I turn twenty-four tomorrow! I still love my birthdays like I did when I was a little kid, thought with significantly more patience. I’m not very impressed with this new awareness of how old I’m getting these days, though. But more maudlin talk of age tomorrow!

Since last year I was spoilt rotten with gorgeous and very expensive gifts plus a trip to a very expensive restaurant, I decided to go low-key this year. And since my father works in a small, rural town during the week, and my sister is busy in Sydney with university (her graduation gallery show opens next week, oh my gosh!) I chose to go to Sydney for the day, the day before my birthday, and to have lunch at Doyle’s Seafood at the Sydney Fish Markets. We had my sister’s birthday at Doyle’s Bistro at Watson’s Bay back in March, so there was a nice parallel!

But first! I got to run to Books Kinokuniya, which is my happy place (how is it possible that with the closure of both Borders and Angus and Robertson, it is near impossible to find a bookshop in my town? It just isn’t right, and I don’t care what anyone says, e-books are not that much cheaper and not even close to as lovely and enjoyable as a real book.) My father and I headed to Books Kinokuniya and I picked up (finally!) the first edition of the English Sailor Moon manga rerelease and the first edition of Codename Sailor V! It was very exciting. And then I looked up and something incredible and amazing caught my eye – Avatar the Last Airbender: The Lost Adventures. (Did I mention that I’m still a kid at heart? XD)  And grabbed my copy of Sarah Dessen’s newest, What Happened to Goodbye.

After that, we headed to lunch because Mum and I were starving. The fish markets need renovations badly and Watson’s Bay has a lovelier atmosphere (not so many pushy, rude people) but the food was delicious and amazing. Mum and I shared calamari with salad, and salsa grilled barramundi, and both were amazingly good. I did try to hunt out my childhood-favourite of chargrilled chilli baby octopus but quite tragically – and expectedly – the stand that made that delicious treat has closed and reopened as something different.

After lunch, Mum and Dad demanded coffee, and I was quite happy to snag some delicious gingerbread men before my Mum decided my sister needed groceries. It’s strange, I actually like wandering around the little supermarkets in Sydney. This one was a Thomas Dux, which aren’t uncommon in Sydney but this one was kind of boutique-y and had an old fashioned, community feel about it. Our supermarkets are enormous places with crammed shelves and no organization. But this was fresh and happy and full of strange, new brands. I smuggled pink and traditional lemonade into the ‘cart’ (a plastic basket with an extended handle and wheels. Horrid to pull.) along with a tiny container of chocolate ice cream and this funny pop corn that is both sweet and salty. I’ve had it before, but I think I’ll stick to salty pop corn.

And finally, we headed to my sister’s apartment for cupcakes and presents! My sister moved into her new apartment roughly two months ago and it looked terribly small when I saw it, empty. But now she’s had time to unpack and arrange, it’s lovely and homey (still a bit messy, Mia!)

Presents! I love reading other peoples’ loot lists at birthdays and Christmas. I think they say a lot about a person and the people around them. Maybe other people like to as well, so here are my gifts so far – a bon-bon charm from my parents (I nabbed a stock photo of it, below) and a adorable vintage-style kitten nightgown. My sister gave me a Momiji Doll I desperately wanted for my collection, a Momiji mug patterned with hearts in red and white and a truly beautiful and amazing Kate Spade mug printed with a girl in a library carrying books. It’s amazing.

And then cupcakes! I just adore cupcakes. My sister picked out a selection of milk chocolate, vanilla, pistachio and cardamon, coconut (one of my favourites!) and black velvet (amazing dark chocolate). Yum. I tried a piece of each flavour and left the rest with my sister XD

And then home again, home again, with my bag of loveliness. I spent most of the trip home sleeping.A spectacular Birthday Eve, and a spectacular Last Day of Being Twenty-Three. :D