My mother-in-law was 80 on March 1. She has been unwell for a number of years suffering from dementia. When she was well, she was a delight. I found her lovely company. She was clever, interesting and kind. She gave very good advice but only, and this is crucial, when asked for it. She had a fund of phrases which I always found very calming though, possibly not very practical. When something went wrong, she would often say serenely, “We live in an imperfect world.” She was fascinated by small children and, of course, particularly her own grandchildren. She was always telling us about Piaget (she trained as a psychologist) and I learnt a surprising amount about child development from her given that I was pretty much always exhausted when the insights were being shared. She and my father-in-law rented houses in Kerry every year when the children were small and all the family went. Those holidays were a godsend and the children loved them and loved being with their cousins. I wish she were still well and could enjoy her birthday; we all really miss the person she was. Alas, we live in an imperfect world.