Another night-shift in and another year past. Work wise, we have finally completed the recovery of the first riser and now we’re (surprise, surprise 😛 ) waiting for a weather window to commence the installation of the first replacement. Today (or at least yesterday, which was “today” when I got up.. confused? well, night shift does that to me too) was my birthday. 41. I had my 40th birthday onboard last year too.. bit of a bummer when I’d rather be at home to celebrate with my wife 😈 I know it’s belated, what with my 40th being last year, but I didn’t have this web-site then (I did have a site, just not this one with a fancy domain-name and all that stuff) and I didn’t have this fancy forum either…. anyway… I digress, as I tend to do rather easily after almost a month off-shore, just the other day… whoops, there I go again. They say that “life begins at 40”, but I disagree. I’m not trying to be contrary, just speaking from my experience. Life begins at 36, almost 37. That was when I met Dazzle, almost exactly a month before my 37th birthday (and a day after her birthday, as it happens). Looking back now, and it is only just over 4 years, I find it difficult to comprehend why I could have been even vaguely happy with my life. Not a lot has changed.. I still do the same sort of work as I did then, I still live, not far from where I did then, I’m still fundamentally the same person I was then, but in another way, so much [i]has [/i]changed, and what has changed is almost impossible to qualify or quantify. It’s a bit like a picture that you used to find inoffensive to the eye, but with something not quite right about it. Then you realise that you were missing something in the foreground and when you see that point of focus the whole image just clicks, and goes from being merely pleasing to a masterpiece. Dazzle is that central focus to my picture. Dazzle, sharing her existence with me, has turned my life from being fairly pleasing to being a masterpiece. Just HOW she’s done that is again a little difficult to explain or express. She’s made me more complete, pushed my boundaries to areas and achievements that I didn’t think I was capable of, given me confidence in my abilities, egged me to move out of my “comfort zone” (as she likes to put it) and got me to do things that I wouldn’t have thought myself capable of. Some of these are small things, things that she would take in her stride, and that she can’t understand where my trepidation comes from, but for me, they’ve been huge steps. As I look and think about all that she has done for me, I can only hope that I have done at least half as much for her, my charming and beautiful wife.