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Holiday money worries

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 29 July 2016
Dear Patricia Marie,

We have very little money, and I have now started worrying about the Summer Holidays, which are fast approaching. Our two little ones have been coming home from school with stories about their friends' planned summer vacations - to the South of France, Disneyland, Center Parcs, Sri Lanka, even one little girl will be spending the entire 6 weeks holiday with her parents at their summer retreat in the Bahamas!

If we are really careful, we may just be able to put enough aside for a caravan holiday on the UK coast, but I know they will both be so disappointed with this. I'm also concerned that our eldest will be asked to go on holiday with her best friend's family, as we will have to decline, because we would not be able to give her any spending money for it, let alone contribute towards the cost of the actual holiday.

Patricia Marie says...

There will be many families on a low budget worrying about how to keep their children occupied during the Summer Holidays, and the cost of holidaying abroad can easily escalate into thousands of pounds. Are you sure your children would be disappointed to spend their holiday in a caravan in the UK, or are you feeling guilty at not being able to take them overseas? Do consider, there are some beautiful places to visit right here in this country. So what if others can afford luxury breaks - part of growing up is realising that there will always be those more privileged than us, but also many who are barely scraping a living, and unable to have any time away.

If you do feel your children would like to go abroad, depending on their ages, perhaps you could arrange a foreign student exchange, via the school, which would be free, fun, and educational too. It may also be a good idea to speak to the parents of your eldest daughter's friend in advance, to make them aware of the sensitivity around asking her to accompany them on holiday, to avoid any possible awkwardness.

Do not underestimate the potential fun of a holiday in a caravan, or even a tent which could be less costly. Think of just how many activities can be better enjoyed outdoors, such as open air cooking with storytelling around the campfire, tree climbing, building a secret den, bike rides, woodland walks, laying down in a field at night and counting the stars, flying kites, net fishing in a stream, or crabbing at rock pools. Many of these could be relished with new found friends from the site. Once you start planning the summer break, your children can then start looking forward to sharing their own plans with their friends. After all, almost the best part of a holiday is the mounting excitement beforehand.

When others speak of their best family holidays, those spent in a caravan or tent often seem to be by far the favourite. A combination of simple pleasures and outdoor freedom can be all that is needed to make the most magical memories.
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The London Cabaret Club

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Thursday, 28 July 2016
For three years the London Cabaret Club has been keeping audiences entertained with their chorus of song and dance and this year their offering The Best Of British Pop does not disappoint.

Taking place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the oh so glamorous Bloomsbury Ballroom (which is also now the productions permanent home), you can expect dazzling costumes, much loved hits (I have no shame in saying I sung along for the majority of the show!), spectacular dance numbers, with a few extras which I won't divulge so as not to spoil the surprise. Featuring numbers from the 60s right up to today, it really is a show everyone will love.

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Tickets options mean you can simply come along and enjoy the show with a drink, or you can make a real event of the evening and have dinner too.

In previous year the dinner had been a three course style meal, this year they have slightly altered this and instead is offering tapas. Delicious as it was, I do feel that a proper dinner they used to do added to the glamour and excitement a night at the cabaret should be. Nonetheless, the tapas was delicious, to the extent that sharing with my guest was a tad difficult. All of the staff were incredibly attentive too, the minute my glass was drained there was someone there ready to fill it back up again. I really did feel truly pampered and entertained.

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There isn't anything I can think of I didn't love about the show except that trying to encompass the best of British pop in a mere few hours will always mean there are songs there simply weren't time to include; being a lover of the 80s, that era could warrant a whole show itself in my opinion. But what wasn't performed by the ensemble, the after party dj certainly made up for, making for an evening that certainly does not disappoint.

The London Cabaret Club, The Best Of British Pop is at the Bloomsbury Ballroom until August 27th. Tickets start from £30. www.thelondoncabaretclub.com
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I'm having an affair with my best friend's husband

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 22 July 2016
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have done something unforgiveable and I feel so bad about it. I have been having an affair with my best friend's husband. It was me who instigated the affair, but he certainly didn't take much chasing.

It started in April and I want to finish it, but he is my soul mate. He says he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, but I can't stand the worry of my friend finding out. I know she would be devastated if she knew, but I just can't help myself. I have been on my own for a year or so, and the three of us sometimes go out together.

I love him very much. Should I just carry on seeing him and act like nothing is happening, or should I risk telling my friend and ruin our friendship?

Patricia Marie says...

Women do tend to believe they are in love when they have an affair. Men can be more opportunistic, but women need to feel more emotionally engaged - and that can be fatal. You say that this man is your soul mate, but the reality is what sort of man has an affair with his wife's best friend? If he means what he says about wanting to spend the rest of his life with you, why have you not already run off into the sunset together?

