So back from our roadtrip, we returned home to find that our house was still not finished. There was loads still to do, and it looked as if someone had been using it while we were away, judging by the unlocked front door and pair of brown y-fronts dangling from the bathroom door! After a heated discussion with the landlord about when it would be finished and when we were leaving, the normally placid old man exploded into rage, telling us to f&@k off tomorrow and threw our money at us!
So on Christmas eve we were made homeless. Not that this was a major problem, as John the Rescue Centre chairman had already offered to let us stay at his home (in our own enormous room with ensuite bathroom, a/c, swimming pool and maids) for free. After two hours of deliberation (what were we thinking?!?!?), we decided it was the right decision and moved into The Tree House, 10km up the Chapora River.
Our mum's had been good enough to send us Christmas stockings with a friend who was visiting Goa, so on Xmas morning we awoke to unwrap chocolates, books, and a smogesboard of now very mouldy
Thanks Mum and Mama C
cheeses! Fortunately we now have stomachs of steel, and so the creamy Camembert found it's way into our breakfast baps (did it crawl it's way?) and we then chatted with John and lazed around the pool all morning. We finished off the day by spending the next 12hours down the beach, getting very drunk and listening to a rather horendous Russian folk act.
We worked off our hangovers on boxing day with a full day working with John and Richard (the Accountant who was helping with the management review), mixed in with playing with the monkeys.
It was quite difficult to stop work, as we all had so many good ideas to develop for the charity and so much to do finishing off the new job descriptions and processes. Fortunately we had regular pool and monkey breaks, and John kept forcing us to accompany him to his favorite restaurants and bought us lunches and dinners.
On the morning of my birthday, I awoke to a very happy fiancé who had clearly been doing a lot of planning and was ready to tell me all the surprises. I was very excited once i'd opened my present - a scrapbook
with a special golden ticket attached inside, and I'd heard about what we'd be doing.
Starting the day with breakfast in bed, we chilled by the pool reading and sunbathing. Rachel give me my birthday haircut (she's getting very good, i don't think we'll need Lizzie anymore when we get home ;-) )
We went to a riverside restaurant for some king prawns at lunch, and in the evening we went to Thalassa where Mariketty and Ivan had arranged a long table covered in flowers and rach had invited all of our Goan friends to dinner. We had Greek starters, my favourite mixed grill (sorry john!), and then a delicious chocolate birthday cake :-) I was quite drunk by this stage so we then went to 9-Bar for an hour's dance to some fairly decent psy-trance. Rach and I went back to Thalassa afterwards and propped up the bar for four hours, watching a belly dancer and I took Sputnik (Ivan's dog) for a waltz.
They ran out of sugar at the restaurant, and as it was frantically busy I offered to go on a mission to find some at 11pm. Sputnik followed me out so I asked him if he wanted to come
Where did the chocolate go??
help. "Sputnik up!" I say and he jumps up onto the petrol tank of the bike. You get some funny looks riding along with a dog on the tank, even in India! We even succeeded in our sugar mission, mariketty was very happy.
A very satisfying birthday, yet we were only half-way through - the big surprise was that Rach had organised for us and our friends to go to the final day of Sunburn Festival - a bit like a mini Global Gathering but set on the beach and without the camping. Sander van doorn and armin van buuren were headlining, but the other great act was a French guy called Norman Dorry, who started his set with something awfully cheesy and funky housey, but by the end of his set, was bashing out some awesome mashups in a very banging style. Outram would have been signing him up to pussycat immediately! Sander van doorn then played his set to a beautiful sunset and I was happily off my birthday pickle.
Hats off, I was very happy with my birthday shenanigans, and we topped it off by leaving half an hour early and going home to a bowl
of tomato bhaji and to listen to a couple of episodes of Harry Potter.
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