Subscribe to feed Latest Entries

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.

How can I help with the Syrian crisis?

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 25 September 2015
Dear Patricia Marie

My husband and I own a few properties and have worked hard to renovate them and rent them out. The money we receive from this has enabled us to retire earlier than planned and we are both very proud of what we have achieved.

However, the recent refugee crisis has made me reevaluate our lifestyle. It affected me so much that I want to offer one of our properties to a Syrian family through the 'Homes for resettled refugees' scheme. I can't stomach the thought of having so many houses when others have had to flee their homes and now have nowhere to live.

My husband cannot relate to this at all. He says that not only will it majorly affect our lives, but that there is also a high probability the people seeking homes are terrorists. I don't share his beliefs at all.
The trouble is that now, not only am I distraught that I can't do anything to help, but I also feel so much anger towards my husband. It's made me see him in a different light. We've been married for thirty years and I've never thought of him as selfish and arrogant until now.

Therefore, I have two questions. How can I stop feeling so guilty about not being able to help with the refugee crisis? And how do I forgive my husband and return to the way things were between us?

Patricia Marie says...

The Syrian crisis is the worst humanitarian disaster of our time and the implications can be overwhelming. Syria's civil war has been raging for 4 years, and a third of all Syrians have now been forced from their homes. Over 7 million people have been displaced inside the country, and a further 4 million refugees have fled abroad. There are many in the UK, such as you, who have been affected by the plight of these migrants, and thousands have already pledged their help.

There are plenty of ways you could turn your concern into practical help which could assist a number of people, rather than donating one of your properties, which in itself would only benefit one family. Have you considered contacting one of the Syrian aid charities, who desperately need volunteers to help with administration, organising local fundraising events, teaching English to Syrian children, sorting and loading people's donations into containers ready to be shipped to Syria, even knitting teddies and blankets.

Also, if you are able, one of the most effective ways to help is to donate money, as every single contribution to a charity involved in helping the refugees will help provide food, water, shelter and support to Syrian families in need. Oxfam and Save the Children are just two of the charities to have set up appeals for donations to help.

You said that you are feeling anger towards your husband for not wanting to help. It is hard when one's partner has a totally opposite point of view on something close to your heart, but we each have our own beliefs and opinions, and unfortunately it is not possible to agree on all subjects. Do bear in mind though that it is often our idiosyncrasies that bind us together!

Perhaps, rather than being uncharitable your husband is feeling unsettled and anxious, like many of us, on the potential impact the Syrian crisis could have on not only the whole country but also us as individuals. Maybe there is some way he could compromise, listen to your wishes and do something, however small, to help the Syrians as it would mean so much to you. Hopefully he will see that even just one small compassionate act will create a sense of togetherness rather than causing this distance between you both.

Save The Children:0207 012 6400,
Oxfam:0300 200 1300,
The Refugee Council:020 7346 1134,

Socialising for the under age

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 21 September 2015
As London Fashion Week rears its pointed toe, most of us in the digital fashion world will have our cameras and iphones at the ready in every effort to snap, post and share those most likable instagram pictures. But is our world in squares, along with the other social platforms, a suitable place for our Smalls to play? When, where, how and WHY I'm asked repeatedly – perhaps because my day job – should we allow the underage into our mindless playground?

But it's not as easy as that. In fact, it's a debatable topic that none of us are knowledgeable enough to give any proper advice on. Many of us can see the advantage of children understanding how social media works and there is always the argument that – by denying access – you are over hyping it and therefore provoking the naughties to go behind your back... perahps one dark day.

The truth is that a great deal of what's out there being shared by closed communities (those with privacy settings) is harmless and therefore very dull for the Under 13s (the recommended age). But there are of course those ugly bits. From what I hear, children mostly stumble across these on YouTube and mine have been given this strict advice: if it's horrid, turn it off immediately and tell an adult.

For better or for worse, my Mini loves Instagram. She loved scrolling through my feed for more than a year before I conceded (read: fought Him) and allowed her to open her own account. With 20 followers and a passion for taking and editing her photos, it all feels pretty harmless. My logic is that when the rest of her peers are allowed access, she'll behave like a normal social media freak rather than one feeling the need to push boundaries and behave inappropriately. The novelty is here and now.

But, as I said, there's no right or wrong answer to this debate. It's highly personal and with a close eye, privacy settings to keep out the baddies and limited screen time, I think she might just survive.

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