It's so important for parents, especially single parents, to have a strong and reliable support network around them, you can go through months without 'needing a friend' but when you do it's so reassuring to know that those positive role models are there waiting in the wings to come and be wonderful influence on the boys.
Poverty in Myanmar affects ordinary Burmese families and children, with one in four of the population living in extreme poverty, but ActionAid's child sponsorship programme is really helping and making real transformations... That is why I am is backing ActionAid's Christmas appeal to find sponsors for 2,700 children across six countries in the developing world - Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Malawi, Myanmar and The Gambia - who are affected by extreme poverty or conflict to help give them a future.
Greener than many of its neighbours, and home to both the highest mountain range in Africa and the source of the mighty Nile, Winston Churchill famously described Uganda as the 'Pearl of Africa'. Unlike much of the country, however, due to its harsh climate and low annual rainfall, the Karamoja region is predominantly a semi-arid plain - causing many problems for the communities who live there.
These mini mince pies have a double dose of flaked almonds and Amaretto in the mincemeat and a marzipan star on the top. They're an almond lovers dream. Teeny triple almond injections. I adore them. I hope you do too. Of course you can make them in a larger holed tin if you like.
If David Cameron is serious about reducing red tape then there are no better allies than his partners in the EU's institutions. Instead of viewing EU legislation as a costly inconvenience, we'd be better served by seeing it as one of the best mechanisms we have available for making Europe a more streamlined and competitive place.
And a pantomime it is, well not so entertaining, no flouncing dames or doleful Buttons or rousing songs, just semi-staged tittle-tattle and bickering. The only worthwhile sentiments, be they raging or insightful come from the audience, across the camera bank. The man who brings up politicians pay rises, the man who demands I stand for parliament (so that he could not vote for me judging from his antipathy), the mad, lovely blue hair woman who swears at everyone, mostly though the woman who says "Why are we talking about immigrants? It's a side issue, this crisis was caused by financial negligence and the subsequent bail-out".
Sometimes, I do get overwhelmed by this stuff and it's hard to see so much cruelty and know that you can't just fix it all with (forgive me) a wave of your wand. But the only way you can really fail is by failing to try to make a difference.
After upsetting Binky, I was ostracised from the girl group and felt like I had no one to turn to other than Alex and Jamie for advice. It wasn't a malicious action. It wasn't a back-stabbing or two-faced decision. When Alex and Binky were together I was disgusted at the way he behaved.
When it was broadcast on the radio "eat less" came out as a ridiculous blunder - as if I had said that people who were hungry or could only afford to eat hamburgers should eat less. Of course poor people don't have any choice. Half the world is hungry, poverty increases; everyone is so worried. Therefore people were angry with me. Luckily the press then reported my interview in full and this cleared up what I was really trying to say. They quoted me, "What's good for the planet is good for people". Most importantly the press then posted the fundamental question: Is Big Ag.( agricultural capitalism) good or bad? This is the urgent debate we must have.
Instead of lashing out at Zoella and criticising her methods of achieving the success that most of us will never taste, why don't we learn from it? The days are gone where we use a typewriter to agonisingly piece together a novel pitch; it's all about social media now. Zoella was one step ahead and it just happened to work out for her.
Well last night got heated! Not one, not two, but three people crying (and I'm not a pretty crier). So why did I stay in Sam's bed that night? I didn't think it was a problem as I thought Sam and I were good enough friends and I didn't know about Tiff. In hindsight, it wasn't the best idea. Time machine anyone?
Keeping the many facets of our lives going is a great and progressively more common achievement that we have little choice but to challenge ourselves with. However, if you are not paying attention to the areas of your life that matter the most then in the end the success is found to be hollow because we dropped the ball that matters the most...
So I'm sitting here now in my bedroom feeling the darkness descend blocking out all thought. At least practicing mindfulness I'm able to separate myself a little from the abusive thoughts, which are trying to bomb me to total destruction.
This time last year I travelled to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon to see how Unicef, the world's leading children's organisation, is keeping Syrian children safe and warm as the temperatures plummet. Nothing could have prepared me for the heartbreaking situation I encountered; the conditions for families living in these informal camps were just horrendous. It's not somewhere that anyone should have to call a home, especially not a child. The over-crowded and unsanitary conditions need just one storm to set off a terrible chain reaction. The cold weather already makes children susceptible to respiratory infections like pneumonia.
The lawyer's work and that of the detective's long hours is how many mysteries have been solved -- or not. And then DNA entered criminology to add to the writer's magical box of solutions. Here is an example in my own case.
I found a secluded spot for this rather epic sunset.. .I'm sure it is rammed during the summer! The only downfall to visiting off season is the public boats do not taxi to the surrounding islands. Only reason to visit again - ideally on a yacht!