Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Yesterday a Tory peer who shall forever after be known as Lord Howeller had the audacity to describe the North East of England as desolate. Further and as a consequence he claimed that it is ideally suited for fracking, the controversial method of natural gas extraction.
Those of us who live in this unspoiled area of the country with its three National Parks and areas of outstanding beauty could hardly believe what he had said. Suffice to say the local newspapers have had a field day at his expense dismissing the comments as those of an ignorant Southerner.
Desolate is defined as meaning bleak and dismal emptiness or else: forlorn; lonely; solitary; deserted; devastated. It is an adjective that could be better applied to many of those experiencing the trauma of marriage break-up.
Does the Honourable Lord believe that such people too should be kicked when they are desolate, rather than helped and supported? Perhaps he supports the recent changes in our legal aid system, depriving large numbers of people living in the North East (as well as elsewhere) from representation by and access to lawyers when going through divorce. Sadly the attitude fits so many of those in high office at the present time.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013



The birth of the Royal baby clearly dominated news reports last week and in its wake fellow family lawyers have, of course, been blogging about children, contact disputes and the pressures and strains that young children can place a marriage under.
Always one to be a little obtuse, I have to confess that the news reports inadvertently prompted me to play a game of word association instead.
As a result Royal baby became Royal jelly and then obviously Royal jelly baby, meaning that I’ve been haunted by and fantasising about those little jelly sweeties with their round green and red tummies sprinkled with icing sugar. The craving got so strong at one point that I even wondered if I could be pregnant myself!
I’m pleased to report however that the intuitive word association game managed to move on a stage today when I read reports about a jelly fish invasion. With warnings not to touch them because of their powerful stings, any maternal cooings on my part over a newborn have been quickly dispelled.
Now I know nobody likes Government health warnings (nanny state and all that) but perhaps there are some life events that should carry such: a baby is for life (or certainly at least 18 years) and not just for Christmas; you can only get out of marriage by death or divorce; divorce, like babies, costs a lot and not just in monetary terms...