Friday, 29 June 2007


Apprentice Man sat his last GCSE exam today and now has a summer’s freedom before returning to school in September. Sometimes the attraction of closing a door as we step through can be the enticement of liberty at the other side. On most occasions, however, our responsibilities follow us across the threshold and into the big blue yonder. Indeed rarely do we encounter a situation where we travel, no matter what distance, without some baggage about us. It’s different when you are still in your teens; July and August seem like an eternity to be filled with whatever you choose and there’s no need to act hostage to responsibility, guilt, sorrow or whatever emotions could fill that rucksack on your back. No wonder that in later years the innocence of childhood and adventures of adolescence hold certain nostalgia as we struggle with the weight of life’s experiences and all it throws at us.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

LETTING GO - Chattels and Other Items

Last week the family and I went for a studio session in a local photographers and today went back to choose the prints we are having made up into pieces for the wall. “Family heirlooms,” the sales pitch describes them as.
It set me thinking. A decade ago, most of my cases would involve an argument over a division of the family photographs; fortunately the age of digital photography has made such disputes passé.
That said, frequently the stumbling block to settlement terms can still be an heirloom of sentimental rather than monetary value. It’s all about letting go and yet locked into a dispute with what seems like nothing else to hold onto, it can be very hard to do.
Once upon a time I remember a client arguing about a teapot passed to her by an elderly aunt of her husband’s. Both claimed ownership but eventually the husband gave in and my client retained it. I met her a few months later in the street and couldn’t help asking after the item. It transpired that she no longer had it.
“I let go,” she explained.
I assumed she meant in the metaphysical sense but then she elaborated: “Slipped straight through my fingers when I was moving it from the dresser,” she said. “Mind, I never did like it. I only wanted it because he did. After all it was only a ‘thing’!”

Sunday, 10 June 2007


Out in the garden the birds are fleeing their nests. Unfortunately one young mistlethrush decided to take advantage of the sunshine and lie down in the middle of the drive in total view of every passing cat and crow. Outdoor Man intervened and had me digging up worms to feed it, before attempting to chase it into the undergrowth and safety. What had happened to the parents that to date have been fastidious in perching in the nearby oak tree and frightening away every passing threat? We spotted only the male later. It prompted me to speculate that a life changing event had occured and the young had been left to fend for themselves whilst the only remaining parent had gone off to scavenge for food or to take a well earned rest. Nature can be cruel too.