For my 40th birthday I was surrounded by people, when I was 50 I had a huge party with an opera singer in the garden but for my 60th birthday, I celebrated with just 2 people, special people, Ryan, Helena and pre-birth baby Bean.

The venue was the Blue Planet Kite Beach at Shuraabad, run by Austrian Max and his wife Miri. https://www.facebook.com/kitesurfing.az/

What a beautiful place, a peninsular surrounded on the one side by the Caspian Sea and the other side a lagoon lake, a favourite haunt for kite surfers.

When your breakfast includes a glass of Prosecco, you know it’s going to be a good birthday. Presents came thick and fast, a Tiffany bracelet, Jesele earrings, a Swarovksi pen for my journaling, a Formula 1 T-shirt but the best ever experience was the gift I received from Ryan later that night.

All day we sat in the sun, it was windy, very windy but hot. Only the adventurous surfers were out today because the wind speed was high. Kite surfing is a wonderful thing to watch, the surfers on boards glide along the water, turning their kites to catch air currents that lift them out of the water,  50 feet into the air like soaring birds. We spent hours watching the surfers practising their craft, drinking G&Ts, whilst cooling off from time to time in the pool.

After a whole day in the sun it was back to our chalets to watch the sun set with a rum and cokelet. The colours from the setting sun were just spectacular. The mood peaceful, nobody for miles around just nature, waters snakes galore and flocks of birds.

We strolled up to the poolside restaurant for an aubergine and cheese dish, made specially for me, and more Prosecco. You’re only 60 once!

Max and Miri joined us, she’d made me the most amazing chocolate birthday cake, she used to be a pastry chef in Austria, so you can imagine the quality.

But the biggest surprise ever was when Ryan appearing from nowhere played “Happy Birthday” on the saxophone. I was full of pride. He’d bought the saxophone Christmas time in Ipswich. He’d been practising for 6 months and had taught himself to read music too. But the most amazing thing for me was that he’d told his dad he was going to play a song for me on my birthday. Steve was so very ill at that time but I’m sure he would have smiled widely at Ryan’s cunning plan. Remember the birthday box last year? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7tqxPU_ZHA

That was the complete icing on the cake of a day filled with joy and surprises.

For the next few hours we played musical dessert island discs together, singing at the tops of our voices, well I certainly was!!

I had so much fun and at 1.00 am I even managed a Facebook video call to my dear yoga friends who were enjoying a pint or 2 at the Greyhound Pub back home.

Helena took this picture of me outside our chalet, it’s a new look at this new juncture in my life.