I got married a few years after I left the regular army to the lovely Mary who was then working in the City in insurance but has since completed an MBA and is now doing consultancy work, mostly within the NHS. She is also a councillor in Kensington and Chelsea where we live and is the cabinet member for Finance – a somewhat higher achiever than I am.
I’ve been extraordinarily lucky. We’ve been together a long-time now and it’s been very happy. Her father was a ‘hang ’em, flog ’em’ Tory MP but she isn’t like that, being on the socially liberal but fiscally conservative wing of the Conservative Party. Her hobby is learning foreign languages which she deploys with aplomb when we go on holiday.
Together we’ve had three children. The oldest, Rob, was born a year or so after we got married. Time flies when you’re having fun and, having graduated in 2016, and passed the Commissioning Course at Sandhurst in 2017, he is an officer in the Royal Gurkha Rifles. He can also cook, having earned his diploma at the Ballymaloe cookery school in Ireland.
The second is Ivo, who is graduated from Exeter University in 2018 and is now an Officer Cadet at Sandhurst. During his ‘Gap Yah’ he worked as a builders’ labourer, a prep school teacher and travelled around south-east Asia with his lovely girlfriend Venetia.
And the youngest is Dido, who is sixteen. Her claim to fame is beating David Beckham in a game of one-on-one street football when the Beckhams lived next door. He announced his retirement from the game the next day (true!).
We’ve also got a couple of dogs – a Kleiner Munsterlander and an English Bull Terrier – who chew my shoes, chairs, each other and anything else they can find.
There’s a cat and a snake lurking around somewhere too.