Of the 365 days in a calendar year, a few stand out for me. There’s August 8, the date we’ve chosen to mark the official start of our relationship (tell me we’re not the only couple to have done this!). June 22, when you asked me to marry you at the summit of Mount Vesuvius. And of course, July 29, which will forever mark the day we chose to spend the rest of our lives together. Then, there’s March 16. This one is a favourite of mine because it’s all yours—it’s your birthday.

Words cannot express how grateful I am that your parents conceived you one July day, 34 years ago. They not only changed the course of their lives but on that fateful night, mine was altered too.

Every year since I’ve met you, March 16 comes with a lot of excitement and a bit of anxiety. What do you give the guy who has it all? A watch, a pair of shoes, a belt? Clearly, I’ve exhausted my options.

This year, my gift to you isn’t a thing but a moment. We’re celebrating at the Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack with some of our closest friends. You and me, surrounded by loved ones, plus lots of food and champs.

Instead of a fancy present, I’m giving you more of us.

More time together.

More opportunities to love each other and grow together.

Because we spend most of our time apart, I want whatever time we do have together to be precious, magic, meaningful. I love every fibre of your being, from your grumpy personality to your extraordinary generosity to the way only you can look at me. I love you because you’re you.

I hope this year brings you lots of new projects, that you can redefine yourself in peace and tranquility. That the future you is fulfilled. And know that I’m by your side, every step of the way, always.

I love you.

Happy birthday, my love xxx