05:05 Bring him in to our bed for a birthday cuddle. He throws himself around with gay abandon, whacks Dad in the head who lets our a loud disgruntled expletive.
05:06 I get up, taking Feather with me. Miserable that Andrew couldn't even pretend not to be a selfish whinger on my birthday.
08:00 Some hours of diligent care of my children later, Andrew wakes and reminds daughter of my birthday. She runs and shouts a heart felt "Happy Birthday!" in my year. Feather joins in with his own particular rendition of the Happy Birthday song. By this I am touched.
Andrew then presents me with a gift. I unwrap to find two pairs of (quite frumpy) three quarter pants that I am really sorry to say, but I would never wear. (He had asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I had said a pretty summer dress, not too expensive). I know, I should be grateful. But it really makes me wonder what he thinks of me.
Some more hours later children and I depart the house. Grocery shopping and exchanging birthday gifts on the agenda.
Arrive at the craziest, biggest, most scary shopping centre I have ever seen. (vow only to do Christmas shopping at opposite end of the spectrum). Struggle the entire two hours I am there. From finding a parking spot in the quite ridiculous parking stations, to sheltering the eyes of the children from too much tacky stuff (though I let them both ogle the dolls at a little stand set up 50's hospital nursery style, staff dressed in nurses uniforms, baby dolls all lined up behind a big window in plastic hospital cribs).
Line up in Kmart to pay off a lay-by but find out once I reach the counter that I can only pay off lay-by at the actual Kmart where I made the original purchase. You know, the usual really brain numbing, soul destroying stuff like that.
Find the shop to exchange the not so flattering (beige and grey) pants. Try on a number of dresses, none fit. Too big, too small, too blegh.
Put my own clothes back on, muttering to myself "on with my old brown dress" and carry on with the hideous commercial onslaught of Westfield Chermside, complete with scalding and tasteless coffee and kids clamouring for a spin on the coin operated rides.
You can imagine my disgust with the day so far, but then on my way out of the centre an elderly lady rushes up behind me, stops me and says "Excuse me, but I just had to tell you...you look really good in that dress".
I kid you not. I was chuffed. I said thank you and she was on her way.
Such a timely piece of good cheer!
From then on I didn't even get frazzled when I lost my way home on the foreign roads of Brisbane.
Nor did I bat an eye lid when Tilly did the biggest wee you can imagine on the floor of the fruit and veg shop on the next leg of my shopping day.
I didn't get home in time to escape yet another huge thunderstorm. Got drenched. But what did I care. A stranger came up to me to tell me how good I looked in my old brown dress!
And to make things better a little envelope arrived in my post box.