Turning 30

In many ways, it’s been a pretty momentous week.

But, after some frustrating news on the Brexit and personal front (all in the space of 12 hours!), my 30th birthday weekend has been absolutely wonderful and I am in awe of my wife’s amazing organisational skills and incredible love.

It all started with a little girl waking me up singing “Happy Birthday Daddy!”, tunefully and happily. Lovely!

Then, the surprises began…

First of all, I was hoodwinked into thinking I was spending my 30th in the cafe of John Lewis. Now, I like John Lewis and everything. But it’s not the ideal birthday destination!

After leading me to believe this for the past month – yeah she really went for it on the fraudulent front! – I was instead directed to Powerleague where 16 players from past and present donned their kits to play in a special friendly with a terrific assortment of wives, children and other spectators to cheer us on.

This was a 5 aside game turned into 8 aside. You’d think there wouldn’t be much space but, the general fitness of all, meant that actually it was the perfect number!


Admittedly, the heavens opened shortly after kickoff and the spectators disappeared inside. They could enjoy their coffee, while we got on with the real business of winning the game.


My team lost in the first half so, in true fair fashion, I swapped myself onto the winning side and we won the second half! Happy days!

Back inside my wife had laid on a spread with sausage and bacon sandwiches and some epic cupcakes, not to mention my 30 football birthday cake.



(The only mildly embarrassing thing was that the party immediately after mine was for an average age of 9, but still!)

A huge thank you to everyone who came, including people from across the country and others, like Mike and Ilze, who were on their way to Latvia to get married!! You guys rock.

The rest of the day was chilled – trying out an awesome table tennis table in the back garden and eating a mammoth curry with some of our closest friends.


Then, as for today, well my wife surpassed even her own expectations with this experience.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog our love of Masterchef: The Professionals and she saw an opportunity for us to visit Northcote, featured on last year’s semi-finals, for lunch, along with specially selected food critics (recognise any of them?).



Not only that, but for some reason they gave her a complimentary upgrade to the Chef’s Table deal which she thought meant eating with a view of the kitchen.

That’s a downplay…we were in the kitchen!




Sliding glass doors separated us from the magical scene of what happens in a Michelin starred kitchen and we were free to roam around and watch more closely, ask questions, take selfies with the chefs (Dad!) and check out the fridges. It was absolutely fascinating.


As for the food, it was unbelievable.

Put it this way, I’ve not had anything to eat tonight and if you know me at all, that’s very unlike me.

One of the best experiences of my life – memorable in every way. So grateful to God and to my wife for it.


They say that turning 30 is a milestone. That it marks a change maybe in maturity, certainly in appearance!

Well, if this weekend is anything to go back, I can’t wait for what the rest of my fourth decade has to offer.


  1. Congratulations Joe and well done Jess.
    Love from Joan and Alan xx

  2. A memorable 30th birthday celebration….football and food…what more could you want.

    Much love

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