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I recently got lucky enough to have a treatment in a spa. I arrived - the pan pipes were playing in the background, the lady behind the desk spoke in hushed tones, placed a hand behind my back and guided me like a child into the changing area. I could feel myself starting to relax already until I saw the minuscule disposable thong I was ‘invited’ to wear – I don’t think I’ve worn anything that size since my early twenties. Lying naked (I refuse to call those thongs clothing) on the slab can be quite a vulnerable experience –...

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Part of me would like the stereotypical Father's Day. Lets call it 'Fathers Day, the dream'. Wake up in my own time and in a leisurely fashion. Tea, a few slices of sourdough toast and marmalade, all served in bed with The Times newspaper. Where are the children? Silly question. They are downstairs playing quietly with Claire.   With three children 'Father's Day, the reality' is very different. Very. Last year Claire was heavily pregnant and we spent most of the day travelling to Carlisle to see our middle child dance (3-4 hour round trip for 2 minutes on stage...)....

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#arthritis, #eczema, #psoriasis, livingwitheczema -

I have been a sufferer of eczema all my life. I had it terribly as a child and then again for years as a teenager. I tried every cure out there and it only disappeared when I moved abroad -no idea why but I suggest the NHS consider putting that cure on prescription. I thought I was clear of it. However I have had a major re-occurrence and this time it has even spread to my face. Before this latest outbreak I remembered the eczema only vaguely and just as an irritation – it wasn’t so bad surely? But oh...

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“Oi fat old lady!” – No, not some troll heckling me but my six year old son shouting and giggling uncontrollably in the playground. I was really shocked by the rude, albeit somewhat accurate, greeting. Out of the mouths of babes and all that.... I am holding on to the fact that at least he said ‘lady’. Of course, with the indulgence of the mother/son relationship I forgave, probably too quickly, putting it down to boundary pushing and the sometimes incomprehensible boy humour. Being a mother is a strange dichotomy - we are 100% needed but yet completely taken for...

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An only child can be described as a ‘precious snowflake’ – not entirely a compliment. I am the former but hopefully do not have the temperament of the latter. Being an only child is a mixed bag but for me the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages and now a new unexpected perk has come to the fore - that of hand-me-downs; my mum has kept a considerable amount of my old toys and clothes and my 2 daughters are now reaping the rewards. The delight of opening an old box is three fold. My daughter is excited to be adding...

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