I am a mother to two boys aged five and six, I have always been told by other parents, family and people around me that boys are the easier sex to raise and that they give you far less worry than girls. I cannot say whether that is true as I will never be able to test the theory. However, I am genuinely concerned that I am totally mucking up something which is meant to be quite simple.
Choosing a subject to study at degree level is the first big hurdle in the university application process. Being able to make a strong, confident decision at this stage can make the whole application process easier and prevent concerns from growing about whether or not you've made the right decision. Unfortunately, it's rarely an easy decision to make when there are so many different considerations to bear in mind.
In October I was moved enough by this feeling to go and learn more and offer what I could in terms of help in the Calais refugee camp. Although I learnt a huge amount about the conditions of the camp and individual's traumas, I felt bewildered and lost and spent most of the 10 days that I was there, feeling like I was merely witnessing the situation rather than doing anything much to make it better.
It's weird what the ocean does to your mind. We started out having some pretty insane dreams - sleep deprivation will do that to you. Ironically, we most commonly dreamt that we were stuck in the middle of a vast ocean with no-one else around. Then we'd wake up and think, 'Oh wait, that's actually happening'. Emotionally it's a rollercoaster.
It's been a pretty punchy start, we're both shattered, muscles are screaming for a rest but we need to keep on heading South and pick up some better weather. Some days are hot and calm, and it feels like we are rowing through treacle. But Bieber's on repeat and banter is high - no complaints here. So far so good.
As usual, the first two weeks of January have been full of New Year's resolutions and bold claims that 2016 is going to be the best year yet. Like every year, the conversation is dominated by references to giving up or cutting back on something: usually food, drink or a habit that is not particularly good for us, but we enjoy it.
The universe is always in motion and always growing. In nature, business, life and almost everywhere change happens in distinct and predictable cycles, yet when it comes to our own personal development people seem to strive for a status quo, a "balance". It's this desire for balance that can actually unbalances us.
Caffeine addiction is something from which more people 'suffer' than would probably care to admit, because really we don't see it as an addiction. Nicotine dependence gives you cancer and emphysema; alcoholism gives you liver disease and driving bans; meth could result in a face different to the one you were born with.
We were told that someone requiring treatment for Aids had died because they could no longer afford to pay their medical bills. Wives of some of the workers started to turn up at our house (R now worked from home as the company offices had no electricity) with babies and small children, asking for help we couldn't give.