By 7am the river was in full flood and flowing over the bridge deck. The flooding stretched for over a mile. I have seen water on the bridge before but never as much as that night. The river had risen over 3 feet in a few hours and we had an anxious wait as river levels continued to rise.
Every child deserves to be given the same opportunities in life, the same chances to find their unique talent, to enjoy something for them, not because their parents push them into the limelight and then take credit for their achievements. As a parent we are biologically programmed to be proud of our children for any achievement.
I am 35 years old, run my own business and overall am pretty happy with my life the way it is. However, being single can be hard during the Christmas season, and even more so when surrounded by my coupled-up family.
Giving money is often contemptuously referred to as 'sticking a fistful of notes into a card'. Yet this is a slightly unfair characterisation, and there are some benefits to this approach. Firstly, it allows a child to choose a present that they actually want.
As I am past the stage of attending school nativity plays, it may be safe (just) for me to reflect on this hectic and stressful, yet utterly wonderful, event in the primary school calendar. I've put together my top 10, very tongue in cheek, observations of the school nativity.
When your bundles of joy enter the world, most people have a wonderful vision of what parenthood will be like -- how you'll capture every moment on camera, fill out every section of the baby's year book and spend Christmases savouring every beautiful moment.
In a country where most people now are not religious, the research shows that a massive 91% of us do celebrate Christmas in some form. So if Christmas is no longer about Christ for most people, what is it about? What people are celebrating in just under a week's time is not the birth of a supernatural saviour, but more earthly, human things.
Schools are breaking up and the last of the nativity plays are upon us. We are now bang in the season of jingle bells and gin, cake, cocktails and exc...
Here three churches and a cathedral describe similar events they will be hosting on Christmas Day for groups such as rough sleepers, people living in hostels, refugees and asylum seekers and people alone on Christmas Day.
As we enter the month of December there is a buzz of festive activity almost everywhere you turn. From twinkling lights to late night shopping, carol ...
Above all though, understand that we get your love for Christmas - chances are, we love it too. However, we may need extra support to get through it. Spending a couple of minutes checking up on us around this time of the year may not seem like a lot but, to us with anxiety, it really can lead to us 'simply having a wonderful Christmas time'.
We see the love and sense of pride in the faces of mums and dads, and make sure that our little'uns can see us in the audience, so they too can be reassured that there is someone who cares. We take photos, and collect the programmes, which will find their way into memory boxes and albums for when the day comes, as inevitably it will, for them to move on.
Before we begin, it is worth pointing out that by merely reading this letter you will undoubtedly be inspired to follow our example of parental perfection. This is completely normal and does not necessarily imply any inadequacies in your own parenting.
But whilst alcohol is far from essential when it comes to Christmas celebrations, many of us will be indulging over the festive season. So how do we indulge, celebrate and party with friends and family but still keep body and mind happy? Here's how...
Let's not forget that each of us have the oppourtunity to help those around us, whether through a charitable donation, spending time with those who may not have local family or friends or even spreading the feeling of good will with a small token of appreciation to those around.
Our favourite stories at this time of year of course involve babies. Mary is a trafficked Albanian woman. She has been hosted, since the birth of her infant in September, by one of our generous hosts. Can you imagine taking in a total stranger and her newborn?