Sisters by chance, Friends by choice

2 years ago my sister, Sarah, and I barely got on. We shared our own “apartment” at home but very rarely saw each other and when we did, there were often disagreements. We liked each other deep down but didn’t show it very well and would argue about anything and everything.

Then, in July 2015, Sarah’s friend was too sick to go to Wembley to see Ed Sheeran with her and I swapped shifts at work so that I could go because I knew she had ready paid for the tickets and would be heartbroken if she didn’t go. On the train there we talked, but mainly small talk, and then we got to London. As we got on the tube Sarah’s excitement started to show and I loved seeing her so happy that I started to get excited too. Arriving at Wembley early enough, we managed to get a pretty good spot near the front and I could see Sarah was ready to melt with joy, we watched the support acts and drank some beer together, we listened to the conversations around us and then Ed came on stage. He was AMAZING! The whole crowd fell in love with him the second he opened his mouth to say hello and thank you for coming.

At the time I could appreciate Ed Sheeran but he wasn’t one of my favourite artists and I didn’t understand why Sarah was so obsessed, yet it changed that evening. I left the show and bought a T-Shirt for myself when Sarah got hers, I was buzzing with joy the whole way home and Sarah and I chatted about a wide variety of things. We had suddenly become friends.

We’re sisters so there will always be some problems, neither of us are stupid enough to think otherwise, but we are now friends who get along with each other, we go to each other for advice or even just a supportive hug and cry in the middle of the night (when we’re both at home), and all because of one evening watching Ed Sheeran at Wembley.

With the release of the “Divide” album in the last few weeks, a friend said to me that they didn’t understand why I was so excited about it when Sarah is the one who is obsessed, and it is simply because every time I hear him sing, I remember being able to share one of her happiest moments with her, I remember proudly jumping into her room wearing my t-shirt to have her laugh and hug me, I remember her climbing into my bed to hug me and stroke my bald head several nights in a row as I sobbed into my pillow, and how we have held hands under coffee tables during difficult conversations. These things are just part of what how I know we are finally the friends that sisters should be.

Sarah, like most of our family, struggled a lot during 2016, but, again like most of my family, I am so proud of how far she has come in the last few months. At 18 years old, she is in her last year or ALevels and is doing well with offers from good Universities to study Psychology, something she is passionate about and has wanted to do for a long time, she has her own little flat, a steady boyfriend and, after a bit of drama, is able to drive. She is no longer the baby sister I didn’t understand, she is now a young woman and a friend. I love you Sarah.

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3 Months in a snowy paradise

I may have only been living in Kitzbühel for 3 months and it feels like home already,so much so that I have decided to stay here for Summer too. My German is slowly improving, as is my skiing, I am learning to love the snow and my friendship group is full of a wonderful people from all over the world.

I wake up in the beautiful mountains every day and, for the most part, have had wonderful weather so the breathtaking views can be seen but the friends I have here are what really makes Kitzbühel for me. I was able to share a Christmas meal with other Brits, I saw the New Year by joining some of my regular guests in the street outside work setting off fireworks (very strange as I am used to standing at least 20m away in a garden or field and not the party that was happening in right in the middle of buildings and crowds), and, during the chaos of the Hahnennkamm Rennen I took the opportunity to go up another mountain and spend 3 hours on the Saturday with a friend avoiding the crowds and practicing my own skiing before going to the less crowded Slalom race on the Sunday.

During the Christmas Markets in December, one friend remarked at how most of us are “runaways”, we came to the mountains to have fun and avoid major responsibilities of a “normal” life. He called the town “our Neverland” without even realising my obsession for all things Peter Pan, and it really is. I spend most of my time, even when working, having fun and I laugh so much that I am sure my face has more lines on it than ever before and I love it.

A year ago I was quite a reserved person and easily scared by new experiences but now I try new foods, sing in public, join conversations with people I do not know well, if at all, I play in the snow and try to get to as many local events as possible. I know Simo would be proud of me. Although I miss him and wish he could still be here to see all of this I know that without experiencing the last 10 months, I probably wouldn’t be where I am now. I also need to say a huge than you to my beautiful friend Sam who invited me here in the first place knowing that I would love it.

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Last week I had to get a hair cut and the hairdresser was asking how long I been growing it out, assuming that it had been a short bob for a while and when I told her about having shaved it and that this was only the 3rd cut I had had since it had been growing back she looked close to tears in amazement that I had actually done it, something I had not seen in a while.

