Bridgend, South Wales.
23rd April 2023.

Dear Ziggy,

Now you are 10. A decade. I find myself experiencing a particularly curious sensation of being able to distinctly recall exactly where I was at this point ten years ago, almost down to the minute. It is like standing on the top of a mountain and looking back at the lands below, through which you have just travelled, to find them covered in mist, but on the far side, is another mountain, the one you have come from, and you can see yourself gazing back.

The damned valley keeps getting broader. Deeper. The mist thicker.

Still, I imagine you are on that other mountain with me, looking at the now. There are no pictures of us together – a particularly brutal lesson in regret – and so I have to paint them in my mind. At least the lighting is always good.

One can overdo metaphors.

Your brother is going to be nine in short order following your birthday. You’d love him. He’s so funny. He’s becoming quite the artist and loves sketching and drawing and painting with his paint pens. Skateboarding – just started when last we spoke – has become something of an obsession for him. He’s so determined. He always gets back up again. He thinks of you.

Your sister also loves to draw and paint and has her own style already. Can you guess where they are getting that from? She is a storyteller too. She loves to make up stories with me when we go walking, when we get the chance to do so and her own stories feature a unicorn we created together. She is endlessly curious and fearlessly brave. She is a spark.

I mentioned the strong love of the paint that both your siblings have. I’d be remiss not to mention your mum whose own work has gone from strength, with sales of originals and fresh shows. She’s working on a new series now that revolves around the moon. She misses you deeply.

We all do.

The world has limped on in this strange state of flux. War is being fought to the east. The virus is more under control than it has been in previous years but, again, it feels strange to think how recently there were restrictions. Something of a fever dream. The promise of AI, the threat or opportunity of the singularity, has broken into the public awareness with the next big leap in capability and everything feels very uncertain. Interesting times.

I wish you could see them.

As I wrote last year, I have decided to take this correspondence private from this year. I think it is better for all of us. I may share the next ten years when I stand on the next mountain, hopefully, with your brother and sister next to me. I enclose your story, the last tale of Draco I think I have in me, as is our tradition and hope you like it.

Mammy and Daddy, and your brother and your sister, love you very much.

Penblwydd hapus, fy machgen hardd. Colli ti. Cysgu dda.

Caru ti, cariad.




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