On the wall above my desk I have photos of nine people. These are nine people to whom I feel immensely in debt because of what they have done for me and given me, and just for their love, friendship and guidance.
There are my parents, my old youth leader, two people from my internship year, and four of my best friends.
I put these photos up a few months ago.
This morning I realise that, after thinking about this for literally about one minute:
I could have included three more people as well as my youth leader for the encouragement they have given me, the opportunities they have given me, and the amount they have invested in me.
In slightly different circumstances, there could have been eight more friends up there - friends who I know would have been just as good to me had I needed it at the time.
There are at least another four friends who I know would be there now if I needed them.
I am insanely lucky to have the friends I do. I'm not just talking about mates who I get on well with, even mates who I can go to for help when I need it - I'm talking about real, deep, hardcore friendships. Not transient friends who are around for a while, help you out once maybe, but then you realise they're not that important. But people who have proved themselves, and who can be trusted to do it again.
Some of these people will know who they are, some won't have a clue. But thankyou, to all of you. I don't deserve you.