Today is important. Not only because there are flagrant human rights abuses, but also because those of us that wander have lost and will continue to lose. Those of us that are first generation might have experienced visits or the scattered memories of our parents, but that loss, that inability to return, is one that will continue to be passed through generations.
The low point probably came several months ago when I raced upstairs, put on my best suit and pretended to go off to work. It was 5pm and the children were due back from school. The truth that I wasn't able to tell them was that I had lost my job 72 hours earlier and was acting out this increasingly ridiculous charade partly out of shame, embarrassment and, well, I just didn't know what to say.
As the world evolves, so humanity remains essentially emotionally the same. All of it crystallized in sharp relief within the hellish prison of childhood. I always said I'd never forget...and yet now I have children, I find myself getting annoyed because their drama doesn't meet my criteria for what merits hysterical crying and slammed doors.
Cast your mind back to times before the internet, before you could send a picture of yourself, anywhere in the world, instantly to anyone you liked (and often for free). How many times were you able to share stories about your latest holiday, the band you've just seen, your future plans, a bad day at work or the amazing dinner you've just made?
A fundamental question discussed in all forms of media is "Can I have it all?". At the micro level, the answer can be best illustrated in the Pickwick household through the topic of cake. The Pickwick family are fans of cake, setting upon it like a pack of hyenas around a decaying carcass, wherever it can be found. Mrs Pickwick however is a woman for whom cake and guilt are regular bed fellows, convinced that cake will be her downfall but at the same time enjoying the descent.
Imagine a world without TV. Instead of tuning in for the latest family drama on Emmerdale, we'd talk to our own families. Instead of watching yet another endless football match, we'd go to the gym or take the dog out for a walk. Instead of watching the Masterchef contenders taking insults from the judges, we'd cook a meal and talk to our friends or family while eating it together.
The cash-strapped Coalition announced on the 10th April they would be pumping £6.5million into projects aimed at helping separated parents "put their differences aside for the sake of their children". The announcement has put mediation in the spotlight as divorcees seek to minimise the impact of their split on their children.
As we all inevitably leave our twenties and begrudgingly begin the slow pitiful march towards responsibility and self-loathing, it's important to ask the question - what next? For some it's fulfilling careers and the exciting discovery of our greatly unrecognised adult self, and for some it's children.
They need to understand that the legal processes can turn initially reasonable demands into a whole new set of game playing on an expensive scale, and as for who wins and who loses, I recommend a coin is taken into the court room and tossed, as that is about as accurate a way of guessing outcomes as any.