Last Friday, at 7am, I set off for Tokyo! My brother lives in Tokyo and was having a Birthday party on Saturday night, so with Mike’s amazingly kind permission, I wanted to be here for it.

To add to the excitement, it is my Best Friend’s Birthday TODAY! And, she’s finally joined me in the 30s gang. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I decided not to tell Alex I was coming and to keep it as a surprise. It was, and probably always will be, the best surprise I’ve ever pulled off. Here’s a video of my journey, ending in the moment I jumped out on Alex!

Tokyo Surprise Vlog

We then had an epic all-nighter and so I’ve been suffering all week from that and the jet lag! But it’s so worth it to see my lovely brother and spend his Birthday just chilling out with him.

Tokyo Surprise

I miss him a lot as he’s lived in Japan for over a decade. We have a really close relationship despite not always having time to talk that often as we spent a lot of time as adults living together. I moved to Edinburgh to live with him during my gap year before starting University and then again in 2008 I stayed with him in Japan for just over 2 months while I worked on a research project with Tokyo University. He says living with me is so easy because I’m just like him…little does he know I’m not at all, I’m waaaaaaay tidier when I’m around him because he is a neat freak!!

Tokyo Surprise

As for Alex, well she’s basically my sister now. I love her to bits and I’m so thrilled I can gatecrash her birthday party at a swanky Tokyo club tonight (think Lost in Translation)!

Tokyo Surprise

I think it’s fair to say Alex’s 20s were difficult. We definitely had a LOT of fun but there were challenges in there too, including the deaths of both her Brother and her Dad, which I wrote about here: RIP Tom McVey. And yet, for all the sadness and difficulties in her life, she has never failed to be there for me. To make me laugh (to the point of tears), to tell me she believes in me, to listen to my moaning and then give me a kick up the butt.

Tokyo Surprise

Welcome to your 30s, Alex. They are going to be amazing, now really is your time! You’ve got an amazing job in Tokyo, which is too bloody far away but I’ll cope because I love you and I can’t wait for you to really shine. Much love my darling and Happy 30th Birthday!

p.s. How I felt at turning 30