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I'm having a moment

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 23 October 2014
Excuse me, I’m having a moment. A ‘where am I going? ‘what’s next?’  ‘how old is middle-age?’ type of moment.  Yesterday I blew out the candles, Lady Y’s perfectly chocolate birthday cake has already been polished off and I’m that inevitable year older (than 42).  So here I am left having some sort of moment.

On a morbid mission, I found myself turning to Google questioning: life expectancy for women in the UK and the search engine (which practically sang happy birthday to me yesterday…) today spat out some awful age younger than my very sprightly parents.  Wikipedia was no better, informing me that ‘middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age.’  Now, no one can honestly persuade me that I’m still in young adulthood.  Surely that time passes when your tiny toddlers don’t sleep and, to be honest, anyone who partied their way through ‘young adulthood’ will know that that morning after feeling signifies when this period of your life is well and truly over.

As I dug further, I found that various attempts had been made to define middle age for all those having a moment.  Is this because we are all desperate to fight its onslaught?  Or would all those 60 year olds KILL to be middle aged again?

One particular source advised that we should divide our predicted life span into thirds.  But I’m not sure that this is the answer.  From what I can remember, the first third was spent wanting to grow up.  The second I spent clearly oblivious that I had indeed grown up.  And the third… oh dear… is absolutely why I am now having this moment…

I dislike my daughter's boyfriend

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 23 October 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

I was so thrilled to see that The Lady now has an agony aunt as I have been deeply concerned lately about my daughter and would welcome some help.

Jenny (my daughter) who is 19, and lives at home with me, has a boyfriend who seems intent on controlling her life.  He tells her he loves her but from my point of view he seems to be very dominant over her.  If she gets ready to go out and he doesn't like her outfit, he will tell her and she will immediately go and change.  If she suggests that she would like to go out with her friends, he will say he wants to accompany her, and that it is strange if she doesn't want that.  If she doesn't text and ring him constantly, and be always available to receive his phone calls, then he accuses her of seeing someone else.

They have now been dating for six months, but he has mentioned getting engaged and I feel this would be disastrous.  What can I do to make her see what he is doing? I really dislike him to the point I just want him to find another girlfriend and leave my daughter alone.

Patricia Marie says...

You're a mother and of course you worry about your daughter. She may be 19, but is still your little girl and your need to protect her from an abusive boyfriend is perfectly understandable. However, if she's not complaining about him and prepared to put up with his behaviour, then you have to accept she is a grown woman with her own mind and capable of making her own decisions.

By telling your daughter what to do would merely be mirroring her boyfriend's controlling behaviour, and the last thing you want is to cause friction between you and your daughter by expressing your dislike of her boyfriend. She will not only resent you for interfering, but worse, she could even consider leaving home. At least whilst shes living with you, you're able to keep an eye on her, and be there for her when she needs you.

Concentrate on bonding with your daughter - spend some quality time together. Offering a loving, compassionate, concerned and non-judgemental presence will create trust. And if she does open up to you, be prepared to advise. Remind her that domestic violence often starts as mental abuse, with the abuser controlling their partner, including choosing what they wear and dictating their friendships.

Standing back and watching our children make mistakes is the hardest thing for any parent.  Nevertheless, you can still be her hero, but let her be her own hero too, by allowing her to solve her own problems, and learn from any bad decisions.

For your continued support I recommend reading:  BUT I LOVE HIM: Protecting your daughter from controlling, abusive relationships by Jill Murray. Finally, the National Domestic Violence Helpline offer a free 24 hour helpline: 0808 2000 247. It may be wise to make this number available to your daughter.


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Champagne and the City

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Wednesday, 22 October 2014
As someone who considers herself to be pretty au fait with Champagne, I was curious when the invite came from Champagne house Jacquart for its 50th anniversary and launch of their new ‘Mosaic collection’. I will admit I didn’t know them as well other brands but, partial to an odd glass or two, I wanted to find out more.

Trendy City venue SushiSamba - known known for its spectacular views - didn't let us down and twinkling lights of London were providing a perfect background to the sparkling Champagne. They always say you should make a dramatic entrance and the glass external elevator that whizzes you up the 39 floors was party fascinating, partly terrifying, but boy – what a way to start a party!

Champagne-Jacquart-Oct24-02-590

Inside we were treated to waiters swirling around with Magnums of Champagne Jacquart Rosé. I have to say that I found it absolutely delicious – rosé can be overly sweet but this has a perfect balance and very easy to drink. Handy considering I had around six glasses in total!

