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Last weekend was luxurious and hilarious and illuminating.   Luxurious because the rest of my family flew interstate. For the first time in 13 and a half years, I had the house all to myself for a weekend. I had fantasised about all I would do with that precious time. After I dropped my family off at the airport, I planned to keep driving north to a little coastal village that has great cafes and funky gift shops. I was going to read my book and sip chai latte, then find the perfect gift for my girlfriend's birthday.   An hour after I arrived, a wave of exhaustion hit me. I gave into it and drove home to have a little nanna nap before my invigorating walk on the beach. The nap blew out to an hour and a half and it took me another hour to snap out of that groggy-headed feeling. The sun went down. I let go of the beach walk. I hired a DVD instead. A girlie movie at 7:30pm on a Friday night - no kids to feed and put to bed, no action movie compromise. Just me, my cuppa, my chocolate, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. Perfectamando.   Saturday morning I decided to bake my friend a birthday cake. There were eight of us going to stay at a resort and ten going out for dinner in a swanky new restaurant. The cake was citrus and poppyseed with lemon cheesecake icing. We had cheese and crackers and fruit and champers on arrival at the resort. We got dressed to the nines and caught a maxi-cab into town. I hauled the blue cooler bag with the cake in it, over my shoulder. The bar was the right amount of raucous for a party. I had a word with the head waiter; yes, he would take the cake into the cool room. No, I didn't have candles.   Singapore slings, Pina Coladas, shouty conversations and laughter over dinner. I caught the young waitress's eye and told her about the cake. Asked her if she could bring it out. Pointed out the birthday girl.   Then the hilarious thing happened. No one else had seen the cake. So when this blue shiny cake with sparklers and candles was brought to our table, everyone started singing happy birthday. I was impressed at the candles and sparklers they…

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