Dont think I was the best older brother in the world. Being bigger by 2 years and half a foot, I seemed to think it would be a great idea to have a fight if our parents ever went out. Looking back I feel quite bad about this, mind you he did become proficient in throwing things at me, which must have helped his amateur cricket career. Saying all that I do have good memories of adventures with our band of cuddly toys (one of which was a glove puppet I worryingly called Archemedies), which we named The Friends. That may sound quite cute, but I do also remember us torturing action man dolls with lighter fluid! The most amazing thing about Titch was that he has ever managed to grow up at all, as he connstantly found different ways to mangle his body (a prowess he continues to this day, in his sporting endevours). These ranged from testing the tensile strength* of a breeze block with his leg, to a grusesome encounter between his finger and the workings of a canal lock. There was an upside to his frequent trips to the hospital. I was always packed off to neighbours with a packet of chocolate fingers, while my parents sorted him out.
Titch and I did not have much contact in the University and following years. Save for his spectacular, and laterly drunken performance as best man at my wedding (more on that to follow).
However from the moment I phoned him to tell him I was becomming Jenny he has been far more supportive than I deserve. He dealt with the news in his usual pragmatic and idiosyncratic manner. He mused for a few minutes and declared "At last you are interesting!". I will never forget that sweltering bank holiday weekend in Hastings, when he introduced his Brister (his coined term for a trangendered sibling) to his wonderful partner Vicki and loyal group of friends. They all made me feel so accepted.
Bluffers Guide to Richard/Billy/Titch
- He is Stoke's unofficial globetrotting ambassador
- Is an Evangelical, Fundamentalist Athiest**
- Can Juggle, Diablo, unicycle, and skydive
- Occasionally gets drunk (Is daily occasional?)
- Loves Hong Kong
- Once caused a power cut at Donnington Monsters of Rock.
- We share a genetic throat scratching ability
- Has apparently invented a Technical gizmo thingy
- Is selectively Welsh
- Loves H2G2
- Once Appeared on Stars In Your Eyes as Chas (From ...& Dave fame)
- One of these facts may not be true
The final important point about Richard is, that although our family aren't great at saying theses things. I do love him and I'm very proud he is my brother
* He informs me that it is more correctly Compressive Strength. I think Tensile reads better!
**He wishes to be known as a Radical Athiest. Again my version reads better, so who am I to let facts get in the way.