When you think of the word wedding, what image does this conjure up for you? For me, it's stress, money pressures, anxiety and months of planning that I simply don't have time for. I am just a bitter old cynic? Perhaps, but let me try and explain why...
Our new analysis shows that the average British family simply cannot afford to get cancer. Having the disease costs 4 in 5 patients an average of £570 per month. This is a combination of incurring extra costs such as travel to hospital or increased heating bills, as well as losing income if they are too ill to work.
I often see couples two years into their stepfamily experience when they're thinking, 'hang on, I didn't sign up for this.' This is why it's vital to know what to expect as a stepparent, how to navigate the pitfalls, and above all how to be realistic in your expectations.
Why is it that when you go away on holiday in the UK - whether that's to a caravan, campsite or cottage - all those boring, everyday things you do at home magically become fun? We took the kids to Yorkshire for a mid-week break last week, and we noticed a few things while we were there. Recognize any of these?
I have always believed that the act of writing is, and always will be, an act of courage and defiance - regardless of how long you've been writing for...
Before I became a parent I lived very much for the future. Short term I lived for the weekend and the nights out. Longer term I was all about promotions, property, and marriage proposals. It was all part of the 5 year plan.
Don't let the goal get in the way of the solution. Focusing on better execution will lead to a stronger, more consistent performance. And above all else, take the lessons that your failures provide. If you can focus on your goals, fine-tune your habits and profit from every setback, the path less travelled will always be your friend.
I had a baby. The last time I had a baby was just over two years ago, around the same time that we began watching Game of Thrones. Interestingly, I can remember virtually every storyline of Game of Thrones and yet I had forgotten many of the details of life with a newborn.
A knackered Daddy, a stressed Mummy and a 2-year-old-tantrum-throwing-daughter all look forward to their short break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Gradually it got easier, the girls slept a little better but just as importantly I began to learn how to juggle. I grew into my role of mother of two and although the days (and nights) still had the potential to be challenging, I was more able to mentally cope.
Lemonade appears to be closing the door on a chapter. A door intrusively pushed ajar by an unsuspecting elevator surveillance tape. The public clamoured for an explanation, however, Beyonce's true response was never likely to please everybody.
In the midst of all this easy-to-use technology, somehow we lost touch with the fact that someone has to build it all. And the kids have become consumers, sitting slack-jawed and motionless above the wrists for hours, killing baddies but never knowing the thrill of summoning the code-driven genies themselves.
Let me try to explain. GP's computer systems have things called READ codes, they are put on to people's notes. For example there are READ codes for gender, age band (e.g 18-25), whether you are a smoker or non-smoker, aswell as specific health conditions.
Do you truly imagine I've not considered it? Or, perhaps, do you think I have - but clearly a nudge is in order, and you're the right person to give it? What if I've deliberated, but ultimately decided against it? Are you the right person to convince me I'm wrong?
I've been in this bedroom since I was five. It's gone through multiple makeovers. From white walls with fairy images and glow in the dark stars; to an ocean blue with seahorse wall-paper and tween posters of tween crushes; to a very sophisticated beige and brown for the latter years.
The boys are now nine and seven years old and I continue to store up our more amusing conversations. My kids don't read my blog (yet). When they do, I hope they will thank me for recording the innocence of their childhood, rather than resenting all this exposure. I love you boys, more than you can imagine.