I have been happy to spend this with my lovely Alan and my 95 year old dad.
What a blessing this is; having parents who had you at 40 makes you fearful when growing up that you will not have them around into your older age.
My memories of my earlier birthdays were spent with my extended family on our annual holiday which occurred during 'wakes week'. This was the time that towns in the North all had their collective time off work. Our family destinations included Wales, Norfolk, but my main and best memories are those we spent in Newquay, Cornwall.
To be surrounded by your family on your very special day, to be centre of attention for that day was definitely something. Being the youngest of 3 with a much older sister and brother (making me already very spoiled) was why birthdays and their memories are to be treasured.
So here I sit after a lovely day spent with some of my lovely family, looking back on my life with all its ups and downs with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
Social networking has brought family and friends back into my world and I love connecting and sharing stories, having 'happy birthday from family and friends near and far is just lovely.
I know that for some these relationships can be dismissed and disparaged as not real, for me I hold to the view that connection is always the best thing.
So thank you everyone who has noticed it's my birthday: thank you for taking time to help me celebrate and write your greeting. I truly appreciate them all. We are thankfully all different: we share some things or nothing in common but in this space we learn about one another and embrace new thoughts. I for one feel enhanced with my connections and I pray as each of you have birthdays or highs and lows we can find time to connect, celebrate, commiserate and share.