What a Birthday!

I never thought that turning 56 would be so good!

A few days before Rob took Jeanette, Christopher and I to have lunch. Somehow the conversation turned to the impending change we were planning to make in our home office – changing from a Windows to Mac environment. Christopher quoted some prices for iBooks, the model I would buy. Jeanette whipped out the list of software on my computer which I’d emailed her a few days before. All a bit strange but then you learn with adult children to just take things as they come…

“Why don’t we go to the Apple shop and see what they’ve got?” suggested Jeanette. So off we went.

Soon we were standing in front of a row of Mac notebook computers…

“Which one do you like?” asked Rob. Was that his famous smirk that he tries to hide when he’s trying to keep a secret?

“That one!” I announced, after asking a few questions about each of them. But I thought we were just putting plans together.

Still I didn’t twig!

Until Rob pulled out his credit card and Jeanette and Christopher laughed.

This was my birthday present!

Jeanette and Christopher came back to our place and helped me set up and use my new macBook.

It was sooooo nice:-)

That’s why we were on Dusky Dolphin on the following Sunday, 4th March, with a macBook! But what I had been looking forward to for weeks was not a macBook but the eclipse of the moon on the morning of the day I turned 56.

We woke early and were on deck by 6am to watch the full moon setting towards the mauve of the west horizon. A strange shadow slowly moved from the top and across the face of the moon, until the whole moon disappeared into the pink in the west just as the sun rose in the east. What a lovely gift!

A challenging sail, time to play with the macBook, time with friends in a new anchorage at the end of the day (and Rob whipped them into singing “Happy Birthday”), phone calls from family and friends. What a lovely day!

Yesterday was the last “bash” with brunch at the zoo. Tristan and his family were back from New Zealand and we all met for a barbecue and walk around the zoo. Tom’s birthday had been celebrated while they were in New Zealand, so we sang “Happy Birthday” to him too. Elwyn had sent pressies via her friend who had visited London a couple of weeks before. Tom loved his drink bottle with “T” for “Thomas” on it, a bright red Ferarri shirt and Ferrari sticker to put on the back of his hand (that’s absolutely the only place for stickers in Tom’s opinion) and little backpack. We wandered around part of the zoo, and especially enjoyed the sun bears who had just arrived from Cambodia through the Save the Bears charity. One had been a pet, and was OK, but the other had been hog-tied in the back of a restaurant, ready to have his paws chopped off, one by one, as customers came in and ordered bear paw soup. Of course he was terrified of open space, as any person would be in the same situation. I couldn’t stop the tears flowing as a guide told his story. But here he was safe.

It’s sad to see animals behind bars, but if they weren’t they would be dead. Extinct maybe. As we drove home I pondered on this new view of zoos, as sanctuaries. We would visit much more often, and in doing so do our bit to help…

It has been a most amazing birthday!

Birthday @ the Zoo

Yesterday we gathered – Rob and I, Jeanette and Christopher, Tristan and Blaine, Tom and Thea – at the Zoo to celebrate Tom’s and my birthdays.

With all of us bringing things it was not a hard task to put on a barbecue brunch. Gorgeous sunshine to sit under and eat together!

Then a wander around the Zoo. Our children come here often, and guided Rob and I around to the more recent work. It is wonderful to see the effort being made to house these creatures in something approximating their natural environment. The sadest and also the happiest place was the sun bears. Two enclosures have been made for these new additions to the Zoo, rescued from tiny roome in the back of shops in Asia where their bile is extracted daily. One had had rehab before coming here and was adjusting to the space and light quite well, but the other was freaked out. Through tears I watched this little creature who, through no faulty of his own, had had no liberty to enjoy the sun on his face or fresh air in his lungs or space to explore until now. But at least he now had the chance to learn how.

What a world we live in!

But it was a special day to share with our lovely family.

A Wild Birthday Gift

Last Monday, my 56th birthday, Rob and I were on Dusky Dolphin, anchored at Woodman Point with several other yachts. An eclipse of the full moon was scheduled for 6:30am, so of course we were up early to see it!

At 6 the glowing gold/silver orb was setting into the shimmering mauve/blue of the western horizon. Then it was less of a circle, then even less, then even less, until we could see nothing of the moon by the time it reached the now-pink horizon.

What an amazing gift to share with Rob:-)