Today was my birthday! The second one I’ve celebrated here in the Southern Hemisphere and the first time I’ve ever enjoyed glorious summer weather on my birthday. Ever since I was a kid I wanted my birthday to be in the summer.
In the last four years I’ve celebrated my birthday in the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia. This year I’m in New Zealand and today, after a relaxed start, I made my way to Oriental Bay to stroll alongside the water.
I chatted with the Lifeguards I met yesterday, then meandered down to a cafe where I sat in the sun listening to busker play trumpet. As I sat there eating lunch and watching the world go by he began playing “You’ll never walk alone” which reminded me of my old home city of Liverpool.
I never realised that I felt any affinity to the tune before that moment. Hearing it took me back to various memories of parties, weddings, and football matches. Oddly enough, it seemed a fitting tune to hear at that moment, as if the past was reaching into the present, into this beautiful summer day to remind me of the journey to this very moment.
I finished my coffee and went over to the man playing the trumpet. His name was Max, a regular busker in these parts he told me. I thanked him for playing the song and told him it was my birthday. He wished me happy birthday then we chatted for a while before I left.
“I’ll play a number for you as you walk away.” He said. And with that he put the trumpet to his lips and began playing “Happy Birthday.” I laughed and walked slowly to enjoy it, bowing as he finished and waved back to me. “I won’t tell them how old you are!” He shouted with a big smile oh his face. It was one of those moments that you know you’ll remember, that somehow gets engraved into your history and your story. It was a good moment.
I had a great day, I took loads of pictures and found it difficult to choose just one. In the end though, it had to be this shot of the workmen eating their lunch at the beach and taking a few moments to simply enjoy the day. For me this picture summed up today perfectly.
Today was my birthday, and it’s the summer!