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17th December 1964 the year I was born, 57 years ago today.

What a 57 years it has been. I can remember many of those birthdays, as child the birthday parties, themed on the Magic Roundabout, pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, statues, lots of friends and presents. Then as I got older there were bigger birthday presents a car for my seventeenth birthday and then my driving test after my lovely dad taught me to drive, a big 21st Birthday party lots of people, oatcakes, and cheese at local community centre.

Then I got married aged twenty-two, I do not remember my birthday, but my birthday the following year I remember all too clearly it was just 4 weeks after my dad suddenly died. After that birthday happened, I do not really remember any more of them, no celebrations, the odd meal out and presents from  people.

Then in 2004 17th December was a date to note; not only was it my 40th Birthday but it was the day I married the love of life, my soul mate, the man with the most wonderful dry sense of humour, the man with whom I could be part of a humorous double act.

We spent the first night in our new home the night before our wedding, we got up early prepared the sandwiches and buffet, marinated chicken legs, and put them in the oven. We got ready for the wedding, Seth went to pick up my mum Shelia and his own mum Patricia and we went together to the registrar office in Newcastle. There were a select number of people there, it was the afternoon and winter nights were drawing in, so it was already dark but there was a thunderstorm brewing with dark clouds, thick ominous atmosphere, and the sense of impending rain.

We met most of guests at the register office, but there was problem, Seth’s Uncle Phil as due to do a reading in the service and he was going to be late problems with motorway traffic and Seth’s nephew Tom decided that he would read it … we were saved.

A short ceremony, walking into the service with John Williams and Cavatina, Simply Red You Make Me Feel Brand New part way through the ceremony and then finally walking out to the awe inspiring Nella Fantasia from Russell Watson. Little did I release that those songs would become so poignant less than 10 years later, when Cavatina and Nella Fantasia would be the songs that Seth choose for his funeral, and he also picked the same flowers for his coffin wreath as the ones I had in my wedding bouquet.

December 17th 2004  to our newly renovated house for a buffet and drinks everyone had such a great time, then everyone went home, the day our marriage started. For 9.5 years we celebrated both the day we got married and my birthday. In 2014 we had planned to go to China for our big birthday celebration trip and our 10th Wedding anniversary…. But pancreatic cancer shattered that dream, all of our dreams and our lives.

After a couple of years of pain and heartbreak because of the anniversary, my birthday and with Christmas just around the corner, I decided that on my  birthday I would go away avoid all three. That happened every year except last year because of lockdown its was not possible.

in 2020 I decided to book the trip of lifetime to go to Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands, and I write this I am on the ship being rocked from side to side, buffeted in rough waters making my way to Antarctica, As I sit here I can’t believe that I am really going, in my bag is  a tiny part of Seth’s ashes which will be scattered to the Antarctic wind, so that he is with me, as always.

So, on my birthday tomorrow I will remember all the great times with Seth, all the love, all the humour, I will connect to Seth’s curiosity, sense of fun and love.

I will also listen to Cavatina, You Make Feel Brand New and Nella Fantasia and raise a glass to the love of my life, Seth Goodburn, I love you with all of my heart forever.