My mother came to visit for her sixtieth birthday, and I was thrilled beyond belief to buy her a first class ticket.

If I could make her entire life match the delights of the British Airways business lounge, I would. My mother is heroic beyond all understanding. I wish that I could write a tribute that conveyed her wit, her vibrance, her courage – but words are too limited to describe her brilliance.

My mother is an absolutely astonishing person, and she deserves any and all treats that can be organised. This time that translated to plays, palaces, museums, and lots of time with her scandalous grandchildren. They love her, and miss her.

My mother is also, of course, my mother – a job that never ends. She still tells me when daylight savings happens, and writes to ask if I’m taking my medicine properly. She has wasted thirty years in a futile attempt to get me to wear a hat, staunchly insisting that I do not look stupid even in the most extreme versions:


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