Simo’s family travelled to Thailand at the end of January and took him back with them as they had promised at his hospital bedside. The photos and updates from Sam showed a wonderful adventure for the family and I am so happy for them that they were able to see the place he loved so much, and hope that I will one day soon be able to see it for myself.

I will try to write again soon and not leave it another 3 months, until then I wish you all safe travels and many wonderful adventures!

A new chapter

Yesterday, 5th November, I arrived in Kitzbühel, Austria, to live and work for the ski season. The weather was cold but not as bad as expected when I arrived and today I woke up to rain, wondered around the town in an attempt to get my bearings and then returned home at which point the snow started.

I have to confess that my relationship with snow has never been a very good one. There is a photo of me in my first snow, looking like I’d be ready to kill my parents for torturing me like that if only I wasn’t frozen still. In January this year I wrote “I hate snow” in the thin snowfall on the roof of my car, even after the snow had melted the words were visible through the dirt for quite a while before I washed the car, and yet, just now as I watched the snow settle on the trees, I felt excitement and joy. baby-hates-snowi-hate-snow

Losing my hatred for snow is an important life lesson; if I had clung to the hatred I would never have said yes to this move, I would have had experiences shut off to me because I would never have given them a chance. Letting go of toxic feelings isn’t easy but now that I am learning to, and not just with my attitude to the weather, I can open myself up to lots of exciting opportunities, and surely that is the main purpose of life; to fill it with as much wonder as you can.

As I layer up and pull my boots on to head out into the cold, I can’t help but think of Simo. He would most likely have never chosen somewhere like this for an adventure, he much preferred the heat, but then again so do I. Despite that I know he would be so proud, I am here, I have taken the plunge to leave home and start my own adventures, no matter what the weather is like.

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I still intend to travel to Thailand at some point in the next few years, I want to learn to dive and see the place he loved so much but ultimately I plan to see the places he never did. An African Safari, travel through South America and Canada are all high on the list, I know Simo is with me wherever I go and regardless of whether he would have chosen these places, I know he would never have turned down the experiences of learning about different cultures and meeting new people.

Before I left the UK I had a conversation with a wonderful friend, Karen, in which I said that I don’t want a “normal real life” and she reminded me that normality and reality are subjective, it’s entirely my choice how I live my life and who I spend it with, so here is to a life full of adventures and like minded people who think that living out of a suitcase or backpack is normal.

 

#liveforsimo

 

Nullabor Crossing 2016

When I left Australia two years ago I had no desire to ever return, but a lot changes in two years and, on Sunday 18th September, I arrived back in Adelaide.

I never spent much time in Adelaide on my previous visits Down Under and was excited to be able to be there with Simon’s family for three days. I was lucky enough to be part of the family celebrations for Sam’s birthday and the whole family made sure I saw as much of the city as possible, from a walk along the beach from Brighton, Hahndorf, the best places for coffee, the oval, and of course the Pigs on the Mall.

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When I arrived I was greeted by Ann, Jeff and Sam and the hug Ann gave me dispelled any nerves I had previously had about meeting them. We all spent time laughing, getting to know each other and sharing treasured memories of Simon.

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The night before we set off on our Nullabor crossing, the group of us who were doing it for Simon and the family all met for dinner to celebrate the adventures we had had with the man we all loved and the adventures we will have in the future, just as he would want us to.

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Ann had made sure we had a large supply of photos to take with us if anybody wanted to keep one and I quickly stuck one up above the bus door so that we could all see that grin throughout the journey and so those in the group who had never had the pleasure of knowing him could put a face to all the stories they heard throughout the ten days.

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We spent ten days being chased by a storm but made the best of every moment of sunshine we could. We did the mind-blowing swim with Sea Lions and Dolphins at Baird Bay, we saw Whales at the Great Australian Bight, we enjoyed walks through Cape Le Grand National Park and some of us even went for a very special kind of swim on a secluded beach because if anyone was going to instigate public nudity, it would have been Simo.

