Tuesday, 14 December 2010


So it’s your first Christmas apart and you’ve decided to send your ex a card. The dilemma that now faces you, is what do you write inside and how do you sign off? “Best wishes,” sounds a little too distant; “regards,” is far too formal; “love from,” is just plainly inappropriate. Then if you can work out the correct sentiment do you put “xxx” after your name or not? Yes, you do write it on Aunt Ethel’s card but she is elderly and she is not your estranged spouse. Of course you could just write your name, after all the card itself will carry a printed message in any event; but a name by itself looks exactly that and you don’t want the ex thinking of you as all alone, one short name on a piece of paper.

Frankly the time spent agonising over “Do you, don’t you and if you do, how?” is not worth it. Far, far easier to pick up the phone and wish them a Merry Christmas verbally. If you are unable to communicate directly in that way then don’t send a card; it’s meaning is going to be misinterpreted and you may regret it later.

Thursday, 9 December 2010


A hint of a thaw in the air today and despite the piles of snow along the paths, the streets of Darlington were again full, as shoppers browsed at a Christmas market. There seemed to be a roaring trade in boxes of Christmas Crackers. I do think “crackers” is a lovely word with its various connotations verging from biscuits to bonkers.

“I used to be ‘crackers’ about her”, clients will tell me, as I take instructions for the first time. “Now I just think I’m cracking up.”

Crisp and crackly and in the case of the humble Christmas cracker related to the firework version of the same name. In fact so close in genetic make-up that I understand that, as result of recent European regulations, the boxes I saw being sold can only be bought by those over sixteen! Crackers or what?

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


In times of sub-zero temperatures, such as now, separated girls can do with a plumber’s telephone number stuck to her memo board, ready for when the pipes begin to burst. Conversely and with Christmas approaching, many men could do with the number for a gift wrapping service. A client recently gave me a helpful tip: stay on good terms with your ex and just call them instead!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of re-modelling. If your nearest and dearest has walked out on you and you want to look good, or not, as the case may be, it’s your life; your choice. One word of warning though beards might keep your chin warm but they don’t look as good on women as they do on Santa Claus!

Monday, 6 December 2010


I finally gave in. 2010 will be known as the first year I let Little Girl (now 14 by the way) have a chocolate Advent calendar. Well it’s always been a point of principle before, but how could I resist when I spotted one where the profits go to charity; the chocolate is Fairtrade; the Nativity scene is posted on the front, and behind each door there is an instalment of the Christmas story? I’m not sure that I approve of the hearty dose of chocolate immediately after her breakfast but on the basis that the weather has been somewhat cold even for early December and she cleans her teeth afterwards, I’ve decided not to nag.

In fact I’m now going to recommend chocolate Advent calendars to any lady contemplating divorce in the New Year. On the basis that women are reputedly all chocoholics at heart, go on, get yourself one. If it makes you feel better and gets you through the run up to Christmas, who cares? After all, come January, you can sign up to a gym, solicitor and dieting classes.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


I’ve received an e-mail from the theatre. “The snow must go on,” it said. And on and on and on. Yes it’s now Day 11 and I’m heartily sick. The last production Little Girl and I saw at the theatre was “Romeo and Juliet” by the RSC. Little Girl rather thought that went on too but I suspect she has inherited from Outdoor Man some non-dramatic genes and a dislike of seating, fixed in narrow rows.

A classic love story ruined by warring families. “Never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” It certainly puts the work I do into perspective but it is only fiction, whilst relationship problems resulting in divorce are reality.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Have you started your Christmas shopping yet or are you like me and do you put it off to the last minute? Are you divorced or do you know somebody who is? If so, The Divorce Saloon Store, open 24/7, might have all the gifts you are looking for. Check it out now at :

Friday, 3 December 2010


So ladies, he’s going to be off to Russia in 2018. Prepare now if you don’t want to become a football marriage casualty. What better way to spend your winter evenings for the next seven years than poring over holiday brochures and guidebooks as you plan your ideal holiday taking in St Petersburg, Moscow and if it appeals even Siberia. Don’t let him go alone. Take up Cossack dancing, a love of red, fur hats, vodka (in moderation) and borscht. Insist on being a WAG.

I’m not so sure what to suggest for Qatar in 2022. I did once change planes at the airport there and it was very clean with air conditioning and wonderful views (of a desert).

Thursday, 2 December 2010


I received an e-mail this morning promoting an album by The Irreconcilables entitled “Merry Ex-Mas- Holiday Songs for the Divorced and Soon To Be”. It includes songs, such as “Frosty, My Ex-Wife,” as featured on You Tube, with such notable lines as “Frosty my ex-wife was the coldest thing I know.” It’s clearly written by songwriters who share my view that divorce is painful but can be easier to bear if you can bring yourself to smile.