The importance of surprises

I love surprises. I am frequently amazed to find new surprises every day, and am always surprised how much I enjoy them.

One surprise that was particularly special was when Sam called me before his and Bellie’s new baby girl Eva-Deia was born. Joan and I were in London waiting excitedly for the new arrival, when we got a call from Sam to say that he had a surprise for us.

Image from the Branson family

Sam knows how much I love surprises, because I have been giving him and his sister Holly them since the days they were born! In fact, I had already surprised Sam by keeping it a secret that I was flying to the UK for the birth. He said he was going to get his own back and not say if they had had a boy or a girl until we saw them in the hospital.

I am the sort of person to always open their Christmas presents last, as nothing is nicer than anticipating something wonderful. Often waiting for the surprise is even better than the actual thing – but in this case nothing could have been better than meeting our new grandchild for the first time.

Image from the Branson family

As well as being fun, surprises are also a really important way to let people know how you feel about them. I adore surprising Joan by turning up when she doesn’t expect me. I surprised her in Chicago last month by arriving in her hotel chambers unannounced. Then on Valentine’s Day I flew to Miami in secret to spend the day with her. When I was 27, I even stopped a plane from taking off from Menorca because I decided not to leave Joan behind for the weekend. Instead of getting arrested, there was a round of applause and the cabin crew opened the door - different days!

Little gifts and surprises are just a wonderful way of telling somebody that you love them. What has been your nicest surprise?

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