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There were a lot of tears shed at different points of the journey as memories came back to us and we sent Simo off to travel forever in the stunning spots Craig chose but, for me, the hardest part was standing in the Valley of the Giants. On the original tour I did it was this day that I realised Simon was more than just a fling with the tour guide, it was that day I realised that he would be a big part of my life for a long time to come even if it had never become more than a friendship. It was also this day that the only picture of us together that wasn’t a group photo was taken. I stood looking at that tree clutching the Vegemite jar of his ashes in tears. I was given some strange looks from passers by but I was not going anywhere. At a point when nobody else was around I left some of those ashes at the base of the tree and moved away. I’m glad that I bumped into Jodie while walking around the other trees because she got me to stand in the tree with the jar for a photo as the only one I had was of the jar alone in the tree.

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There is no denying that the last five months have happened but until I was there realising that in two years the closest I had been to Simo was holding those ashes it had felt more like a bad dream. Getting on the flight home from Perth set off the real grief though. I had had a tough fortnight but it hadn’t felt real, being in those beautiful places with no phone signal and only each other, the fire and the stars for entertainment was a wonderful release and I got to be me, no filters or censorship, just the me that Simo always saw, but I got on that flight and knew that I was heading back to society where my hair can’t be blue and that those goodbyes were actually an ending to something was the hardest part of it all.

 

One thing I heard said a lot on tour was “Confucius says…” usually followed with something along the lines of “…a good tour guide carries his injured passengers.” but one thing Confucius did say was “We should feel sorrow, but not sink under it’s oppression.” So I have cried, I have said goodbye, and I will always miss Simon but I will not let it consume me. He would never forgive me if I did anyway.

All over Australia are trees with visible fire damage, the earth around them looks dry and it is hard to believe that anything could live there and yet there are leaves on the branches and animals in the bush; there is life even after such destruction. This is how I want to be, I lost my passion for life somewhere in the year of my working holiday but now that Simon is not here putting that spark into the world himself, I want to. I will love myself fully again, I will travel to all the places I dream of because life is too short, and most importantly, I want to give other people that spark of passion that he gave all of us.

A big thank you has to go to the half of the group who had never met Simon before. These guys gave us all the most incredible support and I can not thank them enough!

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Safe travels, wherever life may take you!

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3 Peaks Challenge

In March I was honoured to attended the Marriage of Martyn and Phillipa, two people who deserve so much happiness together. The group I had spent most of the day with were gathered in the bar colouring and drinking beer, having given up all pretence of being “grown-ups” while the Wedding breakfast (for the real adults) took place, as the diners started moving from the hall to the bar and the evening guests arrived, another friend turned to the giggling group I was sitting with, and invited us to do the 3 Peaks Challenge with her this summer. We, being sober and mature enough to make big decisions like this, of course all said yes.

Here I am, nearly 6 months later, with blisters instead of big toes, peeling skin on my hands and one side of my nose that I missed with the sun-cream, and legs that never want to move again, but so glad that I stuck with my half-drunken decision and climbed those Mountains.

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Monday 15th August.

I woke up at 5am, managed to drag myself and all my belongings from my Hostel dorm room without waking anyone up, and quickly set about finding something to make coffee in. I hit the jackpot finding a Turkish style stove-top espresso pot and had 2 cups while doing the final checks through my day bag and watching the sun rise. I made 2 more cups for Pip and Martyn as they got up and joined me before we set off on the first day of our adventure. 7 of us gathered in the Ben Nevis North Face Car Park at 7 am that morning;  Pip, Martyn, Becky, Jenny, Rik, Debbie and me, and we set off, laughing and joking along the path to the Valley. Our route is not a commonly chosen one, after the valley walk along the stream we took a left and part walked, part crawled, up a steep hill with no trodden paths until we reached 1000m, we then turned right and walked towards a ridge. I have never walked along a mountain ridge before. I have crippling vertigo and, in an instant, went from being cheerful and positive to a weeping nauseous mess who took of lot of persuading to move her feet, but I made it. I was guided carefully around the rocks, up and over the top to follow the best path at different points, I completely missed the glorious views from our rest stops but I made it. There were several moments when I almost didn’t get going again after a brief pause, in the one of them I remember somebody, I honestly couldn’t say who though, saying “I know you don’t want to look down but have a look at Martyn’s feet, if his fit on the path yours certainly will.” It’s amazing how such a simple concept can be lost when fear takes over your whole body. At another one of these points, on the final assent to the top, as the adrenaline was subsiding and I just wanted to curl up in a ball and go to sleep, Martyn passed me, calling out “Go Team!” to everyone and adding “Go Team Simo” before running off and waiting for us girls to catch up to him at the top.

