I was bowled over by the messages of happy birthday hooray for Mum, sent to me on twitter and elsewhere. I am printing them all out and putting them into a little presentation for her, together with this truly wonderful post from @chaletfan.

She will be very touched and amazed, and doesn’t really know just how loved and cherished she is. Which maybe is just as well in the normal daily run of things – it could be like suddenly seeing your feet when peddling along on your bicycle!

Well, here is how she spent her 86th birthday, utterly absorbed with her sketchbook by the river. Still extraordinary. But I do like to think that if we both made a sudden lunge for that last Tunnocks wafer I could still just get to it first.