I can still recall those early days when our second daughter was born in June 2012, endless tears; long periods of inactivity, terrified to leave the house caused by an unbearable anxiety and despite being surrounded by loved ones a feeling I can only describe as utter emptiness and isolation. This is how I remember seeing my wife in the summer of 2012. My heart still sinks when I think that at the moment our little treasure was born a part of my beloved wife died.
When I lived for ten years with my children's father we had three children, and when the relationship abruptly ended, the phrase: "Well it's the same as being married" - proved to be a lie. You can tell yourself that while you are together, but don't be foolish enough to think it's the same when you are splitting up.
I made a promise to myself while recovering from my injuries to always put family and friends needs before anything else. In the ensuing years I have managed to keep this promise. What I could not foresee was how this vow would be tested when I was torn between both family and a friend, at the same time, in the past two months.
Leaked. Over and over, the same phrase is being employed. The photographs were leaked... Did the photos of these women suddenly find themselves on the internet in an unfortunate accident, brought about through the laws of physics and a defective containment system? Or was there something else at work here?
We rely on our beloved rectangles for everything from telling time to finding out what's happening in our friends' lives, from Googling where we're going to eat to unlocking the mysteries of GPS by telling us which street we're walking down. But the problem is that our smartphones are not going to say: 'Hey, you've been stalking that person on Instagram for half an hour - don't you think it's time to sleep?'
Our industry is unrecognisable to what it looked like 20 years ago when I first started out in the licensed trade. Having good food, reasonably priced drinks and excellent customer service are no longer virtues to brag about, they are now the norm and the expectation of every customer who comes into our bars.