The new academic year will soon be upon us. Some parents will see their child head off for university. You may look at this as freedom-at-last: your child will be leaving home, allowing you to do what you have longed to do all these years. Some of you will fear the empty nest syndrome. And for others, possibly most, a mixture of both.
It is really weird knowing that if I lose a memory, and only Mum would have remembered it, it is now a nothing. It's a gap. I don't know where it went or what it turned into but it's not there anymore. It's been replaced by space and silence. For the rest of my life, that gap will always be a gap; there will never again be a piece of memory that perfectly fits.
One of the best ways to explore your experiences is to write about them. Writing helps you to think more clearly, openly and deeply about a subject. One of the reasons for this is the simple fact that - while you may feel like 'you know what you mean' - the first thing a writer needs to be is intelligible.
One day children who have been in our care will ask questions about their past that simply cannot be answered in a memory book. Above all, we hope that they understand that they were loved and cherished. And we hope that they know that they can come to us for those elusive answers. We are, after all, merely custodians of their memories.
In this modern age we expect and want everything right now. Not after your suntan has faded, slightly gnarled through the postbox, from a trip that you took over two months ago. The rising cost of stamps, too slow snail mail and instant digital information are all affecting these little cards lives.
Thirteen years ago today my mum died. It all feels like a lifetime ago, and actually I can't really remember what life looked and felt like with her in it. I wish I had been given the chance to get to know her, to appreciate her and, of course, I would do anything to thank her for all the things I can now see she did for me and my sister, and all the little ways in which she showed us that she loved us.