I have always hated Christmas and the New Year

Tim, who has become our resident guest post author, explains why he has always hated Christmas, New Year and some other days.


I have always hated Christmas and the New Year…

I also hate my birthday.

I hate some other days, too.

Let me try to explain why.

When I was a child, before I was a teenager – indeed, up to and including my thirteenth birthday, all in my life was, at least outwardly, rosy. I had the wonder of childhood, was mostly unmolested by the demons of puberty, I had a safe home (though I had what I imagined were the usual rows with my parents) and I felt happy when both festivals arrived. I was given presents, some quite wonderful, others mundane. All was right with my juvenile world. Well, probably, anyway. [Read more…]

What is masculinity? Or, What is a boy?

This week’s guest contributor, Tim, writes eloquently about the impact of gender and discrimination; inviting us to think about “societal norms”.


What is masculinity? Or, what is a boy?

If we go simply by genitalia, the answer is clear. So, it seems, if we listen to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, peddlers of original sin, purgatory and the sale of Indulgences, is religion. Boy’s genitals, you are a boy, Girl’s? You are a girl.

It ain’t necessarily so.

If we go by toys, well, frankly, give me a break. Boys and girls have teddy bears (dolls), boys have (had?) Action Man (dolls), girls have dolls.

Ok, that fails. [Read more…]

How to Survive When Your Partner is Depressed

Current statistics claim that 4 to 10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime. On almost a weekly basis high-profile sufferers ‘come out’ and share their stories. Alistair Campbell, Ashley Judd, Lady Gaga – to name just a few. Sharing experiences of depression has become much less taboo.

But what if you live with a depression that isn’t your own? [Read more…]

How to Sleep Well for a Longer Life

Are you getting a regular, good night’s sleep?

Having spent almost two decades working 24/7 shifts, I understand only too well the impact this has on our health, relationships and our productivity in the workplace.  I also, wrote about this subject a few years ago as insufficient sleep is viewed as a common contributory factor for those suffering prolonged periods of depression, anxiety and relationship problems, including parenting. [Read more…]

Living with Anxiety – Day 4

Catherine provides a young voice and a touching account as our wonderful guest author for Day 4 of this week long series. She is courageous in sharing her story and I found when reading this account, whilst preparing it for publication, a number of thoughts and emotions. I felt incredible compassion but also a sense of hope – that with the determination Catherine holds, she will continue to grow trust in the world. [Read more…]

Tales of the Unexpected

Life is full of unexpected happenings and today our guest author, Tim, shares what for some will be a biggie. For others, they can find acceptance quite easily. So, why is that?


It’s a dilemma, is sexual orientation. Unless you are heterosexual and conform to the heteronormative society we live in, that is. Then it isn’t a dilemma at all. The rest of us either conform, or we don’t. So, the question “How do you react to the unexpected?” needs to be asked.

Actually, it needs to be answered.

If you’re a people person then a surprise party held for you won’t worry you… or will it?

  • Unexpected inheritance beyond the dreams of avarice, that’s great, isn’t it… or are you not so sure?
  • Fred, the chap who’s the lifeblood of the office is going out with Mary, they look so good together, but they’ve kept it a secret forever.
  • The company is downsizing, and I’m afraid your job is one of those that is being removed. We’ll give you outplacement consultancy.
  • Alan, happily married for the last 15 years with a couple of really sweet children, one 12, one 10, long term friend, guest at your wedding with his wife Andrea, tells you he is gay.

[Read more…]