Subscribe to feed Latest Entries

Not So Common Sense

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 09 October 2015
 Common sense is sadly not so common amongst humans and comes in spite of, and not the result of, education.

These weighty words of wisdom are not mine, rather, the more erudite philosophy of Voltaire and Victor Hugo.

And more recently espoused by Beth Blackwood, the new chief executive of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia.

“There is a great deal of research now that states that children need challenges and obstacles in their path to learn, to be resilient, to learn to be problem solvers or to learn they can manage their own world and make decisions for themselves,” she said.

“The more common sense approach is to allow children to fail and to learn from those failures.”

It's a fine line for parents and carers who instinctively protect and cushion children from life's difficulties. So I've always found that somewhere between a stiff upper lip and a gentle warm heart approach is best. Like a spectrum of sorts. Sometimes a child needs a firm but fair hand. Sometimes lots of love and hugs. And sometimes a “you'll be right” in that moment they've fallen over and not sure if crying or getting back up and playing is what they want to do.

Situations require all manner of approaches and not just constant smothering.

You may think me completely balmy because I believe that falling down is good. As is making mistakes, failing and not reaching set goals. Mistakes are merely learning experiences and it is our job to help correct the behaviour to instil positive future outcomes. We aren't perfect all the time so why should we expect our children to be.

Ms Blackwood, added she had seen a “marked increase” in the number of students managing depression and anxiety since she first started teaching 35 years ago.

She had also noted an increase in the proportion of parents who were over-protective and anxious for their children to succeed. “Sometimes parents are living their lives through their child, placing their expectations on their child,” she said. Childhood is a precious time and a short time and there is plenty of years in adult life to be more responsible. Guide and love, play and learn. There is no set formula but these fundamentals don't change.

Hooray for lunch time

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 09 October 2015
Working in the center of Covent Garden we young ladies about town are lucky to have a huge variety of food choices when it comes to lunch. Invariably though we just head for the nearest place, sticking usually to places on our very own Bedford street and Herietta Street.

So we were all rather excited to discover Caffè Nero's (which is directly opposite our office) new range of hot dishes for lunch time.

The launch comes in light of research they carried out revealing that despite nearly 40% of us feeling re-energised, a third of us feeling happier , a fifth more focused and 16% more motivated after a lunchbreak, nearly one in ten Brits (9.5%) never take a break at all, and 15% of us do lunch 'al desko'.


In a bid to lure us away from our desks their new range (which can be taken away or eaten in) includes Al Forno dishes: Penne Bolognese in a rich ragu and Chicken Pesto Al Forno with fresh pesto and a crisp breadcrumb topping, layered pots: Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Risotto with fresh leaves, Mediterranean Vegetable Arrabiata with basil and olive oil, and flatbreads: Chargrilled Vegetable or Sunblush Tomato, Pesto and Mozzarella flatbread topped with a creamy mozzarella.

On hearing about the new range it wasn't long before we found ourselves tucking into something delicious, served in a china bowl (if you sit in), making a nice change from eating out of a cardboard pot.

So far we fully appove of the risotto, penne bolognese, and the flatbreads. As for the other dishes, well by the end of next week I have no doubt we will have tried them all.

The new Caffè Nero hot food range is priced £3.50 - £5.25

My Friend Has Cancer

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 09 October 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

My dear friend found out a few months ago that she has cancer. In a few short months she has changed from a vibrant, feisty woman into a quiet, constantly complaining one.

When I visit her she spends the whole time telling me how hard her life now is, and how unfair it is that she has cancer. She nags her husband and barks out orders to him. She shows no interest in what is happening in my life at all. I try to entertain her with stories or offer to play cards with her, or take her out, but she does not want this.

I don’t know what to do. I feel I have to push myself to visit her, and that makes me feel very sad as we used to be so very close.

Patricia Marie says...

When the threat of severe illness affects a loved one, it isn't always easy for family or friends to know how to deal with the situation. It is perfectly understandable that you are finding it hard to talk to your friend about her feelings and concerns, but if you can allow her to speak about what's making her angry, expressing her feelings may help her to feel better understood. It could be she is feeling anxious and hopeless, causing her to be irritable. She could resent you speaking about a way of life she may no longer have. For now, let your friend lead the conversation, and in time hopefully she will be better able to share your news.

A cancer diagnosis can cause doubts and uncertainty, and the future could seem suddenly dark and unpredictable, which can be very frightening. Your friend's illness may cause her to feel she has lost control in her life. Empower her. Encourage her to decide what she thinks would make her situation more bearable. Perhaps you could both work together on accomplishing even the smallest realistic goals that could have a huge positive impact on the way she feels.

It is very important for you to receive the support and care you are needing at this time. I urge you to call the Macmillan Support Line whose devoted team can advise on ways to help and support those suffering from cancer. Their knowledge and experience will give you a greater understanding of this brutal disease, and enable you to be more empathic of your friend's emotions.

You may have to accept that your friend is unable to be as she was, but the most valuable thing you can do for her now is simply be there for her, no matter how low her mood. Do remember, caring for someone with cancer is a strain, but it can be intensely rewarding and make one feel proud of finding the strength, courage and kindness to help a sufferer going through possibly the toughest battle of their life. Through your compassion you may experience the true value of what's important in life…..both love and life itself.

