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On Friday 11th of March I celebrated my 66th birthday. At the end of last year my children made celebrating my next birthday with me a high priority and we decided we would celebrate it by spending the weekend together at one of the West Auckland beaches. Given that there were 14 of us, we weren’t going to have a great deal of choice as to where we stayed but we wanted to all be together. My daughter found The Tower at Muriwai beach and last Friday evening we gathered in the most wonderful place imaginable with the most amazing views along the length of Muriwai beach you could wish for.

There were flowers and chocolate in balloons, cake, and lots of other yummy food, and wine and beer. And there was music. As usual there were also heated debates. My lot are, unsurprisingly, a rowdy lot with strongly held opinions on a range of issues. I had unintentionally sparked the beginnings of World War 3 at the beginning of the week by scanning and emailing to them the editorial about voting for a new flag that had appeared in the latest Listener. Fortunately, it had run its course by the time my birthday arrived. But of course there are always lots of other issues capable of sparking a noisy discussion.

Once the rain stopped on Friday, and the sun came out the weather for the rest of the weekend was great. After two breakfasts on Saturday morning we spent the rest of the day visiting the gannets, and then went down to the beach and watched the grandchildren play at the edge of the water, as well as watching the surfers who were making the most of the huge west coast waves. We then sat on the deck eating more cake, attending to emails (not me) and admiring the views before heading out for dinner.

It was a very special birthday in a very special place with very special people.

2016 03 12 Mum at Murawai (1024x768)-min