Last weekend we celebrated Dad's 80th birthday.

We wrangled and invited, asked and bribed---and all four children were there. The first time in years. Lots of years.

And all grandchildren were present as well.

This was about all that went to plan.

The idea was to have a lovely sunny day, so we could loll on the large deck and the children could run riot in the gardens. That was the idea.

The deck was unable to be used - due to constant rain and the cold. So we went to Plan B (everyone needs a plan B)- everyone inside.

Except for George- he was dressed warmly though.

This of course involved a bit of Plan C as well - due to the fact that our road was closed, the guy on the STOP sign had to move cones so family and co could actually arrive....and then of course there was the power.

Well lack of power.

Yes they were working on the power lines so for most of the day we were in the darkish ( a few candles were lit). Thankfully my other half was working on his gourmet home made pizzas, so we had heat from the tandoor/pizza oven, and the new beaut BBQ heated up sausage rolls and party pies very well.

But celebrate we did.....

All four children, all 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Even the cat was made to feel special...

whether she wanted to be or not.

It was a good day. A very good day. To talk, to catch up, to help celebrate with drink, laughter and much much food. We have a shared history- but looking over what has happened in the eighty years since PJ was here on this planet- it is pretty amazing.

In the past 80 years the world has changed immensely, in other ways it hasn't changed at all.
During this time there has been World War II....and since we learnt nothing from that, there has been the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and 'squirmishes' in many more countries.

We have yet to conquer the stars as we had always spoken of, but man has walked on the moon.  Music has travelled from Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday- to Elvis and the Beatles -  to One Direction and Beyonce (need I say more?).

We have climbed mountains (Everest attained in 1953) the same year Elizabeth II was crowned - we have seen presidents assassinated, terrorists claim the lives of so many - we have had the introduction of mobile phones, the World Wide Web and Microsoft become a household name - we have had cloning and now an ear created using a 3D printer.

The history, the images----the stories.

Even thinking back over my years and knowing what has changed- so many story ideas.

Who remembers the small bottles of milk with the foil lids during primary school?
The milky and the clip clop of his horse?
Being able to buy a HUGE bag of mixed lollies for twenty cents.
Blue light discos?
Glugs...TAB....Farrah Fawcett hair....Miller shirts----the Marlborough Man.....Big M girls...platform shoes?

Whether it's been 80, 50 or even 20 years....things have changed. And there are stories in that change. It's up to us to figure out what those stories are.




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