All of the highs and lows were worth it at the top though. Ben Nevis has, on average, only 3 days a year that a clear view can be seen from the top and there is always snow on the North Face and often on the Summit but we arrived to a 360 degree sunlight view. It wasn’t even particularly cold, just a bit of wind that we put our coats on to shelter from while we stopped. After a 7 hour assent, we were at the highest point in Great Britain.

We speedily made our way down a much easier route and back to the cars where we headed on to Borrowdale YHA in the Lake District to shower, smother ourselves in after sun, stretch and sleep.

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At Ben Nevis Summit.From Left, Jenny, Debbie, Rik, Becky, Me, Pip and Martyn.

 

Tuesday 16th August.

I normally move about a lot in my sleep but I woke on Tuesday to find myself in the same position I had fallen asleep in the night before. I felt stiff and struggled to get down the stairs to breakfast but managed it and was rewarded with food and coffee. The sun shone bright over the glorious English countryside, we repacked and headed off for the day. Where 7 of us completed Ben Nevis, only 4 of us would make it up Scafell Pike and Snowdon; Rik and Debbie had only ever planned on doing one and Pip had gotten sun stroke so stayed in the shade to read and sleep. Half way up Scafell, I realised that the quicker I moved, the less I felt the pain in my legs so Martyn and I marched on, taking brief stops when I started finding it hard to breathe then moving on again shortly after. Becky and Jenny preferred to keep a consistent steady pace and agreed to meet us at the top if we wanted to move on ahead. We were greeted my the most breathtaking view I have ever had of the country I call home.

On the way down Martyn ran ahead so he and Pip could get back to their home in Chester, shower and start dinner ready for when we arrived having picked my car and Jenny’s camping gear up from Wilmslow, a 40 minute detour. As Becky, Jenny and I neared the car park we were overwhelmed by the desire to soak our swollen feet in the cool stream and so spent a few, blissfully calm moments perched on rocks with clear mountain water rolling over our feet.

Pip and Martyn had served up a feast when we arrived and sent us off to comfy beds following a warm shower.

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Time for Tea half way up Scafell Pike

Wednesday 17th August.

After the split in the group climbing Scafell Pike, we decided that Jenny and Becky would leave Chester at 8am and take the scenic Watkins path up Snowdon while Martyn and I would leave at 10am and take the shorted, less picturesque, Pyg track at our pace and all meet at the top. The Pyg track is pretty much all large stone stairs, the burn in my thighs was horrific as I tried to concentrate on nothing but my breathing, almost like a meditative state while on the move, which worked when I really focused. We pushed on, only having a proper rest stop twice, the first of which we used to smear sun cream all over our faces, and the second was to lay on a slope with our feet higher than our head in an effort to feel our toes again, and 1 hour and 43 minutes after leaving the car, we were at the summit battling away the flying devil ants that seemed to be attracted to the Trigg Point and nothing else. Our little group of 4 met on the steps outside the Summit Centre with our hot beverages and Pip’s home-made cookies and stared out at the third clear view of week, a view that nobody ever thought we would be lucky enough to see, especially after the previous 2. We had done it.

The descents of both routes included a quick natural ice bath. Where Becky and Jenny had spa holiday type views of trees in the valley, Martyn went for a full on swim in a lake surrounded stones while I stood knee-deep and talked to a Labradoodle who was also enjoying the cool relief on the hot and sticky walk.


If somebody had said to me a year ago that I would spend my holiday climbing 3 mountains with blue hair and still come away smiling I would have laughed at them but I did it. I did it because there is an Idiot that I love, who once terrified his sister by chasing her through Adelaide with his blue hair, sitting among the stars yelling “Toughen up Princess” every time I pause at something that scares me, he’s laughing at the many different colours my wild and messy hair is going through, and best of all, he’s grinning when I climb those mountains and overcome those fears all while looking ridiculous and not caring what other people think.

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Martyn, Me, Jenny and Becky celebrating at the Snowdon Summit


I have been lucky enough to receive a couple of donations towards the memorial trip to Australia in September through completing this challenging week. If you would still like to donate then you can do so through paypal to hbamford92@outlook.com as my Just Giving page has now had it’s 30 days and closed.

Thank you to everyone for their encouragement and congratulations to us all for making it through the challenge.

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A quick Summit Selfie before running away from the flying ants.

