This is just a quick note to say thank you to everyone who made this weekend such a great one. I know birthdays come around every year, but one only turns 30 once and this birthday's been pretty memorable.

Yes, I admit it. I'm thirty. It's a good thing I've officially retired from fencing, otherwise I'd now be eligible for Masters' selection. I no longer have any age-excesses on any insurance policies (even the one for the litre-class superbike). There must be some good points to the three-decades-old thing, though - and I might even think of them given enough time.

Anyway, enough about age. This weekend was awesome, and first and foremost I have to thank Syndia for organising everything. I was told to keep the weekend free and that things would be arranged for me, and that's pretty much what happened.

DSC_0042I arrived home on Friday night (my birthday, remember, was on the Sunday) and was told that my birthday weekend started that night. Syndia then presented me with what would have been an awesome present in its own right: a Nikon D-40 digital SLR camera (with a few additional bits and pieces attached). I was very, very pleased as I'd been musing about acquiring a DSLR for quite some time.

It's only fitting that the first published photo from the camera be of Syndia... I did, however, start to get a bit suspicious when she told me to charge its battery because I'd need it the following day...

I'd had a pretty good idea that Syndia had organised a lunch or something with my family; what I hadn't suspected until that morning was that we wouldn't be arriving in any of our own transport.

Enter the second cool toy: a Porsche 911; mine for the weekend. Awesome. Need I say more? (OK, fine. Briefly: liquid-cooled 996 series; naturally-aspirated; drop top.) Now I understand why the camera needed to be charged beforehand :)

DSC_0023We arrived in style (but very, very quickly) at Lurleen's at the Sirromet winery at Mt Cotton to be met by family and close friends, then enjoyed a rather nice meal. I'll leave it to Mike to 'fess up to Mum's having to order for him ;)

Toys ensued. Very cool. Thanks, everyone - I think Mum was a bit horrified, but I think they're all great.

We managed to persuade Mum to come out for a quick spin around Mt Cotton with me. Her words were something like, "It's just like a roller-coaster!" followed shortly by, "I want to get off!"

Dinner on Saturday evening was at Pat and Michelle's place on the Gold Coast, where we caught up not only with the usual suspects but Anna as well. Pat's home-made ice-cream didn't go down too badly, either :)

Breakfast on Sunday was Devonshire tea at a little café on Mt Nebo after a stop at the William Jolly Lookout. It's a tough life, really.

Thanks to everyone who made it a great weekend, and many, many thanks to Syndia for organising it all.