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. She is also a councillor in Kensington and Chelsea where we live and is the cabinet member for Adult Social Care – 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 earlier this year, he is training as an army officer at Sandhurst. He can also cook, having earned his diploma at the Ballymaloe cookery school in Ireland.
The second is Ivo, who is now at Exeter University studying ancient history and latin. 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 fourteen. Her claim to fame is beating David Beckham in a game of one-on-one street football when they 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, a snake and a couple of goldfish lurking around somewhere too.
*Since writing this, he has ponced around South-East Asia and is now an undergraduate at Exeter. Time flies.