When I was very young, Mum and Dad decided we should explore the continent the UK is part of.
In those far-off days, this was a big adventure.
The Channel Tunnel was an abandoned Victorian relic near Folkstone, there were limits on how much money you could take and foreign cars used different tools.
We wrote to embassies and received parcels of maps and brochures.
We loaded the Wolseley with sleeping bags, an ex-Army tent, spares for the car, AA Route planner and caught the midnight ferry from Dover.
The year was 1960 and we were off exploring, not quite the same as Livingstone but it felt like it to a 6 year old boy.
Dad would teach us the French, German, Italian words needed to go and buy breakfast each morning.
What has this got to do with the EU referendum? Well everything and nothing.
We managed to travel to Europe before the EU, before the EEC for that matter, but it was something extraordinary, unusual. I have no memory of anybody else doing that until years later when the lucky few would go to Austria or France for the school “ski trip”.
A business partner of my father’s imported Simca cars but that was difficult and you needed strange metric sized, rather than AF and Whitworth, spanners to service them.
We went camping on the continent many times.
It didn’t do much for my language skills. It did do a lot for my appreciation of how much we are connected by history and culture.
My family were driven out of France by religious persecution and the threat of death. My wife’s family originates from the Norman invaders.
My mother’s family are Kentish/Scottish. I am proud to call myself Scottish, English and a man of Kent. I wear a kilt and/or an England shirt as is appropriate. The UK union of nations is part of what makes me – I am proud of that.
Why do I want the UK to Remain in the EU?
Part of it is emotional, philosophical. Being part of the European union of nations is an extension of the UK. My English, Scottish, Kentish, French heritage is not diminished; the sum of those things defines what I am.
Another part is practical, the transparency of it all. I can travel the EU as a citizen, in complete freedom. Living in France is an extension of living in the UK: it is something that being a UK citizen entitles me to.
Those freedoms bring difficulties and responsibilities.
Working with other people is more difficult than doing your own thing. Forming the UK was not easy and that is still not right.
The responsibilities are to engage, to contribute, to work with your neighbours to secure a better future, to listen to his point of view and to put forward your own.
The EU is not perfect, it needs reform but that is no less true of the UK or France.
Without a doubt we are better off in the EU than we were outside of it.