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Sibling love – flying to Madrid to surprise our big bro

Sibling love – flying to Madrid to surprise our big bro

My brothers and I have a bond that will always tie us together.  For one we are the only  3 people who grew in the same womb.  We were brought into this world by the same wonderful woman (no epidural each time hats off to you Mum).    We were raised in the same home by the same role models who taught us the same values.  

We all have a love for great company, food, wine, music and family time.  Even if we don’t see each other for a while it is instantly the same when we are reunited.  We are relaxed, completely ourselves and we can say exactly what we are thinking.  We revert back to our childhood banter of older days.  We can bicker, be totally honest and most importantly laugh out loud.  Often when I am with my brothers I laugh so much that it hurts.


David wrote this for me when he was 17


We have all traveled and lived away from home but David (my oldest bro) tops it.  He has lived away from Edinburgh for around 16 years in various cool parts of the world.  The world is very much his home and for the past 6 years  or so it has been in urban Madrid. We have shared so many great memories over the years in different places but each time David comes to Edinburgh I see just how much it hurts him to leave.  My brothers and I are all very independent people but we are also emotional and not a fan of goodbyes.


Iain and I had a strong urge to fly out and surprise David on his 40th birthday.  He will be home in Edinburgh in a few weeks but we knew he would be thinking of us on his big day. With 2 young kids and a lot less disposable income these days it can be hard to plan trips. Strong gut feelings can’t be ignored though and we knew we had to be there with our bruv, his beautiful family and friends.

I am not a huge fan of surprises.  I find them stressful.  I am an organiser and a planner and with surprises comes a risk something will go wrong. Thankfully on this occasion the risk paid off.  Watching him become extremely quiet and subdued, to shedding tears and trying to keep it cool and then coming up on a high with excitement was an experience we will all remember.  I am delighted to have it all on video. I am not sure if he had recently been watching the film Twins but he said that he felt our presence in Madrid around the time that our flights from Edinburgh and Portugal landed (within 10 minutes of each other).  We of course took the mick out of how and called him a wannabe Yoda.

Family need to stick together. It can be easy to take our siblings for granted.  I watch how close our own kids are and the bond that they are creating at the tender ages of 1 and 3. My wish is that they will always be there for each other.  They will be there for the big things and the magical moments in each others life.


I feel so grateful for all the laughs and all that my family continue to teach me.  A line that sticks in my mind that the birthday boy told me many a year ago –

‘Physical distance is never a barrier to emotional closeness’ 

Happy birthday David, see you in a few weeks to continue celebrating.  Try not to forget your wallet this time  xx



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