Wow this was quite the process and I am glad I did when 34 and not 64. Such a beautiful time thinking back on the memories and people over the years – really amazing and I encourage anyone to do the same…
A little look back as I always like to do on this day but this time back as far as I can remember.
0. Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide – being born
Don’t remember that one so much but from all accounts it was pretty traumatic for both myself and mum, almost killing us both at different stages. I have been told I was without oxygen for a long period of time (which probably explains a lot!)
1. Minlaton, South Australia – crawling about
Again no too many memories of this one… Fairly sure I was just being one and hanging out in Minlaton having just moved there from Mt Pleasant
2. Minlaton, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia – being 2
Not a big b’day for me but hope someone got cake
3. Minlaton, South Australia – preschool
Wasn’t a fan of preschool and was a bit of a mummy’s boy or to any of my sisters and brothers
4. Minlaton, South Australia – kindy
Again still no memories of birthdays just yet but remember being 4 and wanting to be 5 for the whole year
5. Minlaton, South Australia – starting school
This one I do remember as I got a new bike (second hand bits and pieces bike dad made from old bikes) and it was bright yellow. Plus it was school time! A backpack with an Aussie flag on the back.
6. Kadina, northern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia – year 1
Change of town for me and think I scored pretty well on this birthday with a Star Wars backpack and ET blow up chair!
7. Kadina, South Australia – year 2
This one I remember as I was given a puppy by my sister and it got a bit sick the first night and then vomiting blood the next and died soon after but a nice thought… and my sister was into making me birthday cakes!
8. Kadina, South Australia – year 3
Classic with my best friend Travis Borlace and very heavily into football paraphernalia and the Woodville Warriors – who my brother played for…
9. Kadina, South Australia – year 4
I remember this one really clearly as Travis Borlace came back from Adelaide and I had been sent Halloween stuff from my oldest sister in the US the year before and so I had a Halloween themed birthday with Travis and homemade sausage rolls (my favourite food back then!)
10. Kadina, South Australia – year 5
I had a party for this one as I was starting to try and impress the girls and got presents from girls for the first time like smelling rubbers (erasers) and trucks from the boys.
On my actual birthday day I remember having meat fritters and getting a slot car set but had to stop early because I was so excited and kept say geez which my mum thought was blasphemy and said if I said it again I would have to stop and in the excitement geez it was good – hence game over!
11. Adelaide, South Australia – year 6
Made the big move to the city and pooled a bunch of friends together for a sleep-over and a football carnival the following day
12. Port Augusta, South Australia – year 7
First birthday away from home while on a football trip for the week. Was staying with a kangaroo shooter and on the afternoon of my birthday I managed to have a massive football injury where I turned my elbow inside out and break the growth pallet in the middle of the elbow – ouch. But my dad drove the 3 hours to pick me up and then take me back home that night with a broken elbow!
13. Adelaide, South Australia – high school and year 8
Now at high school and an all boys catholic college… remembered not wanting to tell anyone it was my birthday for the torrent of punches I would receive for each year…
14. Adelaide, South Australia – year 9
With my two best friend at the Mongolia Grill – all you can eat. Being 14 and growing I remember eating a lot. First of many great b’day memories with my two best friends Tom and Andrew.
15. Adelaide, South Australia – senior school, year 10
16. Adelaide, South Australia – year 11
Again another sleep-over just with Tom and Andrew watching toilet humour that they had given me for my birthday – Bottom and Bargearse
17. Adelaide, South Australia – year 12
Family dinner with a couple of brothers, a sister and my beautiful grandmother – I think I had Japanese ramen on the menu
18. Adelaide, South Australia – working at winery and vineyards
Cool small party with friends just after our high school graduation and just before I took off to Japan for 9 months.
19. Adelaide, South Australia – Flinders University 1st year
Now back in Australia and at university but not liking being back in my own country. Great birthday however with a family dinner and a few friends
20. Adelaide, South Australia – uni 2nd year
Still at uni, still hating it and just wanting to fly the nest but again a top birthday with many a drink at a pub with friends
21. Adelaide, South Australia – uni 3rd year
22. Mt Gambier, South Australia – uni 4th year and teaching practicum
Away on teaching practicum in the countryside – loving it and a great school day teaching Japanese to 5 year olds and PE to 12 year olds
23. London, England – supply teaching at primary schools
Finally out and about the world! Went to Lord’s cricket ground for the tour and was job hunting as I had newly arrived
24. Pusan, South Korea – teaching English
Teaching English and with my Canadian girlfriend at the time who organised a surprise birthday for me at a traditional Korean bar with dong-dong ju (milky rice wine) and pajan (vegetable pancake) with loads of friends from Canada, Australia, Korea and elsewhere…
25. Nanporo, Hokkaido, Japan – English teacher
On the Japanese English Teacher program and teaching during the day and a wonderful dinner with my neighbours – Mr and Mrs Matsuda in the evening with incredible Japanese food, plus cards and gifts from my parents!
