Gill and I have been together for nearly ten years- a time of constant challenge because of ongoing mental illness and ill-health for two of her three children.

In March I found that I had kidney cancer so there was a major operation in May and although it was successful we have to be aware that our time together may not be as long as we had expected- we are in our mid 50s.

Illness concentrates the mind; we realise now how completely committed we are to each other. The result? A small event on August 28th in Stratford-on-Avon- Register Office, cakes, champagne and a plat at the RSC, and evening racing at Stratford Racecourse.

And a new resolve to value our relationship in a way we hadn't necessarily done before, realising that this is for keeps and that it transcends the blips and bumps which make the journey a little less comfortable!