My Favourite Birthday: Helena

As part of our 5th Birthday celebrations we asked all of our Donna Ida girls to tell us about their favourite birthdays. Here's Westfield London Style Advisor, Helena...

17, possibly some of the best memories I have to date are from this time in my life. The age where you're desperately waiting to be 18 and go out clubbing (ok so fake ID's are more common these days tsk tsk) and breaking free from any parental control, though you feel you're beyond mature already yet carefree with no real responsibilities as technically you're not a ''young adult''...yet.

So this is my 17th birthday at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast, world famous for its’ surf break - it's where I call home. Ahhh the days when my girlfriends and I would head down to the beach at 8am and not leave till 5pm, yes we were sun-worshipers and believed a tan was essential. I have to admit that when we ran out of ReefOil one of us was voted to run to our friend's place for back up COOKING OIL spray...not proud of this at all.  These days the only time I see cooking oil is in the kitchen, where it belongs, and use SPF30 always.  Good skin is very important to me now, I think my Mum's lectures on ageing from the sun have finally sunk in!
So we got there bright and early, set up our towels, beach chairs, food, drinks, ReefOil (of course) everything you can think of for a perfect day at the beach. I think we even brought a blow-up pool and filled it with water and dragged it up the beach so we wouldn't have to trek far to cool off, how lazy!  In the picture are some of my best friends from home and they're the people I grew up with.

Looking back at this day makes me laugh as there are so many stories behind one photo. The girl in the centre of the photo with the bandage around her foot is my beautiful sister, who minutes before this photo was taken had been running around having a fun time then tripped and fell over a sly rock sticking out from the sand and split her poor little foot, we all laughed, gave her a hug and wrapped her foot in someone's shirt (lucky them). As for the group of guys behind us who decided to ruin our photo, complete and utter randoms if you can't tell by the foul look one of my closest friends (white hat) is shooting them, her exact words after the photo was taken were ''they so ruined that photo!''. Actually it's quite ironic because now looking back they are part of the reason I love this photo because my friend, third from the left, is now engaged to the guy whose head you can hardly see at the very back directly behind her.  They met on this day - my birthday brought them together! After another long, fun and eventful day spent at Snapper Rocks we were tanned and tired but wanting to keep partying. We called it a day at 7pm, packed up what was left of my 17th birthday celebrations and headed home to get ready for the evening.

It all seems like yesterday and it kind of was - I'm only 20 but with my 21st looming only a mere month away I plan on spending it in my dream city, Paris, a far cry from my beach town roots. I may be a city slicker these days but i'll always be a beach town girl at heart!

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