To Marry or Not To Marry?

— Sarah Abell | | September 2015
The Life Lab | experiment

 Psychologists at UCLA found that pre-wedding uncertainty, especially among women, predicts higher divorce rates and less marital satisfaction.  The psychologists studied 464 newlywed spouses within the first few months of marriage, then followed up with them every six months for four years.  When asked, “Were you ever uncertain or hesitant about getting married” at their initial interview, 47 per cent of husbands and 38 per cent of wives said ‘yes’.

While the women were less likely to have pre-wedding doubts, researchers discovered that those who did were more likely to predict trouble after the wedding.  Those who had doubts were two-and-a-half times more likely to divorce four years later than those who didn’t.  And those couples who remained married, but who’d had initial doubts, were significantly less satisfied with their relationships than those who felt more confident before marriage.

Justin Lavner, one of the report’s authors, warns women not to dismiss any doubts, “There’s no evidence that problems in a marriage just go away.  If anything, the problems are more likely to escalate.”

Now Try It Out

Reflect on your doubts to identify your concerns.  If you can’t talk these through with your partner, seek out a trusted friend, coach or therapist.  In ‘The Marriage Book’ (Alpha, £8.99), NIcky and Sila Lee suggest asking yourself these seven questions:-

  1. Do I want to share the rest of my life with this person?
  2. Does our love give me energy and strength, or does it drain me?
  3. Do I respect this person?
  4. Do I accept this person as they are?
  5. Are we able to admit our mistakes, apologise and forgive?
  6. Do we have interests in common as a foundation for friendship?
  7. Have we weathered a variety of situations together?

They also suggest you:

  • Sign up for a marriage preparation course.
  • Don’t just slide into marriage.  Say ‘’yes’’ wholeheartedly.  If you can’t, maybe ‘’no’’ is the best answer for you both in the long run.

 My Comments:

As they say, there is something in having a gut instinct.  If your gut is troubled and telling you ‘’no’’ then perhaps it’s best to listen, dig a little deeper and flesh out why you’re having cold feet.  It is the rest of your life, after all… And it sure isn’t easy to achieve that famous Disney ending: “and they lived happily ever after.”


“Her”–falling in love with your OS… woah!

Would you, could you?  Haven’t seen it yet, but how crazy.  However, people are starting to interact with their smartphones more than with the people around them!  So… who knows?  One for the therapists?!

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures–published 3 Dec 2013

Marriage: is it about you or isn’t it?

roses and rings-marriage

An article going viral on social media lately is: “Marriage isn’t for you” by Seth Adam Smith.  Having got cold feet a year and a half into his own marriage he turned to his father for advice and was told that marriage is about the person you married and about family.  That is:

“Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

His critics have hit back to say that selfishness has become a dirty word and that marriage should be about you.  It should be about finding someone who makes you feel giddy and brings out the best in you.  After all, what if your other half is demanding and abusive?

Hey ho?  Well, Smith’s blog post does not cover every eventuality and every faucet of every relationship type out there!  It’s about learning to give to each other within an already healthy relationship.  It’s about not turning sour something you should learn to fully appreciate.  And how do you appreciate a good, healthy relationship?  By giving to each other, respectfully and unconditionally.

For those who are generous and giving to a fault, learning to be selfish protects you from the wrong kinds of relationships. 

I feel that those who hit out at Smith feel that relationships are the stuff of romance novels and hold unrealistic expectations of reality.  Much of life involves giving: you reap  what you sow.  Scary as it may seem, many should ask: how much effort have I put into this before they question how much return they are receiving.  I agree though, not all farmers are able to harvest a bumper crop at all times, despite the effort sown.  *Sigh*  That is also a fact of life: you win some and you lose some.  True, just because you give within a relationship does not mean that you will receive.  Unrequited love is not just the stuff of poems and forlorn artists.

I do believe that the wider, bigger picture of marrying for family is indeed a healthy view to hold.  It certainly gives one impetus and purpose of marriage, perhaps even giving meaning to life itself.

