“Planet Earth is a Beautiful Bouncing Ball”

Simian is feeling pretty good today…

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Tabatha is 27, a photography student dressed artily and retro, beautiful and talented.  She is getting the train from London.

Louise is 30, a nurse in Edinburgh.  She’s on a budget so is booked on the National Express.

Tom, the youngest at 21, lives nearby so that’s OK.

Andrew flies in from Milan where he has a successful clothing business.  He’s the oldest at 34 and already a high-flyer.  His only worry is his hairline and his cat that has a tumour.

Judy’s a fitness fanatic who walks the eight miles from the next town.  She’s a personal trainer and Tom’s older twin by twelve minutes.

Darren, 23, is the black sheep who opted out.  He’s hitched a ride with his mate from Sheffield called The Goat.

Six of my kids, all six of my kids, coming to see me.  Me.  Since I got divorced from their mother and the family became dysfunctional, we haven’t been all together in the same room.  Twenty years we haven’t been in the same room.  Until today.  And it all happened because of my girlfriend…

It was no mean feat to keep the secret from me; a lengthy series of calls, texts, emails, messages on Facebook – it transpires she even organised a group chat.  She made it happen, refusing to take no for an answer because their father was ill and needed it.  She made it happen for him.  And so what news…?

I see Tom often so I know all his.

I’ve seen Judy a little too, but didn’t know she had a new girlfriend, which is great.

Tabatha says Vogue has commissioned a series of photographs, which is great too.

Darren’s same old Daz with his guitar and his band.  But he doesn’t do drugs any more and is thinking of getting a job, wonders never cease.

Andrew tells us he’s getting married next year in Costa Rica and we’re all invited.  And would I, his dad, be also his best man?  Well I mean, need he ask twice?

Louise says she’ll have to start saving up if she’s got to fly to Costa Rica, and jokes that it’s not possible to go there by National Express.  She also says there’ll be three of them because she and her boyfriend Paul are expecting a child in December.

So I am going to be a grandfather.

And that is why today is so special.  That is why planet Earth is such a beautiful bouncing ball.

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