Saturday, 25 October 2008


I am taking a lesson from the political spin doctors. No longer will any of my clients suffer from marriage breakdown, crisis, crunch, turmoil or meltdown. Instead and in an attempt to instil a feel-good factor, they are going to have relationship downturns!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


At last Petrol Price has returned (to less than a pound a litre at local filling stations). Good news for Ms Motorist tormented and devastated by the recent hike. But how is she responding? Will she give up her bicycle to readily embrace the power of Petrol again and what about those other Motorists who have been cautiously crawling along at 30 mph in derestricted areas or catching the bus? Are any of them able to believe that Petrol Price will remain static? Is it in fact only a matter of time before Petrol Price is off again?
It’s always difficult to shake off dependency but sometimes things can become so hard or heartbreaking that it’s the sensible option.

Monday, 20 October 2008


The newly-wed daughter of one of our better known but now older pop stars has apparently given an interview to Heat magazine in which she claims that she doesn’t necessarily believe that her marriage will last forever. Some will call her a pessimist, others a realist and there are those who will criticise her for being prepared to readily forget that part of the marriage vows which requires the couple to affirm their commitment “till death us do part”. Whichever, she’s only reflecting statistics and her own take on what she’s seen amongst family, friends and society at large.

Friday, 17 October 2008


Friday night and both Little Girl and Apprentice Man have disappeared out, leaving their parents with the TV and each other for company. Little Girl has gone to a friend’s for a sleepover but Apprentice Man told me he was off to Hollywood, or at least I thought that was what he said. I got quite excited at the prospect and handed him a bundle of my business cards in anticipation that he might give them out whilst he was over there; well you never know who could have been ringing for advice on Monday morning. Turns out, however, that it’s only a fancy dress party. Mind, unshaven in beanie-hat and sunglasses, I’m not sure which A list celebrity he’s supposed to be. Still so long as he keeps those glasses on, nobody will recognise him as my son!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Finally the news everyone had been anticipating for sometime broke to day. Madonna and Guy Ritchie are to divorce. Immediately speculation has mounted as to the extent of the financial settlement which will be agreed or else determined by a court. One thing is for certain, neither will be in the position of having to worry how to meet their utility bills or buy shoes for the children.

It isn’t always the case and in most marriage break-ups the simple truth is that the income that kept one household can’t keep two households to the same standard. Fortunately that doesn’t mean that divorced families live in poverty, however hard their situations might seem.

Every day 25,000 people die as a result of malnourishment, and illnesses such as chronic dysentery, pneumonia, tuberculosis and aids are all rife in the most poverty stricken areas of the world

Sadly and sometimes to properly understand our predicament we do have to make comparisons and realise that there is always someone worse off than we are. The bills might be stacking up but how many people in the UK today are actually suffering from starvation or going unshod or unclothed? In the Third World it is a very different story. I urge everyone to make some gesture to help. If you feel you have no money to donate to a worthwhile fund to relieve poverty, don’t fret; sit still and click here and/or here to give help without even dipping into your pocket or leaving your PC.

Friday, 10 October 2008


A couple, let’s call them Ms I and Mr U.K, used to argue about fish, particularly cod. In time they learned to compromise and share. Now, however, they’ve become openly hostile again. This time it seems the issue is about money. He put some in her accounts and she is claiming that she can’t return it. As a result he’s seized everything he can of hers and isn’t giving it back. There is at least a dialogue going on, but it’s understandably heated.

In the meantime the gossipmongers have got to work and amongst the scurrilous scandal being whipped up about Ms I, I’ve heard that she eats rams’ testicles and believes in elves.

Have you ever wondered why divorce lawyers don’t have more success in resolving matters without undue acrimony?

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Finally I am giving in and blogging about the credit crisis. With the world’s banks in turmoil, everyone understandably seems to be discussing and worrying about global meltdown and the credit crunch.

Not to be outdone, I found myself participating in such a discussion with one of my colleagues in the office this morning. As he specialises in insolvency work, I suggested that he could at least draw comfort from the fact that his must be an area of work that sadly will be in high demand in such times.

“Insolvency Practitioners have a saying,” he responded, presumably trying to reassure me also, “when the money runs out, so does the wife!”

Saturday, 4 October 2008


On Thursday evening I attended the region’s Charity Awards, when the unsung heroes from Durham and Tees Valley were recognised for their contributions and we were entertained by children from a local dance and drama organisation.

In cases of family breakdown, it can often be the children themselves who are the unsung heroes of drama. Despite their tender years they begin to move from one to another with all the skills of UN peace envoys as they negotiate, manipulate and barter. Regrettably there are times when they can appear to show the strains of conflict and I recall a time when parents with care would regularly raise the issue of bed-wetting after a contact visit as a potential reason for stopping such. “Sounds like we can deal with that with rubber sheets and some judicious parental encouragement,” one of our local District Judges would remark.

All of which reminds me of a second awards evening that I also attended recently. This time it was to recognise teenage sporting achievements. Fittingly the certificates were presented by Jo Jackson, an Olympic bronze medal winner from North Yorkshire, who had claimed her victory at Beijing in the swimming pool. The Master of Ceremonies couldn’t resist telling the audience that he too had learned to swim at an early age, although not apparently through choice. He claimed that he had shared a bed with his older brothers, all of whom would wet the bed, causing him to wake up in the deep end!