Its David’s birthday. Its impossible to buy him something he actually wants or likes. His life revolves around books and paintings. And as he curates his own collections there is little room for any outside involvement. So I normally buy him something I want or like. The standard for this was set quite high, when David’s older brother bought his mother a set of golf clubs for her birthday one year and she didn’t actually play golf.

When David turned 40 I decided what he really wanted to do was to go on a safari to Africa. With my mother. I organized the whole itinerary and when Peter Sylvester of Royal African Safari’s came to run it past David he said “Of course this is an especially good trip for Lady Pamela, as I understand she is keen to revisit certain places she last saw on the Commonwealth tour in 1954” Confused David said “Lady Pamela? India’s mother?” and Peter Sylvester replied “Why yes, India said Lady Pamela was joining you on the birthday trip”

My mother refers to David as her son-out-law. Technically correct I suppose as we never married. But they get on pretty well……