Happy Birthday darling son. Your granddad was ready to get involved in children at 46 he had got over all the worries and was living in a flat big enough for the whole family and the shops were managing. Your Uncle Jim bought you every cuddly toy imaginable. Your grandma adored you. You were the first, a boy and surrounded by adults who had time for you. What a start. There is not a photo of you watching the first man on the moon but I woke you up ,sat you up and you saw it.

Before you were five you were a page boy twice went to four weddings one in France and perhaps wondered why you did not have a top half to your swimmers.

Still before five; yes you went to the Isle of Wight 1970; messed around on boats and lived in Harwell. Grandma always made a cake to suit the cartoon of the moment Thunderbird 1 I remember.

The Northbourne school years were hard work. Out of the house by 8.08 even after your long awaited sister arrived and always getting in the wrong company Andy Thomas and Julian Cox.  The headmaster telling me that you did not need remedial reading because you had me!!! needing to win at sports day. Peter was your first coach remember Edmunds park? No sooner had Andy and Julian left you behind but you had a love hate mate in Richard Deeley.  You did have fun in Harwell and seemed to enjoy cubs and dressing up in black tights, Lurex and a blond wig for the gang show. Oh my hard work but Grandma and Granddad loved you and if you fell out with me you could always go to them. What a blessed boy! On your 12th birthday we had a fabulous barbecue the weather was brilliant and we had bales of straw in the garden.

Harwell was fun and Auntie Glenys and Uncle Pete used to come over. You got to see a house being built in your garden and so to big school.

We were all very proud of your sports and academic prowess of course there were a few teenage tantrums but you worked hard in a part time job for your beloved grandfather and studied hard at the last minute. Got some fabulous results. Your Grandmother was over the moon that you achieved some of her dreams running and playing rugby for County. You wore your heart on your sleeve and this sometimes brought you heart ache. You found out on your 18th how hard it was to clear up after a party! You vowed never to have another.

So to University you handled it very maturely and I enjoyed picking you up at the end of term and I loved getting your calls on a Saturday morning, usually while you were doing your laundry.  I was honoured to see you run for Loughborough and was patient as you discussed yet another physio appointment. You managed incredibly well and even wrote to your sister. Seems no sooner were you home than you were….married.

1992 is only half way through the story but of course you move away; go on fabulous holidays; make a home and then so soon after the arrival of George you get a new home.

You had special birthdays with George but in between celebrated the arrival of a precious daughter…and then there were four of you.

I say four but mum was always the elusive one. You have been married 25 years now but it is still hard to get a photo of the pair of you. I could of included the photos of Tristan the coach (usually the back of bald head) at Rugby with George or Tristan the windswept watching Rebecca play hockey. This is all such a little taster especially of the last 25 years. Hope you understand how precious the yearly photos are to me as time marches on.

Happy Birthday son…always thought you deserved a bit more fun…you have chosen a serious dutiful route through life and at 50 can look back with pride and grateful thanks that you and Julia have made a good team and done a good job. Naturally most of the last 25 years have not included me so I hope you will build your own memory store. Now in no particular order I give you a few more memories of the 100’s of photos I have. Remembering that in 1992 half way through, with you and Carina left home, I provided you with an album of photos of your story so far.

I am finishing writing this 12,000 miles away from you….just want you to know you are cherished. I love you Love Joy and Peace on your birthday  Mumx