Laurent Reinteau, Managing Director of Champagne Jacquart, explained how it was founded in 1964 and their vineyards represents 2400 hectares, which accounts for 7% of the total Champagne region. Not bad for a brand unheard of by many.

It’s easy to be snobby about Champagne and wine, and personally I like to keep things simple and go with what I like. Now admittedly, drinking Champagne while overlooking The Gherkin is a fine introdcution to a new brand, but I look forward to seeing Champagne Jacquart become a more recognised name and drinking more of it in the future. Currently stocked in Mayfair, I would recommend it...After all, it’s nice to be in-the-know and introduce others to a new label.

Champagne Jacquart Rose Magnum, available from www.hedonism.co.uk priced at £84.70

Words by Kitty Buchanan-Gregory

Smart kids

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 20 October 2014
Children are taught 1 + 1 = 2, reading, and writing, for an equal start in life. But where and how they are taught is far from equal and varies greatly on the school they attend.

The notion that a university education ensures more success in life is quite ingrained in society, education being fundamental to prosperity. So how do you provide your children with the opportunities to excel and fulfil their potential?
 
Catherine Stoker is an Education Consultant who advises parents how to choose a school best suited to each child’s personality and ability. “Their educational focus is not just on academic excellence, but on offering pupils diverse opportunities to develop their capabilities in Sport, Music, Art and Design, or The Arts.”

The right school may not always be the best private institution money can buy, “…as a shy child may need to build their confidence through the small, nurturing environment of a private school, while a sibling may be out-going and confident, so attending the right state school may suit them just as well,” she suggests.

Another avenue to consider is joining an after-school or weekend club. A US study from Brigham University reports, “...teenagers who take part in extracurricular activities with students who achieve good grades, have double the chance of going to university”.

It reinforces the notion that peer groups do have an impact on behaviour, both positive and the not so desirable.

“Students who mix with bright students are more motivated and do achieve more highly. They will be mixing with kids with high aspirations and talking about university as a given, opening up a whole range of possibilities”.

Apparently the club or activity does not need to necessarily be academic to improve school grades, as the focus is to “hang out” in chess club, ballet classes, tennis coaching, or even art lessons with the smart kids. If your child is interested in coin/stamp collection or astronomy, the internet is a good place to start to find other like-minded enthusiasts, and maybe start your own club.

“Children who are with other high achievers will always tend to achieve higher because they are aware it’s possible and that they too can do it,” says the co-author Lance Erickson.

It may take more time and energy in your day to help motivate your children or simply drive them to and fro, and Mr Erickson warns that if you don’t “… they are more likely to end up living at your house because they won’t be going to university”.

“How long?”

I'm being humiliated by my married lover

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 16 October 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

I'm being humiliated by my married lover. He and I work together and have been meeting for sex since 2011. Everyone in the office knows about us - his wife is the only one who doesn't. But now he has started to see a younger colleague. He's taking her out for drinks and I'm sure they are sleeping together, even though he denies it. As well as having to endure the most dreadful atmosphere in the office,  I am now getting lots of amusement, pity, and total lack of respect from other members of staff, which I can't bear. How could he do this to me? What is wrong with him?

Patricia Marie says...

As you function in your own little world at work, married people may not seem very married, but the reality is, they are. Serious involvement with a married colleague means a future that is either very limited or very complicated. Nevertheless, there are times when those in failing relationships embark on another within the work place, and against the odds secure a happy ending - after all, we can't always help who we fall in love with.

However, in your case, I'm sorry to say, your married lover sounds like a Casanova. Some people are serial lovers and not happy unless they make regular conquests. They attract the vulnerable with their flattery and charm. However, once the thrill of the chase is over, they become bored and then its on to their next victim. This must be painfully obvious to your colleagues who are able to see right through him, hence, the tension you are feeling at work.  Naturally, now that your your lover is paying attention to another woman you are feeling angry and betrayed. But a man who can cheat on his wife can cheat on his lover too. Remember that saying "when a man marries his mistress, he creates a vacancy".

He has never made any proper commitment to you and his latest escapade should come as no surprise. Do not continue to feed this man's ego for a minute longer by showing you care. Instead, retrieve your dignity by finishing with him. As well as helping to regain the trust and respect of your co-workers, it will enable you to draw a line on this declining situation and find someone new who is worthy of you.


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows


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