Me and my brother didn’t really talk for a long time. He’s 5 years older and when we were young he seemed serious and I felt like I got in the way. He moved away and his life got more serious as he got older. Two years ago he got a brain tumour but he quietly faced it down and then they cut it out of his head. After that we started talking a lot more. We did a triathlon together and started texting almost every day. Then a few months ago some girl left him and it broke his heart.

I said let’s go and do something. A surfing trip somewhere far away. So I booked it there and then. We met in Porto on a Saturday night and I drove him North along the Atlantic on a pitch black motorway. We were staying at a camp run by Germans for Germans. They spoke some English to us but mostly we just spoke to each other. Over beers and beers we talked about girls and work and our lives. In the day he showed me how to surf and we both got sunburned sitting on our boards in the water. The waves were good and I learned to stand up but I fell in lots and got chewed up and spun around a few times.

A few weeks before we left, my brother had met a new girl. From that moment, something woke up in him that went quiet when we were young. In a week we’re going to Scotland and they’re getting married. He called me up and asked me to join them. There will only be 4 of us on a remote island, so I think that counts as best man.

I’m proud of my brother and I’m going to be proud to stand by his side.