Friday, 18 December 2009


Never being one to leave Christmas shopping until the last second, I had arranged to use my last day’s annual leave today for that very purpose. Determined not to let a few inches of snow impede the task in hand, I set off for a local shopping centre. Imagine my delight to arrive there amongst the ice and snow flurries to find it open for business as usual with only a limited number of other shoppers. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” I shivered.

Wandering around I bumped into a client who shared similar thoughts. “Every snow storm has a silver lining,” she confided. “Once divorced your shopping takes half the time, with only half the people to buy gifts for!” Tempting, I thought, as I surveyed shelf after shelf seeking something called “inspiration.”

Mind if anyone is stuck trying to find the perfect Christmas gift for that would-be divorcee, it seems Lloyd Platt Limited, family lawyers in London, have incurred the criticism of the Church of England by offering divorce vouchers at £125 for a half hour’s advice. Can I disappoint readers by letting you know that Latimer Hinks will not be doing the same this festive season, but then it already offers a free no obligation half-hour session to divorce clients and its regular fees are less than that anyway.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


When Outdoor Man and I married, rather a long time ago now, we considered a wedding present list something of a vulgarity. As a result we had only ourselves to blame when we received numerous duplicate gifts.

With the advent of the internet and shared spaces, of course, it is possible to have such a list and yet almost keep yourself removed from it as though its very existence on the internet makes it impersonal and therefore an acceptable part of organised life. What’s more registers for such lists are widely available, taking the hard work out of even finding a host site for the list. I was absolutely tickled though to come across this register. After all why should only soon-to-be-married couples have all the fun? What could be more useful than a site for the soon-not-to-be-married? It boasts that it’s the only gift registry for the newly single and invites your friends and family to help your transition to your new found freedom. It’s for “when the love is gone and so is the coffee pot.” Of course if your marriage fell apart quickly or the family dug into their pockets rather deeply at the time of the Big Occasion, they might not be so keen to repeat their generosity but you’ll never know that unless you register.

Friday, 11 December 2009


Did I imagine it, or did Mary really turn to Joseph when he dropped the baby doll and say (in a broad Yorkshire accent), “You drop my baby again Joseph and I’ll be out of here quicker than you can say ‘divorce’? ”

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Dear Santa

Thank you so much for the two Nintendo Wiis, the two black Labrador pups and the two complete works of William Shakespeare that you brought me last year. It was very kind of you, but after the two Siamese kittens, the two X boxes and the two complete sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannia the year before, I had rather hoped that you might have delivered different gifts to my parents’ separate homes. Of course, they were both very excited to each see me open my gifts but as you will appreciate it was very difficult for me to keep the enthusiasm going for their benefit.
Also neither was happy not to have outdone the other, although Mum was gutted to discover that my stocking at Dad’s house had an I-Tunes voucher in it, when there were only nuts and sweets in the one I hung from her mantelpiece; maybe the second one fell in the fire as you were coming down her chimney. Mind Dad was equally displeased when he learned that John, my Mum’s boyfriend, had given me a DVD player. So, if there’s anything from him this year, can you just leave it in your sleigh and give it to someone whose parents are still together.
Just so you know I’m at Dad’s on Christmas morning this year and then as soon as we’ve eaten dinner I dash to Mum’s for 2.30 pm and dinner with her. That said I don’t actually like cooked carrots, parsnips or brussel sprouts, and especially not twice in one day. If, therefore, your reindeers are feeling peckish they would be doing me a big favour if they’d eat those, rather than helping you with the mince pies.
Oh but please help yourself to as much as you fancy of the sherry that Mum leaves out for you. She can get very maudlin after she’s had a drop or two and then starts to cry about the divorce and how it’s spoilt Christmas for her.
Also, and I don’t know how this works but if it’s possible to give Dad some cash in his stocking I’d be grateful. That way he can give Mum the maintenance that she says he owes and she won’t threaten to stop our contact.
Finally if you get a chance to sprinkle any of that Christmas magic you bring with you, can you stop my parents arguing when Dad drops me off? It gets quite embarrassing the way they yell at each other in the street, especially when they are wearing paper party hats!

Yours sincerely
Name deleted to protect anonymity

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


The National Council for One Parent Families says about three million children today in the UK have experienced the trauma of their parents separating, and a million of them never see one of their parents again, usually the father. Tonight at 9pm Alesha Dixon presents a new programme on BBC 3 called “Whose your Daddy.” Coming from a single parent family herself she describes her own experiences on the BBC website in advance of the programme and argues that it’s really important for both parents to be active in some way in their children’s lives

Thursday, 3 December 2009


According to her website Leah Carey combines a background in professional theatre, training as a Spiritual Life Coach, and a lifetime of psychic experiences to support her clients in experiencing their own light. Leah's goal in all of her work is to support her clients in embracing and claiming their own self-empowerment.

On 18th November she initiated a free online writing experience called WriteAway for people who have been through divorce. The WriteAway concept is based on the use of writing as a healing art. Every weekday morning she posts a writing prompt that offers participants a vehicle for exploring their thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and experiences around divorce

At her website there is also a WriteAway Forum to support participants and once a week, she blogs in response to what she is reading on the boards. The primary aim is to maintain and promote an atmosphere of healing and forward movement.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


If you hanker after marrying again without the pain of divorce, don’t do what an unfortunate Peruvian man did and seek to re-marry in a mass ceremony in front of television cameras. If you do, you might just find yourself subject to an attack by your current wife’s family. Moreover, her aunt and sister could even be bigger than you, for which see this clip from Sky News.