Courage and Confidence 

4 months ago, about an hour before I found out exactly what had happened to Simo, I was sitting around a table with my work colleagues, eating, drinking and laughing when I noticed my manager looking at me giggling to himself. I asked what was so funny he said that I had always seemed so normal but he was starting to realise just how wrong that was. A week later I asked him if I could shave my head and his jaw dropped. 

Through all the trials and hardships of these last few months, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and with it developed new confidence. People would stop and stare and I smiled back at them, I have spoken to countless people that I have never met before about my favourite person in the whole world, and I have learnt that this can actually be fun. 

In the heat of last week I made the choice to wear shorts to the gym for the first time ever by telling myself “nobody paid you any more attention there than normal when you had no hair, why should they look at you now.” I stood in the changing room for a little longer than normal before hand but I did it, and this week I went and did my workout in a sports bra with no top. I don’t have a flat stomach and perfectly toned legs (yet) like some of the other girls but I’ve come to see that it doesn’t matter. I’m comfortable, I’m loved and I’m there to improve myself, there is no reason whatsoever I should feel shame. 

As I mentioned in my Shave for Simo blog, Simo was an “Extroverted Introvert” and he knew I am too, but he also knew that not many people ever got to see my extroverted side. When I feel at my lowest and missing him hurts most I think of how proud he would be to see his girl become show the world who she really is. 

An exciting day

July is here! Hard to believe when you look out of the window at the British weather but it is all the same.

Somehow the 1st of July has managed to bring something exciting for me over the last few years. In 2009 I got promoted to Sergeant at Air Cadets, my boyfriend at the time had been promoted to Corporal just seconds earlier and had marched past me looking smug at being an equal rank only for his face to fall as my name was called out along with my friend Sam. 

In 2011 I moved into my little flat. It was damp, very tiny and we had some questionable neighbours but it was our own space. 


By 2012 I was moving back to my mum’s again but I bought a whisk shaped like a giraffe which is pretty exciting in my books! 2 years ago, in 2014, I was taking a long weekend off of work to spend in Alice Springs with Simo. We laughed, danced around the kitchen, ate good food, drank lots of beer, and enjoyed every second of being together. 


Last year, as I drove to work with my Dad who had hitched a lift, I glanced down to see the car thermometer reading 37ºC  at 9am. I made Dad take a photo I could send it to Simo to prove that the weather here  isn’t always that bad, he would be laughing at me for that brief thought now though.The Cafe that I worked in at the time didn’t have any air conditioning and we didn’t have a very busy day because nobody, including us, wanted to be inside during that heat, I took the time to teach Amelia, who was the pot washer, how to make coffee.


And this year? This year, I booked my flights to Australia for the memorial tour that Craig, who used to work with Simo and followed in his footsteps in many ways, has organised. Another girl I know is going on this trip, Emily, will be on the same flight as me between Kuala Lumpar and Adelaide and I’m very much looking forward to meeting her then.

I am beyond excited to be going back to the Nullabor and meeting lots of other people who knew and loved Simon. Having spoken to Sam, Simo’s sister, I will be arriving in Adelaide the day before her birthday and she has invited me to stay with them in the few days before the tour, meeting the family is something I had only ever dreamed of before and now it is something that can happen I’m starting to feel a little nervous, but in the best way possible, and can’t wait.
Stay safe, stay happy and I’ll write again soon.

A little bit of “Me Time”

The last few days have been rather dramatic. Wednesday night and Thursday gave us some spectacular thunder and lightning storms, stunning to watch and still so warm. It felt close to the first rain I experienced in Darwin, and similarly brought only brief relief from the muggy, overcast weather we had been having so far in our British Summer. 
Thursday was also the day of the EU referendum. I voted remain, as did most of my friends and family, but when I woke on Friday morning it was to a country in confusion. Leave won the vote and there are a lot of angry people, especially the younger generations. The most googled thing on Friday was “what is the EU” as voters realised that leaving may not have been the wonderland that Farage and Johnson painted it to be. All we can do now is wait and see what happens but the drop in the pound has made it clear I am going to need to save and work even harder to get to Australia in September as I desperately want to. 
Yesterday marked 8 weeks since I last shaved my head and my hair has grown so much that I actually had to get it trimmed on Friday (just around the edges)! It had become a fuzzy mess with the right and side growing neatly down and the top, back and left side all growing diagonally up and left, the sides were over my ears and had become incredibly annoying. I’m still undecided on whether I want to keep it short or grow it long so, as with the fate of the UK, I will just have to wait and see what happens before making any big choices. 
With all this going on I am truly grateful to be able to have things to look forward to. I have a long weekend in Scotland for my Mum’s birthday in July, and of course the 3 Peaks Challenge in August, which I would still love for you to sponsor me to do through Crowdfunding
I treated myself to half an hour in “The Black Dog” cafe before going to work this morning. It is an Australian style cafe in Tunbridge Wells, there’s something I can’t help but love about it and yet I can’t quite put my finger on whether it’s the atmosphere, the coffee or the way the food smells that reminds me most of the good times I had in Geelong. 

