Saturday, 31 March 2012


Those going through divorce are equally susceptible to media hype and the impact of political decisions as the rest of us. Indeed this week reminded me of the occasion when, once upon a time, I found myself acting for let’s call her Francis’ wife, as her husband stockpiled petrol in jerry cans whilst urging others to do likewise. We insisted on having the fuel valued as part of the settlement negotiations; it was a nigh on impossible task as its price seemed to rise by the hour, or certainly that was the case at the local petrol station.

Next I was instructed by let’s call her David’s wife. She disclosed that her husband had been fibbing about liking her home cooking whilst, it transpired, dashing into pasty shops on stations to guzzle on their wares. On further probing, however, he might just have been saying that to keep up with the guys across the way who’d been filmed coming out of Greggs laden with sausage rolls.

Oh dear with the temperature rising outside and everyone strolling through town and into the office in flip-flops, vests and shorts, it was all getting very hard to deal with. Then suddenly, just to add to the pressure, a man in a pink leotard waltzed into reception, claiming to have won an election for a seat in Parliament.

Talk about being stressed out. The following week we all brought our dogs into work citing research from the Virginia Commonwealth University. It was the only way we could cope.

It would never happen in real life, would it?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Ashley Madison, the marital affairs dating agency which advertises on the internet with the message “Have an Affair – Guaranteed; Life is short,” has made the headlines today by revealing the results of a survey it has undertaken. Apparently they identify Manchester as the online adultery capital with purportedly 3.7% of its population subscribing to its site.

I don’t know whether there’s any connection but co-incidentally
has also published the results of its findings concerning bad driving habits including the inappropriate footwear that people drive their cars in. Surprise, surprise slippers even figure, leading one to wonder if the same 3.7% of Manchester wear them as they discreetly slip away from their secret meeting places.

Mind if you are concerned that all this media hype will lead to more people being encouraged into cheating on their spouses, you can take comfort from the Daily Mail’s ability to promote responsible journalism. Directly beneath its article on dating websites, it subtly explained the results of an American Heart Association report. It carried the headline: “Men more likely to drop dead from heart attack during extramarital sex.”

No reader can say they have not been warned!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


There must be a large number of people who heard with regret the news today that the Encyclopaedia Britannica is to cease publication in print. In the days before you could use the internet and and a search engine to find out everything you want to know, there was something delightful about turning the pages of a book of knowledge. I’m sure the decision is in no related to grounds for divorce but it did remind me of the occasion when, once upon a time, a client sought my advice in relation to his separation from his wife.

“I even gave all my volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica to a charity shop because of my wife,” he said.

“Why was that?” I asked, expecting him to tell me it was because she’d insisted they took up too much space or were too ugly for their bookcase.

“I didn’t need them,” he replied. “Once we were married, I discovered that my wife knew all there is to know about everything!”