Macmillan Cancer Support: 0808 808 0000 or

I want my husband to find someone else

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 02 October 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

This is very hard for me to write. I want my husband to leave me and find someone else.

Charles and I were childhood sweethearts. I was 16 and he was 17. We courted for some time and married on a glorious day back in 1974. We had the most wonderful life together and have never spent one night apart since then. However when I was in my early fifties I suddenly became very clumsy, dropping things and tripping, then I found I kept feeling dizzy, was becoming tired very easily and also starting to have problems with my speech. I went to the doctor and was shocked when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which up to then I knew scarcely anything about. My first reaction was that I was not going to give in to it. That I would fight it and everything would be fine. It was just a bad dream. The reality though has been quite different.

Unfortunately over the following years my health deteriorated quite rapidly and now I am 61 and almost entirely bedbound. Lately I have been feeling both angry and tearful, and these emotions appear to be worsening. I don't want my husband to see me constantly crying, as he has been amazing. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about how caring and loving he has been to me. He did not want me to have a carer to help me as he thought I would lose my dignity and feel embarrassed when I was washed and dressed by a stranger. So he has, for the last 3 or 4 years in particular, had to do absolutely everything for me - feed me, wash me, brush my hair, read to me, dress me, even help me into my wheelchair and take me out sometimes into the garden so I can feel the sun on my face and listen to the birds.

I feel so desolately sad for him. Such a wonderful man with such a burdened life cruelly thrust upon him. I want him to have a life for himself while he still can. To find a lovely lady who he can do the normal things with - go out for meals, walk along the beach, go on holidays etc, but he won't entertain the idea when I suggest it. I also don't want him to have to deal with seeing me get any worse, and presumably die before him as I know it would totally break his heart, and I love him so very much.

How can I convince him that this would be the best thing?

Patricia Marie says...

Living with the physical difficulties associated with this crippling disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), can take its toll emotionally, causing unstable moods and depression, of which I feel you may be suffering.

To have met and loved so closely for almost your whole lives, yet for you to be so selfless in suggesting your husband leave you for another, due to your perceived burden upon him with your health issues, particularly saddens me.

Your husband seems totally devoted to you in his uncomplaining attitude and readiness to attend to any of your needs. I feel that were you to push him to meet another, this would leave you both heartbroken, as I do believe this is not really what you are wanting, more that you are feeling overwhelmed by the situation you find yourself in. After all, if your current state was reversed, and he suggested the same, how would you react? Often, if we put ourselves in another's situation, it allows us to see things more clearly. Nevertheless, I do understand your concerns for his happiness.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society offer outstanding advice and emotional help, including supportive listening, either on the telephone or in your home, which I feel you would greatly benefit from at this time. Their specialist counsellors could allow you to share your deepest concerns with regards to your deteriorating health, and help encourage you to live in the moment, rather than be fearful of the future. The Society can also organise practical help in your home, which would enable your husband to have time to pursue hobbies or pastimes that he may have found necessary to put aside whilst caring for you. This would certainly make you feel less of a burden and thus bring you some peace of mind.

As you love your husband dearly, let him continue with what he's doing best - caring for you - and waste no more time, but go ahead and utterly enjoy each and every precious moment with this selfless man who loves you unconditionally. You both deserve nothing less.

Multiple Sclerosis Society: 0808 800 8000,

Mum on the Run

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 30 September 2015
I was chatting away on the phone to a client who lives up in Scotland. She was wondering if any of my blogger friends might want to visit her business and learn more about the great Scottish tartan tailoring. And right then and there, I saw my chance to plan a 48-hour escape.

Because the reality is that this mum doesn't really business travel. My work is always within a tube journey of the Smalls and often needs to be completed before the end of school bell sounds.

So a small bag was packed, minutia arrangement made and some train tickets booked before six of us travelled into a land of chequered colour. We visited a mill, learnt how to make a kilt, picnicked by the Tweed, drank good wine and laughed. Really really properly laughed until our tummies hurt.

And as I'm now travelling home and already excited to cuddle those Smalls, I've realised just how much we all need to escape from time to time.

Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition

Experienced Butler/House Manager & Cook/House Manager Couple

Couple sought for prestigious sporting property in Devon. The property, which is open to the public, hosts regular shooting parties and private tours.


Live-in Carer required one week pcm , experienced hoisting/elderly. Surrey/references.


Opportunity for couple to manage prestigious property

Set in 22 acres with vineyards and olive groves in the South of France.Owners are in residence four weeks of year, and during summer it's a holiday rental property.  -

Live in Couple/Individual for housekeeping/gardening

Help in upkeep of rural family home and garden, minor indoor and outdoor maintenance, care for family dogs, some driving family members (eg. children during school holidays).
Couple - Part time - Live-In (detached accommodation)

Energetic and approachable couple required to help busy family of 6 in special East Sussex location. Duties include housekeeping/cleaning, gardening and DIY.





What the stars have in store for you this week.2015

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter


You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials