The General Election is just 10 months away. But the focus of its debate is a generational challenge to share the benefits of growth, in an environment of ongoing reductions in public spending. The good news is that the current squeeze in living standards is not inevitable and there are choices we make to reach a different outcome.
The other day, I showed my middle school students in my Girls' Lifestyle Camp a few clips from the show So You Think You Can Dance. I thought it was important for the girls to see these dancers who followed their passions and dreams through hard work and dedication despite the obstacles and difficulties.
Kids are bored. Drinking is cheap. Cheaper than anything else on offer around them leisure-wise by far. And it's sad. Because it wouldn't cost the earth. If kids want to knock about a coffee shop of an evening in London then they can. Because they are open past six o'clock. Why can't we do that for our young people in the North East?
I've been down the aisle more times than I care to consider, and I've got an equal number of divorce papers. So who the hell am I to talk about relationships? Well, I'm happy to say I've learned an awful lot about the truth of them, both good and not-so-good, and how they impact our lives and decisions.
Ever since I developed an eating disorder I have been haunted by the start of term or Lent or any of these times as opportunities to start a new leaf and remove from lifestyle any unhealthy bingeing that had been dominating life. Yes, the anorexia was utilising this as an opportunity to persevere into dangerous territory.
What is it you really want to do? Push away any thought that has anything to do with what someone else needs, wants or expects from you and look only at your desire. Just allow yourself that, at least. Shove away the 'shoulds', and most of all ignore the fear. Just look at what you really want and enjoy how delicious it feels to immerse yourself in it.