Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The BIG Four-Oh!!!!!!

On Sunday I celebrate my 40th birthday.

Alot is made of this's significant in the scheme of our lives.

Most of us celebrate this one in a big way.  We think about it as a BIG milestone.

I have been too.....thinking about it that is.  Kind of thinking about it's significance.

What does it mean to me particularly?

Well I'm not sure that I have figured that one out yet but I have been thinking about my life and the bits of it that have been and are significant to me today.  I won't be able to mention everything here but I intend to mention a few.......

When I was 1 ( my eldest brother was 8 and there were 3 others in between!) my mum & dad borrowed money for a one way fare (by boat!!!) to Europe.  They bought a camping trailer & a Citroen DS station wagon like just like this one:

images courtesy of

.......and we lived in the camping trailer for two years travelling around Europe.  The longest portion of that time was spent in Sweden- where I developed my ongoing obsession with CLOGS and many other things Swedish.

Here is a pic of me and my siblings when we were back in Oz.........I'd be the one with the clogs on at the front!  Aaaaah the fashion of the 70's......rick rack, flares and zip up jumpsuits....what's not to LOVE?!

I still have the clogs in that amazing photo.....and about 5 other pairs that fit me now.  Much like I start the day with a bowl of coffee- I HAVE to end the day with my clogs on, even if it is just for  a little while.  If I haven't been wearing them during the day I have to slip into them for the last bit of the day.  Clog therapy.

I have no doubt that this European trip has had an enormous influence on me and my siblings in so many ways.  Literally opening up the world for all of us.  Cuisine, culture, music, language- how lucky we are to have had that.

Our family lived in a camping trailer very similar to one that I managed to find through the trading post.  The Europeans know how to camp in style!  While our Aussie style campers are decked out in SUPER heavy canvas- the euro's are lightweight with lots of windows for air and light.
Mine is a Dutch camper from the 70's that has all the original trim throughout. Magnificent.
My siblings & I have all grown up loving camping , my children LOVE it too.

Here it is.

Inside it is like the "tardis" from Dr. Who.  There are 2 double beds and a zip on annexe that we call the "extension".  It even has a kitchen with sink!  Me & Hubby sleep in one double bed, the middle two sleep across the other and we set up a camping bunk for the big two and the porta-cot for bubba. PERFECT!  In fact PURE LUXURY!

I love CAMPING- it is one of the few things as a family where you are kind of forced to just be.  We cook yummy food- it's a kind of tradition that we cook a chicken curry the first night and then whatever.......we love our vintage round cast iron"toastie toasties".  You can readily buy square ones at camping stores but the round ones seal the sandwich so much better and they are now very hard to find except at op-shops. 

A "toastie toastie" is a camping version of a toasted sandwich.  All manner of yumminess can go in.  In fact the more strange often the better- its usually last nights dinner with cheese added.  But to make it super delish you have to put a rasher of bacon on the outside so it comes out with all that crunchy pork goodness on the outside. YUM.

Her's my bubby loving the camping trailer.  Checkout the way the beds have their own little 70's chic fabric cocoon for that necessary bit of camping privacy!  Hilarious!

As you already know COFFEE is also very important to me.  Here is my beautiful Atomic coffee machine  that comes camping with us so I don't have to be without.

I fell in love with it probably on that trip to Europe. Mum says I used to love sitting with her and having a coffee with her.  That is where we learnt to drink it from bowls.  The Swedes have their moring coffee in a bowl- a beautiful way to warm your cold hands.  It is still how I prefer to drink my coffee.

My CHILDREN........  Well who could ever be prepared for the heart melting love that you feel for one's children?
I always knew I wanted a large family.  I was lucky to meet my beautiful hubby three weeks after I turned 17 and we had enough time to make our dream together of a big family reality.  

Here are our FIVE beautiful boys- I love to laugh with them, play with them, learn with them, cry with them, cook with them amongst other things.   Most of all I heart-achingly adore them.

My GORGEOUS HUSBAND- here we are on our wedding day.   I couldn't have done any of this without you!  It's been a fun 23 years so far.....looking forward to many many more!

And then there are my beautiful friends who have helped me through good times and bad. Who have sat around my table with me laughing and crying, feasting and drinking- wine and of course COFFEE!

My wish going forward is that I can continue to share my life with interesting people.  Life is about sharing- sharing the good, the bad, the sad, the difficult, the joyous. 

I am lucky to have a beautiful family & amazing friends- old & new- to share life with.  I have a wonderful life and I am thrilled to say I am very happy to be turning 40.  Long may it continue but may I never GROW UP!

I feel like cooking this Hot & Sour beef shin.....a fave from the LONGRAIN cookbook by Martin Boetz.  It is sooooo deluxe and not that tricky.  Just needs a while to develop it's me AGED 40!!!!!!

                         ......sweet ol' life you taste so sweet! 


  1. Go for it, forty and happy x

  2. Fabulous Ruth! Just like you... !!!
    40 is GOOD (had 4 years to get used to it..) and knowing you - it's style all the way. Wishing you the HAPPIEST, BESTEST Birthday EVER! XXXXX Lara. X

  3. Happy, happy b/day
    It only gets better!

  4. Cheers gorgeous!!I'll drink to that! Happy 4-0!!! CC xxx

  5. Happy Birthday! 40 is such a great age.

    I really loved this post, so much in it. But best of all I loved your red wedding dress. How utterly gorgeous.

  6. i am sitting here with tears in my eyes, sad and happy. remembering being with you and Guy in Putney eating those delicious ginger biscuits that helped with the months of morning sickness( yours not mine I just ate them out of sheer delight!)James 5yrs old in tights and guys big cowboy boots, driving to SA to meet Jasper when you all returned to Aus, the list is endless and even with a state border betwixt us I am so happy to have you all in our lives in whatever ways we manage . kisses to all xxx Sylvia

  7. Your camper is amazing! Maybe if my first camping experiences has been in something like that, I wouldn't now refuse point blank to camp at all.

    Hope your first few months of '40' have been good ones. :-)

  8. Wow - you certainly know how to do Camper with style. But I would expect nothing less from a clog lover. :-) Glad you got to 40 without too much drama - I'm looking at 42 next month!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro!


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