26. Vancouver, Canada – teaching snowboarding and English to foreign students
What I remember of this birthday was great… out with my friend from Japan, Rich and some buddies and them basically forcing me to drink till I had a station pizza (vomit) sure I was kicking and fighting 😉
27. Todos Santos, Guatemala – working at volunteer program for gringos
Where I first started the trend of getting up for sunrise for my birthday. A great day where I took special medication that allowed me to keep my dysentery away for a day, drink alcohol and eat curry made by my mate Loz and shared with some lovely people visiting the town – Amity and Tom.
28. Maceio, Brazil – teaching for an English tutor program for university students started by a couchsurfer and I, and teaching at public schools
Outside hanging out with my local friends and the family where I was staying – good food, good people and cashasa (the local fire water)!
29. Tumby Bay, South Australia – teaching my beloved year 3/4 class
Half way through the year of being a ‘real’ teacher and shared it with my wonderful students and then headed up to Lock (town name) to have dinner and for a conference the following day. The kids tried so hard to make my day special, and it was… also got my bike covered in balloons and streamers!
30. Bonga, Ethiopia – teaching teachers at a teachers college (but mainly learning!)
An incredible day where I ran my first marathon. I came first, second and last – it was only me. Looking back on it I was a bit crazy and a huge challenge but it has certainly toughened my up for anything else in my future and let me understand how people have to be that resilient everyday… My incredible friends and family also raised $5000 to go to the local orphanage – amazing and life changing for so many kids in the community
31. Adelaide, South Australia – in between riding a bike around New Zealand, teaching in Aboriginal communities and starting with the Global Poverty Project
I did a 31km run from my sisters house in McLaren Vale to Adelaide and thought this would be something I’d do every year – nup. Lovely birthday back with my family.
32. Adelaide, South Australia – volunteering and presenting for the Global Poverty Project
A bit of a strange one this birthday as I was on the verge of hemorrhoidectomy, dad being quite sick and had just re-met an amazing woman who would become my longest girlfriend ever but was also a great night of food and family at my sister Lulu’s house and vineyard
33. Sydney, Australia – working for the Global Poverty Project and becoming a volunteer leader with Australian Volunteers International
I was at my brother’s house and breaking a month of Living Below the Line ($2 a day for all food and drink). Good sunset, custard and company!
34. Quebec City and Montreal, Canada – leading The End of Polio campaign in Canada
A remarkable day of fortune, thunderstorms and smiles. A very early sunrise in Quebec City, 4.15am wake up!
Amazing thunderstorm and then torrential downpour so enjoyed my homemade custard in a bus shelter hiding from the rain.
Walked for a while, got drenched so went to fancy hotel to dry, warm up and write this montage. While doing this I notice a man in a Rotary shirt. I was meant to present to Rotary at 7.30 this morning but had not heard back from them as to where the meeting was… seemed I was one floor below their meeting and within 5 minutes was eating breakfast and presenting to them! Crazy…
Got a ride to Montreal and walked to a friend of a friend’s place where I am staying tonight. In the meantime I went for walk to get caught out in another huge thunder storm and currently drinking soda water looking out onto the street from the supermarket I sought refuse in… See what happens for the rest of the day from here!
Footnote – great place I am staying with a friend of a friend who cooked me an amazing salmon dinner, with Quebec beer, a walk around the area banging pots and pans (8pm protesting against the government for 75% increase in fees for students) and chocolate cake! Si bon!
Post blog and go to sleep… nice one.
35. Willunga, South Australia – home owner, biological father and about to embark on the Stop the Transmission Of Polio program in Africa for 6 months
Started day with a run up Willunga Hill, a blog under a big beautiful gumtree – https://lunny06.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/34-to-35/ dinner at my sister’s place with wonderful vege and fish curries!