned to meet there. ARGH! So...we found somewhere else and rang/messaged everyone to let them know. Father had asked me what I was doing for my birthday on Thursday and so I invited him if he was up this way, and so I messaged him with the updated details just in case. So, Troy, his parents, my parents, my sister, me, sister's boyfriend and Jeremy all went for lunch at another place near there, which was lovely, and it was still good food. And my Mum made Troy (whose birthday it was last weekend) and I a very nummy nestissimo (fast friendly - ie no dairy, no eggs) chocolate cake with sultanas in and chocolate icing/frosting... And Father came!! That was wonderful :) he came, which was wonderful enough, and we probably weirded out Troy's family and everyone else in the restaurant because we got up and kissed his hand to say hello, but we didn't think of that at the time. But he brought me a present - classic Greek gift, something for my 'dowry'. Lovely guest towels with gold edging - and something that wasn't the classic gift, a wooden Orthodox crucifix with the budded ends, and on each arm's end is a little glass 'bubble' with ground from the Holy Land in it - soil, dirt, rock, chalk... it's beautiful, and it's now hung up in the living room in my icon corner until I put a hook above my bed to hang it from. It would be perfectly appropriate in the icon corner, but I want it above my bed. And we lit the candles on the cake and sang happy birthday twice, once for me and once for Troy. And gave Father a piece of cake, and told him he had to eat it, and that he wasn't allowed to give it away to anyone else! We know him too well...he never keeps gifts unless you force him to somehow. He sat down, and talked to us, and met my sister, which was fun as she hadn't met him before. He had to go after a while but it meant so much that he came at all.
A lot of bread, and a plate of prawn pasta later, we found ourselves still drinking Jeremy's bottle of wine and talking. Troy and his family had to go as his Mum had to work, but we stayed, drank coffee, and talked some more. His Mum gave me a present too - a bundle of fat 1/8ths of quilting fabric, all William Morris designs. I like the way she thinks...and buys presents...they're wonderful colours and designs. Lots of gold. Eventually we drove my Dad home, and I reminded Jeremy that he had to teach Saturday School (religious lessons at the Church for the kids) so we drove to the Church...and noone came... but the priest (different one, I have three Churches, for those that don't know) was there and he called me birthday girl a thousand times, and it was nice anyway. Jeremy did some typing so that Daniel and I could follow the service tomorrow, and I did some work on Peaceful Paradise, which Father liked, and he made me tea as I was the birthday girl. Eventually we had to leave for Vespers, at yet another Church, and we got there late but they hadn't started as Jeremy is one of the two chanters and the other one doesn't like chanting without him. And my godmother, and my friend Joanna were there, which was wonderful! I like having company, and Saturday evening services are not popular, for reasons you can probably guess. Daniel was there too, as usual, which was nice. So both godparents were there - Jeremy might not officially be one, but he might as well be. He's Troy's godfather, anyway. So...the service was its usual lovely self, and afterwards we stood around to talk, but the priest had to go see someone in hospital, and it was decided that I should be taken out to dinner...so they did! There were five of us so we all fit in Jeremy's car and there was no sense taking four, so we all piled in and went to North Adelaide to get dinner - there's a great asian restaurant up the northern end of O'Connell St, and we went there. My goodness...I wasn't that hungry and neither was Nona (godmother), so we ordered soup, and Jo got fried rice. Heh. The soup bowls were massive! Mine was a prawn laksa, and Nona's Tom Yum, and the two guys got black bean squid and a seafood hotpot. This place has so much good nestissimo food... we were totally stuffed after our couple hours of eating and drinking and talking and laughing. Eventually we couldn't move, went to pay the bill and noone would let me pay... and we went back to the car though Jeremy wouldn't let Jo and I (who both have the same things) walk and ran on to get the car, and we went back to the Church, dropped them off and drove home.
And now I'm home, and happy, and floating on air. No pictures, because I left my camera in Jeremy's car (Kyri is smart, she promises...just forgetful...), but I'll try and get some tomorrow after Church. Tomorrow has two services too - in the morning we have Matins and Divine Liturgy, and in the evening one of the Greek churches is doing Vespers all in english, yay! It's a youth-y thing, so I should see a lot of friends there. Oh yes, and I forgot to mention that Nona gave me a lovely card, too, and a tub of yummy bathy stuff that I'm not allergic to (always a bonus).
Now... I think I am going to change into my pyjamas and curl up and sleep. I am so happy I could float away - this has been the best birthday I've had in years. I love my friends, and my family.