Instead, I'd like to introduce you to my baby brother.
Graeme was a big disappointment to me. I wanted a sister! He was quite nice as babies went though - a big gurgly laugh if you tickled him in the right spots, and placid enough to put up with his seven year old sister changing his nappies at times. He was always keen to be on the move. When he was two, we moved to California for a year, and he learnt to talk there, coming back with an American accent and calling strangers "you guys". I think that might be where he picked up his sense of style too.
You could always spot Graeme in family photos, he was not afraid to make his presence felt. Unlike the rest of us, Graeme was always very interested in his physical appearance. He is possibly the only preschooler in the family to have been given a pot of hairgel for Christmas, and to have been happy about it! When he was three, Father Christmas left a packet of boxer shorts in his Christmas Stocking. At our church we have a tradition on Christmas morning that children are invited to show off their new presents. We had to sit on Graeme to stop him from flashing the vicar!
Graeme was a confident
He was also good at entertaining himselfAnd, as a toddler, craved repetition and security. Now other children may have had a security blanket, a dummy, a small cuddly toy worn thin with loving. Graeme had BugsyA toy rabbit bigger than himself. This Bugs Bunny rabbit needed requent surgery to his tail, as he was forever being pulled about by his powder puff. He also needed "Each Peach, Pear, Plum" to be read aloud each and every single day for approximately one year. Quarter of a century later, those of us who were old enough to read to him at the time can still recite it from memory. He can't!
Time passed, and Graeme grew from little boy to teenager. He decided not to stay at home for his 6th form (age 16-18) years, but followed his big brother's footsteps by applying to the United World Colleges. Deciding that he didn't want to go too far from home, Graeme opted out of being considered for Africa or Singapore. Not having given "wish to stay closer to home" as a reason for opting out, Graeme and the rest of us were somewhat startled to discover he had been selected as one of the first students ever to attend the newest World College - in India!
The second year he was out there we decided to join him for Christmas and do some travelling.
At the end of the course, Graeme did decide to do university slightly closer to home - not by much though - and went off to St Andrew's. He was less than amused to be joined there two years later by Prince William and his entourage. But managed to enjoy himself and get himself a good degree at the same time. He met this young lady, the glamorous Yvonne, at this timebut as she was finishing her course and moving away for a bit, they stayed in touch and he continued to enjoy living the single life.
Fast forwards a few more years, and Graeme moved to Edinburgh to do his PhD. He became engaged to YvonneAnd established himself in the family as "Silly Uncle Graeme" - always good for fun and entertainmentHe's a good sport, and I'm very pleased he's my little brother.
It's been a big week for Graeme. He finished writing up his PhD a few months ago, and yesterday he finally had his Viva. And has passed, subject to minor alterations. Congratulations, Doctor Graeme!
He has also found out this week that he and Yvonne have a flat ready to move into next week, Congratulations grown-up!
And he has been told that his new proper exciting job will be based in Edinburgh and will be everything he wants it to be (well, more or less!). Congratulations again!
And, tomorrow, he and the glamorous Yvonne are getting married.
Big week for a little brother. We love you, Graeme,