With Chinese New Year having just gone (31st January 2014 – Happy Year of the Horse!) it might be quite apt to add that the Chinese believe that happiness is having a family.

But, there is always the overhanging shadow about whether marriage is necessary.  After all, a committed couple is a committed couple and do not require a certificate to seal their love and commitment to each other.  What can be done within marriage can be done just as well outside of marriage, no?

My own belief is that marriage allows a relationship to progress that bit further: stepping up to the plate for the building of a family, perhaps.  There are some that view marriage as the destination i.e. time to kick-back, chill and let the relationship coast along in neutral.  Oh, how scary!  Or is it scarier to say that marriage is just the beginning!  I believe, when you say ‘I Do’ that is just the start of it all.  That is when the mutual giving needs to become second nature and appreciated for what it is: a show of love.

Studies have shown that it is the small, daily details that make or break relationships.  The hugs, the compliments, the doing of things for each other, the remembering of what he/she likes… So, it is not without reason that there are wedding games that test the strength of the newly wedded couple’s mutual knowledge of each others’ likes and dislikes which are believed to signal the future health of the marriage!

However, you can’t please everyone.  It takes wisdom to appreciate the daily details of life and to learn how to nurture relationships.  Have you heard?  It takes only minutes to pick up a bad habit, but a lifetime to learn good ones.  Life can be complicated or it can be simple; it can be difficult or it can be smooth.  It really depends on how you start and how you mean to go on: how will you lay your foundations for a healthy, happy and loving relationship/marriage?

I recently watched Channel 4’s Unreported World’s documentary on “China’s Lonely Hearts”.  By year 2020 there will be an excess of 24 million single men of marriageable age i.e. due to the one-child policy, families opted to have boys instead of girls and have caused a lop-sided gender divide.   The featured bachelor in the documentary stated that to be a pair seemed like a natural state, a happier state and he wanted to be paired up.  If you consider that marriage isn’t for you, then consider those 24 million men: would you rather be one of them?  Or do you believe that a relationship need not reach marriage potential?  That marriage is only for those wanting a family? 

I believe Smith’s father dug deep and gave his son great insight.  However, he didn’t say this: appreciate what you have.  Sometimes, we do take for granted what is under our very noses.  We see our partner day in and day out and forget just how much they mean to us.  They become just like the paint on our walls.  Can you name the colour of every room in your house?  Over time we begin to ignore the daily details and trivialities of life and view them as mundane and even insignificant.  That causes dissatisfaction.  Whoops.

Living the dream is, by definition, everyone’s dream.  But what is your dream?  What is your dream marriage?  Do you focus on the grand gestures or the bear hugs?  Studies have shown that in an unhappy marriage, grand gestures count for a lot less than within a happy marriage.  Learning to appreciate is not about grand gestures, it starts with bonding.  After all, as many a blind dater has told us: fabulous location, shame about the company! 

Quite frankly, it’s all about balance, right?  When you give, also learn to take with gratitude.  When you appreciate, show it.  So, is marriage for you?  I say, it’s got to be a match: you must both create a mutual relationship.  I was once told that I think too much and that when talking about other halves, one should feel head over heels and giddy with feelings.  Wow.  Don’t they know that some people just don’t like to be emotionally over-run?  Emotions can be tricky things and I prefer them to grow rather than hit me in the face.

So, how selfish should we be about marriage?  Tough to say.  If you find that your other half is being too giving/generous with you then do say so.  Don’t feel pressurized into giving just because you have received.  This could lead to emotional blackmail.  Really, the giving should be unconditional and from the heart (in an ideal world!) but if you feel blackmailed into returning ‘favours’ speak up.  Does he/she respect your view?  What if your other half doesn’t give easily?  Could it be that they believe they have given but you see it as something they should be doing anyway?  Take heed, not everyone shows love in the same way.  Is doing the dishes without asking a chore or a show of affection?  Some view sharing housework as a show of love.  Do you?  How do you divide the work within marriage?  With so many boundaries to cover, how on earth do you weigh up and calculate whether marriage is for you or not?  I say, if you both learn to give you can’t go far wrong.  Learning to live for others is tough, but don’t give up on yourself, that is, have an ego too!

How to get happy

Still in the pursuit of happiness?  But it’s eluding you?  Well, sometimes it’s by standing still, being calm and taking note of what is surrounding you and what is inside you that really makes a difference to your stuck-in-a-rut mindset on happiness.

If you rarely take the time to take stock of what you have and to count your blessings, then yes, happiness will elude you.  However, what if you don’t like what you are stocking up on, what you are counting up in your life?  Hmm… then it’s time to stop the rot, pluck out the rubbish and sow the good seeds in life.

Here are nine ways to guide you towards a better way to be happy in life.

Getting Happy: The Nine Things You Need to Know
Barbara Waxman MS/MPA, America’s Favourite Coach for Adults, Midlife and Better


Pic source: – “Minimalism and happiness through scientific eyes”

What creates authentic happiness?  It may not be what you think!

No 1.

Create your own set of ‘flow’ experiences

According to Mihily Csikszentmihalyi, being in a state of “flow”, the completely focused motivation and attention required for a given activity, is an indicator as important as reporting feelings of happiness.  This, he says, is what “makes for excellence in life”.  Flow activities are those where you are challenged to a level that requires your full attention, where you enjoy the process and where you are likely to lose track of time.  Skiing, cooking, gardening, hiking and singing are just a few examples of flow activities.

No 2.

Wake up!

The surest path to finding your own sense of personal happiness and balance is built upon an awareness of future possibilities and the extreme truth of the present moment.  Many ancient traditions know that the cultivation of mindfulness is an essential element of happiness.  How can you be mindful and present when life demands have you running from one thing to the next?  For one, take delight in the senses.  Wake up in the morning with full, cleansing breaths and welcome the day with gratitude.  Sit and eat.  Really taste your food.  Take a breath and focus for just three seconds before answering your phone.  Try those three things and see what a difference it makes.

No. 3

Learn to forgive

It has been said that hatred is like a poison pill which you ingest… and only cause damage to yourself.  Think of forgiveness as something you do for yourself.  Research shows that forgiving-types of people are less likely to be depressed, anxious or hold hostile feelings and are more likely to be agreeable, serene, healthier – the kind of person who has strong connections with others.

No. 4

Staying happy while coping with problems

There are two ways to remain positive while dealing with life’s curve balls. Engage in problem-focused coping, which involves action strategies and engaging in small steps to actually solve the issue at hand. Feel like you are doing something, even one small thing towards resolving or ameliorating the situation. The other way to cope is focused on emotions. This involves things like accepting rather than denying the situation and keeping yourself balanced through activities which help you including meditation, music and social support.

No. 5

Practice acts of kindness

Being kind to others is not only good for the recipient — but for you as well. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness, kindness is like a natural tonic relieving guilt, distress and stress. And it’s contagious. When you are kind to others it may likely jumpstart a domino effect of positive social consequences as people literally pay that kindness forward to someone else.

No. 6

It’s all about relationships

It has been said that our number one health epidemic is social isolation. More women are living alone now than ever before. Having meaningful social connections is essential. You can actually boost happiness in your life by investing in nurturing, emotionally healthy social relationships. Value your friendships and spend time with the quality people in your life.

No. 7

Happiness Misconceptions

Many of us have been programmed to believe that material things will make us lastingly happy (money, going shopping, etc). The reality is that the ability to purchase things and have the status associated with money falls into the 10% category of life’s circumstances. And 10% isn’t all that much. True, lasting happiness is an “inside-out” experience.

No. 8

The happiness factor

Happiness is not a vague notion but can be understood as being 50% genetic; 10% based on circumstances like a new car, whether we are rich or poor, generally healthy or unhealthy; a full 40% of our sense of happiness is dependent upon our lifestyle and choices. The good news? Only 50% of our happiness is actually genetically predetermined. The other half of the equation is entirely up to us – meaning we can create happiness in our choices and life activities.

No. 9

Know where you are headed

People who strive for something significant to them, who actively set goals and have aspirations, report being happier. They create a roadmap for themselves and therefore avoid feeling lost. What we’ve found is that the process of working towards a goal is as important as that goals’ attainment. Create some short term goals to get started, allowing them to add structure and an anchor to your daily experience — and see how you feel.

About the Author: Barbara Waxman is a life and executive coach and author. The purpose of her work is to help adults at midlife and better to harness their personal and professional goals. Barbara is a regular guest on Leeza Gibbon’s Hollywood Confidential radio program, and has been featured on, Newsday, (WSJ) and U.S. News & World Report. She is a gerontologist and certified coach through the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara. She is a member of both the International Coach Federation and GILD (Global Institute for Leadership Development) Coaching Faculty. She is the special editor of How to Love Your Retirement, the most comprehensive collection of real advice from retirees transitioning to, and thriving in, retirement.

Co-habitation and weight gain


There is a tradition in some cultures that men and women would eat separately.  It appears that there is logic is the madness, but so long as we know where we might be going wrong with co-ed eating, we don’t have to make such staunch resolve to eat separately.  After all, where is the fun?  Where is the spice of life if everything must be done men vs. women?  Below is an article outlining what can be done if you find yourself gaining weight after moving in with your loved one.


Food, Love, Happiness

Marie Claire UK magazine
February 2013


   The average woman puts on 16lbs when she starts living with her partner.  Dietician Alison Hornby explains how to avoid the loved-up contentment trap.

DON’T snack and share his meals.  Women are more likely to snack, while men tend to eat larger meals.  Most women gain weight when they move in with a man because they carry on snacking and then match his portion sizes at mealtimes.

DON’T eat what he eats.  Women need 2,000 calories a day and should have no more than one unit of alcohol (a 125ml glass of wine), compared to men who can eat 2,500 and consume two units.  your plate should always be two-thirds of his.

DON’T be tempted to cut out dairy.  This can starve you of calcium and put you more at risk of osteoporosis.  It can also make you more susceptible  to sugary snacks.

DON’T assume a diet with less carbohydrate and fat is more nutritious.  Variety and moderation is the  key.

DON’T let your fridge go empty.  Couples who plan meals together tend to have healthier diets overall, especially if they cook quick and easy food, like a stir-fry rather than reaching for takeaways or meals out when the fridge is empty.  


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival: a giant mooncake for all!

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival: a giant mooncake for all!

13.5″ mooncake all the way from Rotterdam, Netherlands. (42.5″ circumference)

Do you have a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)?



Do you ever wonder about  your “alternative life”?  The life you could potentially be living?  The one where you really do have it all: your cake and you’re eating it?  How true is all of that?  Once you accept an option and go with it (well done for persevering or following through) you will have to accept that you have given up other options and traded in that time and effort to do something else.  It’s an opportunity cost: something that high-achievers understand thoroughly.

Don’t try to follow the crowd: if Twitter and Facebook aren’t for you, then stand by that.  You can always have an account to keep up-to-date with your friends’ comings and goings, but you don’t have to use it and participate.  We must all learn to live our lives on our own timeframes and with our own levels of satisfaction – that is one of the paths to being happier and more successful when it comes to enjoying what you have and being grateful.

Fear Of Missing Out FOMO-birds on a wire


pic source:,
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out




Say Goodbye to FOMO*
(*Fear Of Missing Out)

Marie Claire UK,
August 2012, p. 105
Anna Pursglove

Haven’t bought the right Zara trousers?  Didn’t make it to that party?  With every moment of your friends’ lives tweeted within seconds, Anna Pursglove discovers how to curtail the FOMO.

I am curled up on the sofa ready for the Desperate Housewives finale – my guiltiest of guilty pleasures – when my iPhone presents me with a slew of Facebook messages.  A group of girlfriends are also glued to the drama on Wisteria Lane, but they are all together… with wine… just a few miles away.

Before you waste your sympathy on me, the shunned friend, you should know that I was actually invited to this soiree.  I chose not to go.  It was on a perfectly sensible decision given the circumstances (weather – awful; workload – massive).  So why, when presented with uploaded photographs of my mates having fun, did I suddenly feel panicky?  As though I’d missed out on something in infinitely more important than a TV drama and a large glass of Merlot?

FOMO-girls having fun

pic source:,

I can, at least, take comfort in the knowledge that this form of social anxiety is a common one.  It’s been discussed so often in recent times, it even has its own acronym: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  The symptoms?  A nagging suspicion – fuelled by the forensic detail of other people’s lives we are privy to via social media – that our own existences are somehow lacking.  If only we’d made the right decisions, we berate ourselves, we’d have the fascinating careers/ relationships/ opinions/ offspring/ social lives that we perceive others all around us to have.

Canvassing other women on the issue, I discover that many of my friends are wrestling with FOMO.  Holly, a 30-year old TV producer, tells me, ‘I spend far too much time worrying about what others are doing.  Media people do love using Facebook,, Twitter and the like to show off, so I have this constant sense that I’m not in the loop – not doing the cool thing.  I have this ridiculous feeling that if I could just behave a bit more like them, then I’d suddenly become some kind of Bafta-winning director.  It’s as though other people have this magic formula for a successful life which is eluding me.’

Meanwhile, Katy, 34, a nurse, says FOMO has her panicking that she’s missed the opportunity to be a mother.  ‘I’ve risen up the ranks quite fast and I love my job,’ she says.  ‘Consequently, guess I haven’t exactly prioritised my relationships and they’ve all fizzled.  Just recently, however, I’m spending more and more time analysing my friends’ lives – mostly via social networking sites – and questioning decisions I made in my twenties.  If I’d got to know such-and-such a guy better, would I be the one tweeting about which school my kids had got into?’

So many of  us, in fact, proclaim ourselves so plagued by the ghosts of what might have been that renowned psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has devoted his latest book, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life (£20, Hamish Hamilton), to the subject.  In the opening pages, Phillips sets out the problem as he sees it: ‘As we know more than ever before about the kinds of lives it is possible to live – and affluence has allowed more people than ever before to think of their lives in terms of choices and options – we are always haunted by the myth of our potential… Our lives become an elegy to needs unmet and desires sacrificed, to possibilities refused, to roads not taken.’

Woman and sun in stained glass

pic source:,
Positive Self Talk

So, are we in danger of defining ourselves not by what we’ve achieved but by what we’ve missed out on.  But as the title of the book suggests, there is another way of thinking about it.  According to Phillips, our unlived lives are crucial to our well-being.  It’s time, he says, to start viewing the concept of ‘missing out’ in a more positive light.  The very act of making choices, he says, is a productive one and when we miss out on one experience, we open ourselves up to the potential of another.  We need to realise that our daydreams give us satisfaction even when we don’t act on them.  ‘Satisfaction,’ he writes, ‘is looked forward to before it happens – we have the experience in our minds before we have the experience.’

So how exactly do we stop wasting precious time fretting about what might have been?  Jessica Chivers, author and life coach, agrees FOMO is a growing problem and that modern women caught up in the the work-versus-social-life-versus-motherhood struggle are particularly prone to it.

supermarket aisle

pic source:

Part of the problem is the number of choices available to us all, she says.  We are told that plenty of choice is a good thing – and, of course, all of us facing this dilemma are lucky.  But in psychological terms, it isn’t necessarily positive.  ‘This is well studied by psychologists,’ says Chivers.  ‘When presented with lots of choice, we become less efficient at making a decision and are far less happy with the decision we do eventually make. If I put you in a supermarket aisle with nine different types of cornflakes, you would enjoy your breakfast less than if you’d popped into the garage and had to buy the only brand they stocked’  It’s no wonder we can feel confused and anxious about our life decisions.

Yet, says Chivers, far from being a disaster, missing out opens up pathways previously hidden from us.  She uses the example of missing out on a promotion.  ‘You feel it was your time,’ she says.  ‘Your skills were right, you were in the right place mentally – of course you feel aggrieved about not getting the gig.  But it is in just these situations that people often make great career moves.  The act of preparing yourself for the job – even though you didn’t get it – has moved you on  mentally.  You are now more likely to broaden your horizons and stretch yourself.  You’ll begin to see opportunities that you were blind to before.

And finally, say our experts, don’t underestimate the power of the daydream.  As Adam Phillips points out, this is the realm in which we experience satisfaction before we’ve even had an experience, so by that logic it doesn’t matter if you miss out – you can be satisfied in advance whatever the outcome.  Chivers agrees, adding: ‘Daydreaming isn’t a way of opting out of “real life” – it’s a safe place to explore possibilities.  You will reject most of the things you fantasise about in that you won’t actually do them but that editing process is vital to our mental well-being.  When we have explored options and rejected some in favour of others, then we develop what psychologists call an “internal locus of control” – in other words, we feel that we are masters of our own destiny.’


pic source: 
The Optimistic Advantage in Being Well

So the message is that even if you can’t summon up a throaty ‘je ne regrette rien’ just yet, rejecting the acronym FOMO in favour of the infinitely more proactive MOBO (Missing Out But Optimistic) is a very good place to start.


Ways to beat FOMO

  1. Step away from the keyboard.  Social media fuels FOMO, so if you’re a Facebook and Twitter addict, allow yourself the occasional information detox.
  2. Make active decisions about the things you pass up. If it holds less short-term pleasure or long-term benefit than the alternative, then it’s probably not worth doing.
  3. If you’re going to do one thing well then accept this will mean missing out on the other things.  People who excel miss out all the time – they just don’t worry about it.
  4. Too much choice is not necessarily a good thing.  Cut down on the amount of time you spend researching alternatives.  If an option works for you, stick with it.
  5. Recognise that an opportunity not taken means you get to check out other options.  The first thing to come up may not be the best choice.

Prayers of Life: Housing

GothA piece to contemplate upon for action.  Homelessness, squatting and extensively neglected and derelict housing  are just part of the issues that surround the housing problem within large cities.  Many homeless people have serious health issues: mental, physical and emotional; and may also be on drugs.  It doesn’t take too much imagination to figure out the physical ailments that come from sleeping rough on the streets: exposure to the elements alone can cause havoc with your body’s healthy functioning within one night.  Mental anguish, alienation and isolation experienced by those sleeping rough sets the path to deteriorating to more serious, chronic problems. 

Read on, for something to contemplate upon and which will call for your action in a never-ending manner.

Housing Prayer

Prayers of Life, Michel Quoist,
1967 (M. H. Gill and Son Ltd, Dublin)
Translated by Anne Marie de Commaile
and Agnes Mitchell Forsyth

The problem of housing, in the world’s large cities, is appalling. It’s our first duty to realize it. Many of the comfortably-housed have never even been through the slum quarters of their city. We must speak out, for public opinion is a powerful weapon, and each of us helps to create it. There are many organizations that need our active help, or, at the very least, our support. If we love our brothers, we shall always find a way, wherever we are, to do something for them.

Suppose a brother or a sister is in rags with not enough to food for the day, and one of you says, Good luck to you, keep yourselves warm, and have plenty to eat, but does nothing to supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? (James 2, 15-16)

Lord, I can’t sleep; I have got up out of bed to pray.
It is night outside, and the wind blows and the rain falls,
And the lights of the city, signs of the living, pierce the darkness.
They bother me, Lord, these lights – why are you showing them to me?
They beckoned to me, and now they hold me captive, while the woes of the city murmur their muffled lament.
I see them rising before me,
I hear them speaking to me,
I feel them hitting me,
They were bothering me when I was trying to sleep.

I know that in one single room thirteen crowded people are breathing on one another.
I know a mother who hooks the table and the chairs to the ceiling to make room for mattresses.
I know that rats come out to eat the crusts and bite the babies.
I know a father how gets up to stretch oil-cloth above the rain-soaked bed of his four children.
I know a mother who stays up all night since there is room for only one bed, and the two children are sick.
I know a drunken father who vomits on the child sleeping beside him.
I know a big boy who runs away alone into the night because he can’t stand it anymore.
I know that some men fight for the women as there are three couples in the same attic.
I know a wife who avoids her husband as there is no room for another baby at home.
I know a child who is quietly dying, soon to join his four little brothers above.
I know…
I know hundreds of others – yet I was going to sleep peacefully between my clean-white sheets.

I wish I didn’t know, Lord.
I wish it were not true.
I wish I could convince myself that I’m dreaming,
I wish someone could prove that I’m exaggerating,
I wish they’d show me that all these people are to blame, that it’s their fault that they are so miserable.
I’d like to be reassured, Lord, but I can’t, it’s too late.
I’ve seen too much,
I’ve listened too much,
I’ve counted too much, and Lord, these ruthless figures have robbed me forever of my innocent tranquillity.

So much the better, son,
For I, your God, your Father, am angry with you.
I gave you the world at the beginning of time, and I want each of my sons to have a home worthy of their Father, in my vast kingdom.
I trusted you, and your selfishness has spoiled everything.
It’s one of your most serious sins, shared by many of you.
Woe unto you if, through your fault, a single one of my sons dies in body or spirit.

I tell you, I will give to those the finest lodgings in Paradise.
But the thoughtless, the negligent, the selfish, who, well sheltered on earth, have forgotten others, they have had their reward.
There will be no room for them in my Kingdom.

Come, son, ask forgiveness for yourself and for others tonight.
And tomorrow, fight with all your strength, for it hurts your Father to see that once more there is no room for his son at the inn.

Family business article in Sphere magazine

Some quotes from:

Relative Values

Family-run businesses can be fraught affairs but in the luxury sector they are more resilient and likely to do better than any other kind of company.

Simon Brooke discovers the secrets of their success

Sphere magazine, Summer 2011, Vol. 4 No. 2, p. 49

  1. I was working at a Christian centre and planning to be ordained.  I didn’t want to go into the family firm initially because it felt as if it was presented to me on a plate – it was too easy,” says Wainwright, now 34, who joined 10 years ago.  “But then I felt that my time in the church had run its course and so I decided to do it for a year.”
    – – on what caused Jody Wainwright’s delay in joining the family business, the jewellers, Boodles
  2. Boodles has been owned and run by the Wainwright family since it was founded in Liverpool in 1798 and, as a long-held family concern, is not unusual among players in the luxury sector.
    – – on longevity of luxury sector family-run businesses
  3. Wines and spirits merchants Berry Brothers & Rudd has been managed by the same two families for centuries and it’s matched by other names such as C. Hoare & Co, a private bank in the Hoare family since 1672.
    – – on other centuries-old family businesses in the luxury sector
  4. In France, many of the great champagne houses such as Bollinger and Pol Roger are family-run while Hermes has been controlled by the same family for nearly 200 years.
    – – on persistency of family heritage in French champagne houses
  5. Families are better aligned with the interests of the company than with external investors, it found, and are more cautious about debt.
    – – 2010 research published by French investment analysts at Oddo Asset Management, which suggested that family-controlled listed companies outperformed non-family ones by an annualised 2.3% since 1990

Diamond Jubilee

Watching the River Pageant, my dad was glued to the BBC News coverage of it and refused to do anything else until he had seen the opening of Tower Bridge! My mother was capturing snapshots off the telly on her iPhone… Shame the rain washed out a bit of the glorious colours of the day, but the crowds didn’t let it ruin anything.

QEII and Queen Vic

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diamond jubilee logodiamond jubilee print

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