Monthly Archives: January 2014

Handle with care – Fragile People Everywhere

Two stories struck me as I glanced through Metro whilst sitting on the tube this morning.  Tallulah Wilson, a seemingly bright and vivacious 15 year old took her own life by leaping in front of a train.  Reportedly, Tallulah was struggling to cope with; the death of her grandmother, bullying and her parent’s divorce.  Her only solace was found in an alternate virtual reality, which honoured self harm, and seemingly promoted suicide.  She walked out of the family home saying that she “didn’t need her ballet stuff today” and was killed at St Pancras station. I wonder how many of her 18,000 virtual friends caught the gaze of her devastated parents by attended her funeral. Not many I imagine.  Shame on those who encouraged this child to make such a terrible choice.

Second story was that of Beverley Pickover, a 35 year old alcoholic, mother of four dying of liver disease. Her partner of five years, Anthony Howard was photographed nursing her whilst the newspaper reported that she turned to booze following a series of failed relationships.  She will die soon.

Call me an idealist, but both stories to me are very sad, and both have at their root a failure in relationships.  Someone very smart once said that, “you can trace just about every problem in the World to a relationship problem”.  How true this is, and how important it is to do all we can to resolve fractured relationships, and to value relationships highly.

And so as we consider the people in our sphere of influence, just watch out because one of them may be an earlier version of Tallulah’s poor lost parent’s, or an earlier version of Beverley’s partner.  You get my point.  People are fragile and precious – handle with care.


Plebgate – Lies and vows.

After the scandalous revelations yesterday, I began to ponder on lies, and then vows.  Do vows actually mean anything in 2014?

February 8th will see thousands of couples up and down the land grab their marriage certificates, each other and then with trembling hearts they will pile into venues, mostly churches to reaffirm their marital vows.  There will, undoubtedly be a few tears, and a fair amount of hand holding as the smug “still married” brigade (of which I am a champion) reflect on what might have been, had it all gone differently! Click here.

The 26 years that I have been married has seen many ups and downs. I can recall a few seasons when the downs outnumbered the ups significantly, and conversely so many ups I am spoilt.

Cohabitants cannot take part in this Guinness World Record attempt, not because the smugs don’t like them, far from it. Myself and my smug friends genuinely love cohabiting couples. It’s just that vows are public, permanent and oath like in their intent, and if you haven’t made them you can’t reaffirm them.

Those in perfectly valid and often hugely rewarding, loving “other half” arrangements are annoyed by smug marrieds, trying to understand what if anything is the difference.  Well, lot’s of things, but let’s just consider tense for today.

As loving as a cohabiting arrangement may be, it tends to operate in the present tense only. Don’t believe me?  Go and ask a married person “are you going to stay together till you die?” they say “yes, that’s the plan” . Then ask a cohabitant the same and they say “well it depends on what happens”.  Bingo.  Why does this matter? Well it shows a seemingly small but significantly different heart attitude, which in turn has a shaping affect on how the couple construct their affairs.

So the public confession of vows are significant.  Not so much for the bride, but massively for the groom, but more on this another time.