Coming out as trans to my friends and family was both the easiest and the hardest thing I have ever faced. I had touched upon the subject with two friends in a light hearted manner to see what their reaction would be a few months prior to 'coming out' but I was not ready to fully engage with them the depths of how I felt or how serious I truly was...
I'm sorry that when the DOCS ladies dropped us off at Grandma's, you weren't allowed to stay because you were too much for her to cope with. I can't imagine how awful it must have been to watch your sisters get smaller and smaller in the distance as you were driven away in a car you didn't recognise.
Defining children according to wealth or merit in specific subjects sits very uncomfortably with me. What about supporting kids' interests, building on enthusiasm? What about maintaining friendships between kids of different social backgrounds rather than keeping them in separate worlds? Isn't it heartbreaking when children are separated from their best friends...
Let's face it, men are rubbish at talking seriously about their health. Other than sporadically airing my own health-related neuroses, my own previous form on serious cancer talk is questionable. Other than a mere cursory chat to a friend about his mother's breast cancer diagnosis, it's probably zero.
I knew once mother hit retirement age I would become a family carer. So I lived my life - went to university, socialised and partied hard, travelled the world and met interesting people. Whether in local politics, national conventions or international conferences I have made my voice heard whether people wanted to hear or not.
I parked quickly and started to look for the ticket machine. There was only one and it was on the other side of the carpark. As I started towards it I noticed that another man was also heading for the same machine and although he was approaching from a different angle we would arrive roughly at the same time. Our eyes met.
One of the great challenges within an ageing society is maintaining connectivity between the generations. Far too much of our society exists within a silo mentality, and that is also true when it comes to issues of family geography. With our global economy, many family members are often geographically isolated from each other - potentially connected only via digital communications.
Does it bother me that my daughter doesn't join in when the other little girls are playing house? Not for a second. She's over with the boys, running faster and jumping higher than she ever would with Cinderella slippers on. In any case, she'll always be a princess in my eyes. A tangled-haired, grubby-faced, puddle-stomping, world-conquering princess.
One of the cruelest features of depression is that it can trick the sufferer into thinking that their pain in permanent, and that they're destined to be miserable for the rest of their life. Your role as a close friend or loved one is to offer them hope by reminding them that if they get the right help, they'll be able to recover and feel well again.