It's my 1st daughter's birthday today. It's also my longest running friend's. I met Glenn in 1994 - the same year the Toronto blessing started - though it would be several years later before we were impacted by that. We met at university where much hilarity ensued. We moved in together in our second year and lived together until Glenn got married. We were the best men at each other's wedding.

We have a long history of bonding over video games. First it was Quake. I borrowed a £2,000 switch from work just so we could network our old PCs. Later came the Nintendo 64. The day the N64 launched we rented one from Blockbuster, stocked up on Cadbury's, Coke and Irn-Bru and spent way too many hours playing Mario 64.

Despite living on the other side of the world and having a time zone difference of 6 hours, we still find time to play Mario Kart 8 nearly every week. Glenn's the better player (he currently leads 186 wins to my 180) but yesterday we had a smashing game and not just because - in a fluke - I won. It was the quintessential Mario Kart game full of fantastic gameplay and skillful handling, but most of all buckets of luck. I love that we can still enjoy our friendship even though we lead two very different lives in two very different countries. I captured our game on video. It's posted below (I'm the chick in a blue dress and Glenn, well, he's the dinosaur wearing shades - all totally normal I assure you).

Glenn you are a fantastic friend, and an incredible Mario Kart player. My gift to you is a rousing game of Mario Kart later today. Hope it's as good as the day you deserve. Happy Birthday my friend, may your life be free of bananas and shells of all colors.

Glenn, in sunglasses with a star for his birthday. All is well.