Coincidence … Or more mysterious?

I’m experimenting this week by posting direct to my column at The News. I’d be grateful if you can post a comment directly on it or, as the newspaper suggests, email the editor.

Ever heard about the incredible coincidence on The Wizard of Oz set? Ever experienced a coincidence so incredible that it led you to question whether psychic abilities exist? Read on… And please do comment if you have!




Friendship circles and when loyalty lies.


There is a general sentiment in life that, when the going gets tough, you find out who your real friends are.

I’m not sure that’s entirely true, as a ‘friend’ will be there through all times, whereas those who crawl out during a drama (whether it’s yours or theirs) are not always to be trusted.

Part of this depends I suppose on your definition of ‘friend’ and, in particular, your need of them. We tend to have circles of friends. The outer circle is that of acquaintance, the inner circle denotes deeper friendship, and the centre is comprised of our dearest, real friends. The ones whom you wholly trust, and who can wholly trust you.

We all have bickerings from time to time and fallings out, or disagreements, but if you ever meet someone who is willing to be disloyal about those who take centre court in their own friendship circle, then of course you know you’re onto a losing thing. I remember once speaking to someone who told me, within 48 hours of finding out themselves, that their oldest friend was having an affair. I heard the intimate details, the snide comments, and then immediately decided that I would never share anything beyond the superficial with them myself. After all, this was not simply a minor moan. This was the imparting of life-wrecking material, highly confidential, not gossip fodder. Loyalty that lies is no loyalty at all.

The most basic fact of human life, aside from our mortality, is probably our diversity. Each of us is complex in our own ways, nobody knows what goes on inside your mind (imagine if they did…) and we all have moments of ‘aargh’ with one another, we say things we regret and things that are not kind. There’s simply no way around this, but if someone is at the very centre of our friendship circle, then hopefully they generate true loyalty within us.

The crux of both platonic and romantic love, and therefore at the absolute core of our friendship circle, can probably be defined by the ability to feel totally at ease with that person or those people. To truly see, and be seen. To have nothing to hide, no front to put on, and no pretense, or airs, or graces. To be up-front, honest about our own situations, our wishes and hopes, and to feel comfortable enough to show who we really are, without fear of condemnation or judgment.

If there is someone in your life with whom you are able to be your utter and honest self, then hold on tight. Out of all the rest, they’re the keeper.


Pompey Camaraderie 

My family went to Manor Infant School’s summer fair last weekend, and had a fantastic day in the sunshine, the wind, and the rain.

It was a typical British summer’s day with a plethora of weather fronts, but the thing that stood out the most was that rather than not coming at all, or scarpering at the first rain drop, the families stayed put and enjoyed the day.

The sense of true Pompey community was there for all to see, from the camaraderie of the families, the huge effort from the staff, and the fact that a new nursery is being built so that from September, children can attend the same school from aged 2 – 7. Wonderful to see.


Gove. Say no more.

(Thankfully, since I whisked this off to my editors, the little weasel is out of the prime ministerial running… whoop!)

This year’s GCSE results are still more than a month away but many parents, not to mention employers, may not be aware that from next summer, students will no longer be awarded an A*-G grade.

Instead, your grade will come in the form of a number, with 9 as the highest and 1 as the lowest.

The government have not told teachers exactly what these grades will constitute – a 9 for example is around the equivalent of an A**, something that doesn’t even exist at the moment, and is probably as easy to achieve as a glimpse of Brigadoon.

We can thank Michael Gove for this. Worryingly indicative of the chaos that could occur should he become Prime Minister.

First published in The Portsmouth News on Saturday 9th July 2016

Family is the glass ball in the juggling act of life.


If there is one skill in life that I am constantly trying to hone and prioritise, then it is that of, ironically, prioritising.

It seems that if you want to be successful in just about anything, even a weekly food shop, then you simply have to prioritise, and sometimes the thing that must take top priority is yourself and your own equilibrium.

If we do not prioritise then we simply become bogged down by the minutiae of life and never see the woods for the proverbial. If you are an adult who is running a home, with bills and a job, and perhaps children and their schooling, plus extra-curricular events, then you absolutely cannot survive unless you learn to prioritise. And not sweat the small stuff.

Life is an intricate juggling game, and in a century where we are all working our socks off, and we are all contactable twenty-four seven, it is hard to switch off and spend some time cosseting ourselves and our families. And here’s the lesson we often forget; life is a juggling act, but family is the only ball that’s made of glass.

Family and ourselves are the balls that we cannot afford to drop. The only certainty in life is that one day, we shall cease to be, and when that day comes, few of us will wish we’d spent longer replying to emails that could wait until morning, and less time cuddling our kids, or actually replying to them instead of saying “I’m busy, what now?”

When we are first born into the world, we are the priority. We spend our formative years being answered to, fussed over, watched for almost every second of our infant existence for one reason; survival. Our parents love us and their every instinct is to keep us alive until we can keep ourselves alive.

Once that occurs, and we can be more or less trusted to learn the rest by trying and testing, we often start to slip off our own radars, especially once we begin careers or families. This week, try to make ‘you’ your number one.


Brexit: 8 days on.

By the time this reaches print, the Brexit decision will be 8 days old. Still in its newborn phase, and most likely still a point of serious contention.

I found it interesting that, on social media, within an hour of the announcement, many leave voters were wishing that the remainers would ‘shut up’. Odd, given that this is a momentous move on the part of the UK. Why on earth would people not discuss it?

This intolerance of listening to, or allowing, expressions of opinion, seems to be a key feature in some of the leavers. Horribly reminiscent of an early twentieth century leader whose intolerant world-views have been the basis of lessons we appear to have forgotten since.


Kanye West: he of the mega ego, and always a favourite contender for Wally of the Week.

Kanye has posted a new video online to accompany his song, Famous. In it, we see West lying in bed, nude bar a sheet for his modesty, with his wife draped to one side.

Remarkably, given the fact that Kim’s bottom is therefore also present, Kanye still found enough room to squeeze 10 other celebrities into the bed with them. Said celebrities are presumed to be courtesy of either CGI or wax. So about as useful as they are real life.

One of the wax/CGI works is Taylor Swift, and she, as with all of the ladies, is starkers with her boobs out (of course, because how else would women be portrayed?), whilst the menfolk have their bits and bobs covered up.

I am looking forward therefore to see what Swift’s retaliation will be. Fingers crossed that for once it’s not a song. If she has an ounce of nous it will be a very tiny, teeny, weeny, depiction of… ‘little’ Kanye.

First published in The Portsmouth News, Saturday 2nd July 2016