My Favourite Birthday: Donna Ida Thornton

Here I am on my 24th birthday.  You won't recognise me - I'm far left.  This picture was taken PB (pre-blonde) and PF (pre-fear of hairdressers, something I developed when I moved to London thus the current long locks).  I remember everything about this dinner.  See my natty little leopard neckerchief?  I've always loved a bit of leopard.  I was wearing black heels with an ankle strap, black mid-rise belted trousers (from an Australian high street store, cannot remember which one), black long sleeved tee from Sportsgirl and a camel coat that I picked up in David Jones. The scarf was also from David Jones I think - I used to donate a fair amount of my salary to that great Australian department store.

It was a Saturday night and we went to a restaurant in The Rocks area of Sydney.  Dad is wearing Mum's reading glasses in the photo because he forgot his and Mum berated him for ruining the photo by smiling in her specs.  I actually wouldn't have noticed and always take a second look at the picture to focus on the glasses.  Ok they're a bit Tootsie, but I think he pulls them off.

My sister Larnie had just moved home for a while and it was fun having her back there with me.  If we weren't working we were shopping, and if we weren't shopping we were working to pay for it.  Mum and Dad played the part of panic stricken parents as the shopping bags rolled in....and rolled in.  Larnie would climb into my bed every evening to watch the Ten O'Clock News with me and we'd discuss the newscaster Sandra Sully's outfit.  She always looked amazing - BBC presenters, you could take a leaf!  Then I'd try to get her out before she fell asleep because she's a thrash sleeper and can even shift the mattress during the night.  I on the other hand barely move and look like I'm lying in State while I sleep.  I know, because one of Mum's favourite activities was to take pictures of us while we slept when we were growing up.  Cringe.

Despite Dad's lady glasses I love looking at this picture.  It was a great time, but was close to the end of our lives living together.  I moved to London the following year and Larnie followed me about 6 months later.  Poor Mum and Dad got ditched big time (something they have NEVER let us forget).  There have of course been many birthdays since (14 in total) but aside from my 21st and 30th birthdays this is one that I remember very clearly and with a lot of fondness.

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