Angela is somewhat in denial about becoming The Big 50 but her husband Nigel is determined to make it a celebration to remember. As far as he is concerned, it’s an ideal opportunity for her to be reminded of just what a great wife, mum, sister and friend she really is.
Together we begin to design a commission that will knit all these aspects of Angela’s life together and Nigel selects the best people for me to contact to gather the extra details I need while I ask for contributions from their two sons, Luke and Damien, and their partners.
The whole endeavour is to be kept secret, so we have to be careful, but everyone enters into the spirit and soon enough we have all sorts of themes coming through the reminiscences, descriptions and messages collected so far, which we then decide I’ll use to shape my writing.
Angela’s tribute begins to take shape and, as it does, Nigel takes some of his favourite lines and creates a framed copy for their kitchen wall so she can enjoy them every day. He knows that whatever impression she gives of not caring about her age, marking the occasion privately and in these very personal ways will mean more to her than anything.
Once Nigel has signed off on the final version, Luke takes the text and creates a photo book that brings the entire narrative to life. It is a bespoke and beautiful gift full of thought, care and love.