Postcard from Highway One #59: Swan Bells

5 October 2007

Last month saw a gathering of my family, colleagues and friends at the Swan Bells in Perth to celebrate my fortieth birthday. I was very pleased to see Paul and Tony (Sydney) and Dave (Brisbane) who flew in specifically for the event. You guys made the night just that little bit extra special! Since this was my first birthday party since 1985 we went all out and, I think, succeeded in pulling together a truly magical night.

Early in the evening, I walked up to a group of my work colleagues, a group which included a young British backpacker, Will. I excitedly related the details of a gift I'd just been given, a battery operated travel neck massager for my forthcoming stint in the UK: Pointing towards the table where the I'd placed the gift with others I'd received, I said, "I've now got my own personal massage pet for the UK!"

Unfortunately, the group I was relating this story to saw me illustrating it by pointing at Will, who happened to be standing directly between me and the table of gifts. A good few seconds and several stunned faces later, the penny finally dropped and I slammed into reverse with some furious backpedalling!

In spite of a blustery day, the weather was reasonably kind and we were able to enjoy the amazing views from the roof terrace. After a few hours up there however, as darkness closed in, the sou-westerly sent us downstairs in search of warmth and birthday cake. The bell gallery is a roughly doughnut-shaped space, with a circular glazed barrier around the 16th century bells from St Martin in the Fields, London.

We set up a table against the glass so that people might gather around the "doughnut" and watch from the opposite side of the "doughnut hole" as we cut the cake. It seemed a good idea, but during the speeches, everyone gathered in to hear what was being said. All except Guy, who stationed himself alone directly across the doughnut from the cake table. As a chorus of voices broke into "Happy Birthday...", Guy produced an invisible baton and wielded it with all the skill of a top conductor, much to the mirth of those being led by him in song! Thanks Guy, for adding yet another memorable note to the evening.

And while we're on the subject of thanks, Anthony and I would like to thank Mum and Heather specifically for all their hard work in helping to pull evening together. Our thanks also go to Vic and family, to Dean for the emergency ice run and to Kelly and Chelsea, Amy's friends who did such a stellar job in getting the food out to everyone. Thanks to everyone who pitched in and helped on the night, and of course, to our guests for making it such an amazing night, a night to remember.

Finally, my thanks go to Anthony; For all the fun we had designing the invitations and planning the event; For all his support and hard work in both the planning stages and on the night; For coming with me to New Zealand later this month where we register our Civil Union; For sharing his life with me.

A great way to ring in forty years, and now according to the cliché, my life begins. All signs point to it being true in my case.

*HUGZ* Rob

The images below are the best I have of the night. Unfortunately, not many were taken. The Swan Bells tower, party venue
Colette, Rob & Guy
Rob & Paul
Cirque du Soleil: Varekai
Amy & Anthony
Rob & Anthony
Mark, Rob & Dave
Me, Dad & Joy
Me & Mum


© Rob Morgan 2007