A random shuffle of my address book this month throws up Dr Richard Bircher, a Marple lad.
I was very honoured earlier this month to take a full and active part in the confirmation ceremony for my Godson Adam Bircher. His Dad, Dr Richard Bircher, is a lovely man. He and I will be linked through life by that bond of Adam. For a time we were linked by a closer one as we were brothers in law. That we have maintained a loose and friendly connection since that legal bond broke is, in part, testimony to his good grace and generous spirit.
He keeps chickens, takes up sailing, put on a play at Edinburgh, has an allotment, co-produces a local production at the Carver Theatre in Marple and, most importantly of all, has raised Adam to be a fine young version of his Dad, and a dear best friend to my eldest son. He is also a father to a daughter, an honour I will never have and she too is a wonderful girl.
I have moaned on many an occasion of the poor quality of service from general practitioners. That I have never lived in the catchment area of Stalybridge means I have never had my prejudice challenged by being treated by Richard or his wife Joanna in their practice, the Lockside.