Happy birthday Champagne Gillian!

Today is our Gillian’s birthday. A happy day, I hope, full of love and celebration of all that is great about Gillian’s life. And there is loads. In celebration, I thought I would tell you a little bit about why I think Gillian is just about the most awesome lady getting about the place.

I first met Gill eight years ago at my then new boyfriend’s housewarming party. (That new boyfriend is now my husband.) Husby and Gillian have known each other for centuries and are firm and close friends. I had heard all about her in the lead-up to the party, how she was Husby’s closest female friend, and how she and I were going to get on like a house on fire. Being the new girlfriend, of course, I was keen to ingratiate myself with all the friends so he would see me as part of his social circle and realise I fit in perfectly and he couldn’t do without me.

I awaited her entrance for an hour or so before she arrived. I may have nervously put away a dozen or so drinks in the meantime. Then she arrived. I swear, I don’t think she knows this, but when Gillian walks into a room everyone stops and looks. She just has this air of fabulous about her. She owns it and everyone can feel her sparkle. So anyhoo, Gilly walked into this party, I greeted her keenly like a schoolgirl with a crush, and she proceeded to be a total rude biartch.

She barely nodded at me before scurrying off to the corner to speak to one of her real friends about whatever interesting drama was going on in their lives at the time. And that was it – my opinion of her was set. Clearly she had good qualities because Husby liked her, but I just saw her as being a bit full of herself.

Luckily, over time, we spent more time together and I realised that night was an anomaly of behaviour and not the real Gillian. We hung out quite a lot and I was lucky enough to be at her beautiful wedding and hang out as our children played (and fought) together. But it wasn’t until we started Champagne Cartel nearly a year ago that Gillian and I really got to know each other as friends outside of the realm of her being Husby’s friend. Now he has been informed that if we ever decide to separate, I get Gillian in the split. The decision has been made. Another reason he needs to keep me around. 🙂

So I hope you’ll allow me this small indulgence: in celebration of Gillian’s birthday, I was going to write one reason she is awesome for every year she has been alive. But I have a raging hangover from drinking champagne with Gillian, so instead I will write one for every year I have been lucky enough to have her in my life:

1. Gillian gathers friends in her life but seldom loses them. She still has friends from primary school, high school, university, and every other chapter of her life – and her family are her best friends of all. She is clearly someone that values friendship and treats her relationships with the care and attention she thinks they deserve. She makes her friends feel special, important and loved.

2. Gillian throws the most amazing parties – partly because of reason number 1 – and partly because she knows how to throw a bash that goes off. Nothing is left to chance, and she is the quintessential hostess. Just quietly, I want to be her when I grow up.

3. Gillian is proactive like a mofo. If something is wrong in her life, she doesn’t sit around wondering what to do about it, she goes out and finds someone who can help her fix it. That’s very cool, and it has changed my life as I now endeavour to do the same. Why sit around with problems when there are people out there who can help fix them? Exactly.

4. Gillian is great at all things lady. She knows how to dress, accessorise and put on make up. She has a very cool shoe collection and can totter around in the highest of heels. She always has great hair and her face exudes health and shine and inner beauty. Oh, outer beauty as well, of course, that wasn’t one of those backhanded compliments where I say you’ve got a nice personality because you’re hideous to look at. She’s the full package, baby.

5. Gillian is a fantastic mum of two beautiful little boys. She is nurturing, loving, firm but gentle. She thinks about ways to do things better all the time, and her boys clearly adore her.

6. Gillian is open and a great listener. I reckon I could tell her I killed a puppy and she would still be on my side.

7. Gillian is the funniest person I know. She speaks exactly the way she writes but if you have heard her voice, you know the expression that goes into it as well. She is quick to laugh and quick with a funny line. I always leave a visit with Gilly feeling positive and better than when the day started.

8. Gillian makes me feel like a good friend. She has helped me in so many ways, but she also makes me feel like I have something to offer her. Because of Gill, I feel like a fun, caring, compassionate, and even sometimes wise, friend. Someone with something to offer. That is the greatest gift around, if you ask me.

So here’s to you, Champagne Gillian. I value your friendship more than I can express here, and I look forward to growing old and eccentric with you. Cheers, darling!

C xxx

PS If you want to see some of my favourite posts by Champagne Gillian, check these out:

How to walk up hills: tips for the athletically challenged

Less martyr, more Martha

Tips for a fresh face

Chicken stock for the soul





Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


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