Have baby, will travel: 1 year on

29th October, 2013

Globetrotting tot turned 1 this week. Where did that year go?

The stats of his life so far shape up like this:

  • 5 months in Taiwan
  • 5 months in the UK (England and Wales – roughly half and half)
  • 2 months in New Zealand

I’m very proud of my little world traveller. He has faced multiple long-haul flights and had more bedroom changes than some people have underwear changes. And he has been a trooper.

To mark the occasion we had a party on the weekend. I made a world-map cake, which thoroughly tested my geography (not to mention my patience; Malaysia is NOT my friend). It’s an odd experience to have bisected two major landmasses before 10am. Mostly while muttering maniacally, “What shape are the freaking Philippines anyway?” and wondering whether anyone would actually miss Papua New Guinea.

Major fails in world-geography included realising I’d totally missed off a sizeable chunk of Asia and having to double check the precise shape and location of (among others): Iceland, Cuba and Madagascar. I’ve included a photo of the cake, but if your favourite island state is missing, I’m sorry, but am basically over it (and suggest you join me here).

Around the world in...well, a year.

Around the world in…well, a year.

In a nod to our home and homes-from-home, the UK and NZ turned out MASSIVE. And of course Taiwan makes an appearance as a dot of green icing, although it probably isn’t visible on this pic.

My Welsh husband got home at the end of my knackering day of furious cake decorating and party supplies shopping and demanded to know why I’d missed off Anglesey. I can’t possibly repeat what I said to him…

Highlights of party day included my boy opening his first ever present. Wrapping paper = much excitement. His discovery of the decorative balloons adorning the house involved similarly satisfying awe-struck expressions. Then there was the great company and the incredibly thoughtful gifts from our NZ friends old and new (gush).

First 1st birthday present

First 1st birthday present

A few brave souls, including the birthday boy, even made a brief foray into the outdoor pool – something I suspect is unlikely to happen on another of his birthdays. End of October in the UK doesn’t tend to be outdoor swimming weather, unless you’re super-hard-as-nails or extremely drunk.

For an arty-farty foodie like me, it was a great excuse to puddle around with making silly animals and other pretties out of food. Don’t worry – I am not even pretending this was for Tiny’s benefit. It just isn’t generally acceptable to adorn food at adult parties with tiny edible bees (although maybe it should be).

Battallion of birthday bees

Battallion of birthday bees

But one thing’s for sure…if I ever muster the courage to host a child’s birthday party again, I’ll start prepping at least 2 days sooner and try to be a little less chaotic about the whole thing! And to be honest, this was the easy one. It was basically a grown-up shindig with added balloons and assorted children of varying ages. In the years to come there’ll be an army of little ones demanding jelly and games…and the Chardonnay will have to stay in the fridge til they’ve all gone home. Shudder.

So, I celebrated surviving my first first birthday by flying to Gisborne the next morning (leaving birthday boy with his Dad) for a day of pretty much non-stop wine drinking at Feast: a fantastic food and wine festival.

Any place where, on arrival, you’re handed a lanyard with a plastic wine glass attached is my kind of affair. Here’s a write-up of the day on my Winewedrank blog (not that my memory of the day is ALL that sharp).

Wine glass around neck. It's a classy look.

Wine glass around neck. It’s a classy look.

In hindsight it should’ve been obvious that if Party Day didn’t destroy me, 10 hours of drinking excellent wine probably would. But it was worth it.

It was a perfect chance to raise a glass (or several) to the year ahead: to Tiny, to me and to many more travels together. Hope you’ll join us.

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