We left Wellington around Friday afternoon on April 4th after Alex and folks got all the shopping together for the party. We arrived at the Sutherland farm at around 6pm and were greeted by a haven in the middle of nowhere. The farm was about 15 minutes drive from Martinborough and it was a sight to behold. An old Victorian house set in beautiful green gardens and big trees of all sorts. In front was an old tennis court and a beautiful big outdoor wooden table made from the trunk of a tree they had to cut down that was near the house according to the Joe and Jackie the proud owners of the lovely farmstay. A stone throw away was a cottage with more room and beds for more people to stay. Half of the main farm house was for visitors which we took over with kitchen including all utensils and three bedrooms, bathroom and two living rooms that could house a small Samoan family!
That eve we had dinner prepared by Cesca on the front yard on the big wooden table under the stars. It was a beautiful clear evening with a million stars in sight. It was just breathtaking and relaxing. Entertained by Joe and later Jackie we all enjoyed a lovely evening before calling it a night at around midnight.
The next morning we all got up early and under the command of master chef Alex we proceeded to prepare the meaai(food) for Jim’s big SIX OH birthday. Peeling, chopping and mixing most of the morning and by noon all of the food was ready to be demolished. Alex prepared the lamb and mounted it with the help from the birthday boy on the spit.
They started cooking the lamb at 12 and it was ready by 4pm. Friends and family started arriving at 2pm and by 5pm things were in full swing as we all started munching and the drinkers doing what they did best. Needless to say the food was yummy and everyone enjoyed the lamb. At dawn Jim said a few words and his very good mates from his army days also had a few stories to tell from back in the day.
Quite hilarious stories of course from the good ol’ days and Jake ended his with a song that everyone sang along to. Everyone sang the birthday song to Jim blowing his candle on a chocolate cake prepared by his wife Sue and the party continued. Later on Alex’s aunties Theresa and Cecilia found the two guitars and continued the sing along which was just fantastic. We all sat around the porch outside with some singing, some listening, others dancing and all still drinking until some called it a night and left while others continued on till the wee hours of the morning. Most of the people found a bed at the farm house so no one drove home. All up I think the birthday boy enjoyed his birthday very much especially with his old mates that made it with most of his family. The next day we all had breakfast at the house and packed everything before making our way back to the hub that is Wellington city.
A big thank you to Joe and Jackie for their hospitality during that magnificent and unforgettable week-end at the Sutherland Farm.