You are currently browsing the daily archive for December 5, 2007.


About 1991.

We started collecting Christmas Tree decorations from places we visited.  These were some of the first, and these came from Harrods, along with a crib scene which Lola B unpacked at the weekend and found covered in bat droppings …


There is so much that has to be done, that the things that do not absolutely need doing often get left, like tidying my study and filing bills and paperwork. Today I spent the whole day putting things away, and shredding years of utilities bills and expired insurance documents, writing letters, folding up washing, wrapping up birthday parcels, and planning the sixty-eight Christmas presents that I need to find, wrap up and deliver.  I feel as if I have achieved nothing.  Somebody tell me – how, exactly, are you supposed to simplify Christmas and make it less commercial? If you are a woman, that is.

Along the way I got distracted – by articles I found that I had cut out to keep, but a new book that arrived on how women’s writing is suppressed (boy, did that make me stop and think and almost close down this blog …), and by some notes I found from an evening arranged a couple of years ago at my daughters’ (all girls) school on Teenage Trauma and how to avoid it.  It was an uncomfortable evening since most of us knew parents in the audience whose girls were self-harming or anorexic or depressed.  Most of the focus of the talk was on the Human Givens.  I like the idea of the Human Givens and will write a post about them one day.  In the meantime, I found these definitions in the notes of the evening and wanted to post them as a reminder of what I’m trying to achieve in my primary role.


A mentally healthy child or young person is one who has the ability to:

  • develop psychologically, emotionally, socially, intellectually and spiritually

  • initiate, develop and sustain mutually satisfying relationships

  • use and enjoy solitude

  • become aware of others and empathise with them

  • play and learn

  • develop a sense of right and wrong

  • resolve (face) problems and setbacks satisfactorily and learn from them.

    This definition is taken from Bright Futures: Promoting children and young people’s mental health, published by the Mental Health Foundation and is included as part of an NHS presentation about children and mental health here: