I’m officially an old fart. I recently celebrated turning 50! The half-tonne in cricketing terms. A few years back I thought I wouldn’t make it – but I did!
I threw a party at the house and I’m pretty sure it will be the last ‘big’ one I do so if you made it, be glad you were there! Shelled out for good food and booze, along with decorations and clothing from Amazon to match the ‘Mexican’ theme. No moths in my wallet for the few weeks leading up it, that’s for sure.
It was an intimate gathering of 12, with a few folks making the trek from Oz for a week to help me celebrate the milestone, and what a week we had! Took in some sights in Bangkok, including chancing upon a lovely little cafe on the klong for afternoon beers on my actual birthday before a tapas dinner on Silom soi 4 where the manager (Carlos?) looked after us in style by extending the happy hour drinks so we could chug a few more jugs of their excellent sangria while tucking into the delicious food.
Then it was on to Saxophone Pub for a couple of beers before jumping in the taxi and heading home. Everyone was tired and the wife put on a super effort as she hadn’t been feeling too well on the day but did a great job in hiding it. Sorry babe, glad you’re feeling better now.
We nipped down to Koh Samet for a few days, catching the fast ferry across from Ban Phe for the first time. Much better than the slow boat to China. Stayed at a budget hotel where the tariff ran an amazingly cheap THB 630 per room per night. Foot massages, a swim and sitting on beanbags on the beach knocking back cocktails all helped time fly by in an instant. Not to mention the fire show on the beach which has improved since I last watched it years ago.
Some fantastic meals with good friends (thanks for the birthday breakfast Tracy! – lovin the Funky Monkey just wished they had opened a little earlier..) including scoring a ‘Buy 2 get 1’ deal on the Phuket lager while watching the sunset with our feet in the sand. We live for these moments, folks.
The Saturday shindig arrives
Throwing a party is a lot of work. As I said, pretty sure this will be the last ‘big one’ for me. I’ll give you decent odds I won’t be around to trouble the scorer at 60, but how will you collect?
It felt like 100 hours of work, for 5 hours of ‘party time’ then spending the next 6 days cleaning up. As I type this the house is pretty much back to normal with me cleaning the last of the red wine stains out of the fridge this morning. I still haven’t stowed the Ikea lanterns in their proper place and will leave some of the decorations up a little longer as they add a nice touch of colour to the yard.
Food was amazing (hey I’m a dab hand on the BBQ, no surprises there). Inspired by Taco Chronicles on Netflix I whipped up Tacos ‘Asada’ (Grilled beef), purchasing a slab of Aussie Angus and cutting it up into 1 inch thick steaks before grilling them to perfection. (If you don’t believe me, check out the photos! btw I kept it simple using Montreal Steak Seasoning as the dry rub which worked a treat!)
Also cooked up a bunch of marinated chicken breasts (gotta marinate ’em or they dry out on the grill), another recipe I have perfected over the past six months.
Served with all the trimmings, of course! Fresh guacamole, as promised (thanks Krista!), sour cream, onion lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and I was given a great excuse to buy a bunch of hot sauces and salsas.
Forgot to put out the cheese. oops! Was saving it for the nachos which thankfully we didn’t prepare or cook. You always over-cater for these events but what’s the alternative? Can’t have guests going hungry now, can we?
Marks Northern BBQ corn on the cob and a few Thai dishes for the natives rounded out the offering. What a spread, we’ve had plenty of comments on those photos after posting them on Facebook. Noice!
Tequila – yep! Made our way through a bottle of El Jimador and ½ a bottle of Patrón Silver. Fashioned a plastic storage container to keep 2 5-liter kegs on German beer cold and a bunch of Coronas and Leos rounded out the beer offering as well as red and white wines from the goon bag.
Something for everyone! If you wanted to get shitfaced, no-one was stopping you! I did, and they had to carry me up to bed before midnight. As I ‘bundied on’ at midday it wasn’t a totally unexpected result.
About the only thing I could have done without was the magnificent ralph at 5AM on Sunday morning. Been a long time since I’ve driven the porcelain bus, and I was reminded yet again why I don’t partake of the agave-juice much these days.
And the rain! We knew we were up against it having the party in the rainy season, but to be fair we had experienced very little rain in the few weeks leading up to the big day! Unfortunately, all our prayers went unanswered and at 4 PM the skies opened. We battled intermittent downpours for the next 3 hours or so, and had to move all the tables and chairs under the carport. Shame.
The worst part was it delayed the cooking for an hour or so and the natives grew a little restless with their hungry tummies. Sorry folks!
On the plus side we didn’t need to cook for the next 4 days, and the tacos from the left-overs were even better tasting than those on the night. Not to mention I threw together an amazing beef stroganoff from one of the remaining steaks.
Good times and great friends!
Thanks to everyone who made the effort and showed up, and for the goodies. A nice wallet, new shirts, engraved pens and numerous bottles of decent booze. The liquor cabinet has never looked so good, I tell ya!
And ‘grandma’ (lady next door) was kind enough to drop off a bottle of Thai honey the next day. Khop khun krup!
The fifties – bring ’em on!