Thanks both, to you and to Dad, for your birthday wishes today.
As you say in your message we certainly do share lots of love and fun times. I think we have a pretty good relationship, don’t we? As I think the whole family does.
You have certainly both brought me up to be an independent man who can fight his corner, knows right from wrong, is happy in his own skin but also knows how to enjoy life and doesn't hold back when I see injustice. You have both given me your keen senses of adventure and travel, your joint social skills, and your senses of humour. Which are invaluable skills in getting the most out of life.
I've learned how to speak in public from Dad - how to say the right thing and occasionally not say anything at all. And Mum you have taught me to see the other person's side in an argument, to put myself in the other person's shoes but also to not let people walk all over me. And that competitive drive to win I get from you - but not at all costs - makes for a full and happy life of playing games sometimes with myself and sometimes with others. It gives me endless joy to play a game - and win! But I don’t mind losing either. It's the playing of the game I enjoy really.
I have very happy life all round - and I put much of that down to how you have both brought me up and the help you have offered me throughout my life. Encouraging me to study, financial help to get on the property ladder, and supporting me when I came out as gay - which I'm sure wasn't easy for either of you. You've never been over-protective and always been there in case I needed you. Which must have been a difficult balancing act for you to get right. But you did. Get it right.
So thank you.
And please don't even think about a birthday present for me. You give me your time and your love and that is all I want or need.