I have recently returned from a two week holiday in France and whilst there, on the 22nd August, I celebrated my 35th birthday. I was on holiday with my long-term, same-sex partner J. We have been together for eight years, and although we have not entered into a formal civil contract, we consider ourselves to be effectively married, a situation fully supported by our friends and both our families. I teach English at secondary level, whilst J is the headmistress of a local primary school. She is three years older than me and takes a lead role in our relationship as