Many mistresses wait forever for their lovers to leave their wives, and when forever never comes, they are left heartbroken. How do you know you're not just a bit of escapism for him? It may not be the first time he's had an affair and promised his mistress the world. If your friend did find out about the affair, there's every chance your lover would go running back to his wife, and you'd be left with nothing. I urge you to find the strength to end this relationship before this situation becomes destructive. Consider shifting your energy into finding your very own man, rather than wasting your time on somebody else's. We can't help who we fall in love with, but everyone is worth more than being someone's mistress.

However, if you two are genuinely in love, then he should do the decent thing and tell his wife, who deserves to know her husband has cheated on her and her best friend has betrayed her. And you need to be sure he's worth it because you are set to lose your best friend forever.
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I am nervous about committing to any woman

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 15 July 2016
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am nervous about committing to any woman or even letting them get close to me. I have pushed away lots of women who have truly adored me. I don't want to end up a lonely old man. I am 46, physically fit, kind and loving and have a good job and fantastic family and friends. At university my girlfriend suddenly announced she was pregnant and left me. Later a friend told me that she had never been pregnant. Two years later I fell head over heels in love with another girl. We went on holiday and her ex-boyfriend turned up. I woke up one morning to hear them being intimate in our apartment. In 1994, I was working in Gambia and in love with an intelligent, beautiful woman, but we had to go our separate ways and she met someone else. I adore women and have no problem attracting them. I have had some wonderful relationships, but as soon as we get close I bring down the shutters and behave appallingly until the relationship breaks down. I have recently started dating an incredibly attractive woman, but she seems to be wanting too much too soon. She doesn't seem to understand I can't cope with commitment, yet, continues to put pressure on me. I don't want to break her heart, but am afraid of being hurt if we stay together.

Patricia Marie says...

Few things are as painful as wanting a loving partner, yet not being able to find one. Then, once we do meet who we were looking for, we sometimes begin to question the relationship, which is what you are doing. When we fall in love we can never be sure that person won't hurt us, because the very act of loving someone makes us vulnerable. The alternative though, could be a very lonely one. However, I am not suggesting you commit to the first woman who shows you an interest, and I do question if the woman you are currently dating has the understanding and empathy you need.

Take a moment to look at what you've accomplished so far in your life, and all the things you hold dear. They are a result of your commitment, intentions and actions. You made them happen, and you have the same power and ability to create the loving relationship you want. It is understandable that you are fearful of falling in love again after your past experiences. We all have inner barriers that are erected during our childhood, and we build even more with every unsuccessful relationship, in time often developing a fear of intimacy and deep emotional connection, and a sub consciousness need to feel in control and thereby protected.

It appears that although you suffer from loneliness, you cannot move away from this pattern, and are constantly working to mitigate future pain, by closing off to the women you are in a relationship with. When you next meet someone who you could consider as a life partner, explain about your past and your fear of commitment, and make it clear that you would like to change. If the woman really loves you and is right for you, she will understand and try to help. If not, do what we all have to do when we take a risk and it doesn't go our way; take a deep breath, dust yourself down, and start all over again.
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Hampton Court In Full Bloom

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Thursday, 14 July 2016
ylat-1This week Annette Kellow enjoyed the delights of the Hampton Court Flower Show...

Flower beds, a box of plasters and the longest ever queue for fish and chips- must be that time of year again! I had never visited Hampton Court Palace Flower Show so when my invite popped through the letter box, how could I refuse?

Set against the backdrop of the river Thames and the statuesque palace, the show includes a mini Eden butterfly centre, rose gardens and live entertainment.

Indeed the flower show was ablaze with beautiful blooms, mouth-watering handmade picnics (why do mine never look like that?) and pimms o'clock hit at the convenient hour of midday.

The water fountains were also pretty impressive and you could see why many people had brought their own picnic to sit by the lake and while away the sunny afternoon.

One of the funniest things about the show were the many displays of flowers that you could look at but strictly not touch as they were heavily guarded!

I tried to sweet talk a lovely young chap who was watering some Tandolgnila's to let me have a picture taken in the garden but he was having none of my best convincing skills.

Indeed they were wondrous in their colours, types and tongue-twister names whilst Emilia Fox even had a Sweet pea aptly named after her following her visit.

The band stand, stripy deck chairs and vintage chip van were my favourite part of the day as you could sit in the middle of the flowers and enjoy the entertainment. It was also handy for my feet as I had decided to wear heels (which of course when I saw all the grass realised was entirely unsuitable!)

Katya Wildman of Bombshell, who was showcasing her feminine designs, saved the day and looked after me. She brought me a refreshing glass of lemonade and a brochure so I wouldn't keep getting lost and saved my feet even more!

Luckily it was a bright day full of sun, delicious food and conveniently close to the train so my sore tootsies could rest even more on the way home.
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