3 Peaks Challenge

In March I went to wedding. It was a stunning day, the sun came out to celebrate Pip and Martyn just as they deserved, I got to catch up with old friends and fun was had by all. During the evening part of celebrations, one friend, Jenny, turned to the rest of our group and said that she and her boyfriend, Kevin, are planning on doing the 3 Peaks and asked if any of us wanted to join them. After several pints each the answer was a unanimous “YES!!” 

The Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland, often within 24 hours.

The three mountains are:

Snowdon, in Wales (1085m)
Scafell Pike, in England (978m)
Ben Nevis, in Scotland (1345m)
https://www.threepeakschallenge.uk/national-three-peaks-challenge/

My friends and I are mad, but not mad enough to do the 24 hour challenge, we will be doing the peaks in 3 consecutive days, starting at Ben Nevis and ending with Snowdon, squeezing Scafell Pike in between. 


I know that Simo would be proud of me for putting myself through this and I hope he’ll send us some good weather for it as I’m not sure I fancy 3 days of being cold and wet too much…

I will also take this as an amazing opportunity to discover more of the country I’m from, especially when you consider that I have seen more in Australia than I have of the United Kingdom. 

This challenge is not just for fun though, it is also for sponsorship. Don’t get me wrong, we will have a lot of fun as we’ll be in great company and surrounded by nature, but it will still be tough. I am asking for sponsorship to help fund a memorial trip which would give me the chance to say my goodbyes and spread some ashes surrounded by people who know and love Simo, this is a chance I cannot stand to miss. I have set up another Just Giving Page to help this on it’s way. 

I am hoping to get some other little fundraisers happening in the next few months too so watch this space! 

Instagram @Live_For_Simo 

Facebook Live For Simo

Happy Birthday

Today, 3rd June 2016, would have been Simon’s 46th Birthday. Despite being twice my age I know that he would have spent today partying harder than I could ever manage, speaking his mind, testing life’s limits and most importantly, turning strangers into friends.

It has now been just over 6 weeks since Simo’s death and I am still not sure what I think or feel. I am not good at grieving, it just doesn’t come naturally to me. When I was much younger, my Great-Grandmother told me over lunch “you are a Kenworthy! You are a strong woman!” Despite the fact that I am not a Kenworthy, my mum was, and she was only part of that family line by marriage, seemed completely irrelevant to her. It is with this that I have grown to live my life, and it is with this that I forget to cry at times. The last 6 weeks has broken down so many of my personal barriers that I know I am no longer the girl in love with Peter Pan, I am the woman looking out the window hoping that he will come and visit again soon.

I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.

-Audrey Hepburn

This may be a bit too much information for some but I am wearing fluorescent pink underwear in Simo’s memory today. Simo loved bright colours and took a particular liking to pink but as I have to wear a uniform to work, my underwear is my nod to him today.

I also had the good fortune to stumble across some Coopers Pale Ale here in England and have not only shared some with my sister but given others to the colleagues working today, asking them to raise a glass to life and all the adventures it brings.

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I love stationary!! This includes birthday cards and Simon has been lucky enough to recieve one with a turtle on the front in which I wrote “saw this and thought it looked like you”, one that said “Happy 90th Birthday” on the front and one with an age related joke which I can’t quite remember…Todays card is pop-up (Very exciting) and I can almost hear him saying “thanks Babe but I’m 46, not 6!” while laughing wholeheartedly and swigging at his Coopers.

Whether you knew Simon or not, take today to raise a glass to the future, the friends you have yet to meet, the places you have yet to see, and the discoveries you have yet to make.

Cheers!

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