This makes my final post on The Pastry Box. Though it’s only been six posts, it’s felt like something different. Indeed early on I realised it was somewhere different that I could experiment with content. Due to what was going on in my life at the time, the posts quickly became very personal, and I felt comfortable enough to share some of my darker thoughts. That hasn’t gone away, and people have been remarkably kind in their response. I hope to be strong enough to bring this directly to my own blog (though of course all my content is cross posted to my own blog). For my final post I wanted to end on something I’ve been wanting to write about for years. In fact, I started writing a version of this post in 2008, but the text was long lost. I wanted to acknowledge my wife, best friend, mother of my children and partner in all things: Julie. We have a few anniversaries that we keep, but today, the 6th December would mark the day that we started “going out”, dating, courting, whatever you’d like to call it, 18 years ago. 18 years marks a special year too, we’ve now been together longer in our lives than the time that we’ve not been together. Our halfway mark. I’m pretty damn proud to be her husband. Julie’s responsible for all kinds of huge things throughout my life, and has even positively impacted the web community that I work inside of. Let me indulge in some history We got together back in 6th form (when we were just 18 in 1996), and both failed to get into our first choice universities. We had expected to separate our fledgling romance when we headed off, but as fate would have it, we were to go to the same university: Kingston upon Thames. We’d spend the next few years joined at the hip. Spending all hours of the days together – often me bunking off my classes to hang out with her. Then it all changed when I landed a sandwich year work placement – we went from spending 247 together, to me spending pretty much 9 'til 9 with my boss and very little time with Julie. That didn’t stop us. Julie supported me, in amazing ways. It was pretty much a long distance relationship whilst living together. But it wasn’t all work. We’d spend uncountable nights getting drunk and being silly together. Watching movies together and staying up late to watch just one more episode of 24. Of course I wanted to marry my best friend. I proposed, at a carefully planned sunset on the beach on a chilly January back in 2001. Her words (in an urgent unknowing): “Urm, uh, uh, I don’t know...um...yes? I guess?!”. We’d marry in 2004. We’d spend 3 months in Whistler on sabbatical together. We’d move to Brighton. We’d do regular bank holiday super-epic pub crawls. We’d buy a house. We’d go through the most terrible thing, and we’d survive. Together. And now... And now we have Ellis and Seren, and somehow our family is complete in spite of losing Tia, she’s part of that family too. For some reason I was lucky enough to find the person that makes me whole from such a young age, and some 18 years later Julie’s still my best friend and the person whose life I always want to share. To Julie: I love you. Always. From the days that we were kids to the days when we’re old and grey.