April 2012

Up to about the age of five or six we are well programmed to learn rules. Therapists call them introjects because we swallow them whole. We learn simple instructions and rules which then become automatic – or we don’t. In which case we become delinquent, and after six it’s probably too late to do anything about that.

So, there we are. Full of useful rules, and some which are not useful. Your parents’ and teachers’ rules are not necessarily what you want to hang on to, but introjects are horribly hard to modify. They are the source of all those ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ that people assert unselfconsciously with all the confidence in the world that they are stating some absolute truth. And persecute other people with in oblivious self-righteousness. Useful in a five year old: problematic sometimes in a fifty year old. […continue reading…]

I recently had an article in the Spectator.

The day after the link appeared on twitter I had a tweet from someone offering me a link to their blog. I knew better than to follow it, seeing the source, so ignored it. It was followed by a second, saying I would like this blog post. Friends told me it was a post where I was being rubbished, so I tweeted back to the effect that I know this person wants to hurt me (this is not her first ‘go’) so why would I check out her link? No thanks. […continue reading…]

This is a special request blog post. How about that?? I’ve been asked to consider the issue of having – or perhaps not having – children.

We chose not to. And perhaps the starkest thing about this is that I have never once, for one moment, regretted not having children. I wonder how many parents have never regretted having their children? The catch, of course, is that once you’ve done it you can’t post them back […continue reading…]

Sex on television is different. I don’t mean from sex on the table or the floor, I mean from other things you watch. I may be peculiar but I always find it a bit voyeuristic and embarrassing. This means it leaps out of the ‘text,’ as it were, as a particular – and maybe peculiar ? – interlude.

I imagine it’s supposed to tell us something about the relationship in question. Does it? Or does it tell us that kissing is very awkward and involves too many sucking and slobbery noises to be risked in public? Is television public? Do you like watching people  sucking, slobbering and squirming with your friends, partner or children alongside?

Why do we never see that amazing kiss […continue reading…]

Domestic life is full of minor problems and inconveniences. And I’m a addicted problem solver. So as soon as something irritates me I start thinking about how to avoid the irritation.

Well, not always quite as soon as – I had clothes hangers all caught up with one another in a totally infuriating tangled heap for years before I thought long enough to decide to make a small rail to hang the empty ones on. But that’s the kind of thing I mean.

However, if I suggest any such problem solution to Charles he is liable […continue reading…]