Today is Pixie's birthday - if she was still alive, she would have been 66 today. This time last year, she was having regular chemotherapy, but we were all hopeful that she would be OK. I didn't allow myself to think that it could be her last birthday.
We didn't spend a lot of birthdays together. More often than not, Pixie was at Lord Howe and I was in Sydney. The worst birthday was the one after my brother, Harry, was killed in a motorbike accident. Pixie, Ed and I went out for lunch in Sydney for Pixie's birthday. I had booked a table for three. When we were shown to the table I was horrified to see that it was rectangular, with two seats on each side. It was set for three and the fourth chair had no setting. It was a miserable lunch.
There were happy times too. For Pixie's 60th birthday, she invited 15 or so of her best friends to stay. Late March is the most magical time of year at Lord Howe. The weather is warm and stable and there's often a light easterly breeze. The Lagoon is calm and clear and the water is very warm - just perfect for swimming. For Pixie's birthday we had a lovely lunch in the garden with fresh Lord Howe kingfish on the BBQ. After lunch, Pixie's friend Thea stood up. I'll always remember what she said: "After my family, whom I have to love, I love Pixie the best".
As part of Pixie's birthday celebrations, we also had a drinks party and invited most of the Island. You can't have a small party at Lord Howe. Pixie told me that she had invited people without telling them it was her birthday. She didn't want anyone to know that she was 60. As soon as I got off the plane at Lord Howe, lots of people said to me: "You're home for Pixie's birthday!". There are no secrets on Lord Howe...