Exam results

It’s that time of year  when thousands of students eagerly await their exam results. Adding to their stress and concerns of supportive parents are the never ending articles in the media regarding poor exam marking. The Daily Mail recently quoted ‘for some students, an exam marking blunder could mean they lose their place at their chosen university.’  This is indeed the sad and extremely disappointing case for many students -we all know this poor marking has been going on for some years now and specifically the past three years.

Whilst re-marking which more often than not sees in some cases jumps of three grades which is unbelievable, by the time this happens it is of course far too late for those students who have lost their chosen university place.

On a positive note I would like to remind my followers, students and parents alike that going through clearing whilst not the option our children had envisage can provide some excellent alternative places.

There was a brilliant article in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph with some sound advice about looking at and being aware what the other universities have to offer before the exam results day… so if the results don’t match the first choice criteria you are slightly better prepared. However, this will never compensate for the agony of not getting that first choice and in a state of stress students then have to ring and talk to course leaders at other universities and sell themselves!  As I wrote last year… a second choice may indeed end up being a better option – all things happen for a reason but these marking errors are truly unacceptable.

My closing comment today must be that our children should not be put in this position and the examining boards should get their act together -they know this is happening and serious steps should have been put in place by now surely.

Remember parents have to pay for the examiners remarking mistakes too!!


Anastasia’s Greek restaurant St Albans

I have been going to Anastasia’s Greek restaurant that offers quality Greek cuisine for some twenty years and held many a great charity and family event there.  The food and atmosphere have always meant that I can relax knowing my guests of any age will enjoy their evening.

I have continued to recommend this St Albans restaurant to friends and colleagues as a party venue as the host Costas always ensures that the food and service are good and the prices remain competitive. At weekends there is always entertainment, traditional Greek dancing and of course a DJ so for those wanting to celebrate, eat, drink and dance..this is the place to go.

Last weekend I had another great evening and sampled their fabulous cocktails…though nowadays my recovery takes just a little bit longer! Even a counsellor needs to smash a few plates now and then too.

Tel: 01727 834155     http://anastasiasrestaurant.co.uk/


Breaking the taboo

We must salute our two Princes for making their documentary about their mother and once again being brave enough to break the taboo subject of bereavement. Great respect for the next Royal generation who have raised awareness for both bereavement charities and mental health.

For far too long people have been uncomfortable talking about and acknowledging death as I write so often this unhealthy attitude does nothing to help those who are trying to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. We keep them alive in our hearts and our minds and by talking about their lives and celebrating them actually helps us through the pain of bereavement.

Death does not end a relationship. There are never the right words but don’t under estimate the value of just touching somebody’s hand and telling them that you are thinking of them. Personal engagement and contact was something that Princess Diana did so readily and made a difference touching lives.

A Mother’s love and instinct

They say there is nothing to match the love of a mother for her child and recent research has proven that part of a baby’s brain DNA is transposed to it’s mother whilst in the womb. This may indeed explain the strong bond and natural instinct as in when we sense our child is in trouble though the miles may keep us apart.

I always encourage those around me to learn a new word every day and my own word today is ‘arohanui’ which is word from the Maori language and I am reliably informed that it means:-

‘A love so big it is an ocean’

Those of us lucky enough to be parents will know that to be true..to the moon and back we so often say too.

I had an amazing relationship with my own mother and some of this magic and pearls of wisdom I have captured in my own book now available from Amazon Kindle:-

‘A Mother’s Love’..Gospels according to Dorothy.


‘Growing up Gay’

I have to agree with recent media comments that everyone whether Gay or not should watch Olly Alexander’s documentary ‘Growing up Gay’.  It gave a very honest insight into the many problems that teenagers have in coming to terms with sexuality. It covered bullying within schools, self harming and eating disorders as well as drug addiction.

As ever it included worrying statistics about the mental health issues that young people face and the damage and low self-esteem often from rejection by parents…sometimes leading to homelessness for many.

However, Olly also allowed cameras to film his participation in Diversity Role Model schemes being rolled out in some schools, with positive statistics that 40% of students used homophobic vocabulary before the sessions and reducing to 15% after.

Those that regular follow my blog know I do my bit to support anti-bullying and again this programme showed how students suffer in silence preferring not to tell the school or their family.

I whole heartedly agree with Olly’s comments that awareness and consideration to LBGT should form part of sex education within schools, the earlier we are encouraged to be accepting of others the better.

I know that as with other similar documentaries Olly’s will hopefully encourage those struggling to talk to somebody and get support.

Be kind to one another this weekend and remember to ask ‘how are doing?’ and be willing to listen. Be that friend.

Sara Payne – A Mother’s Story

I watched last night’s programme on Channel Five ‘A Mother’s Story’ a documentary about Sara Payne, her family and the loss of her lovely daughter Sarah.

I had the great privilege of meeting Sara many years ago at an event run by The Stroke Association one of my chosen charities. Not only is she an inspirational woman who managed to change the law for the benefit of all our children, but also an extremely humble lady. She was a guest speaker encouraging others to be proactive and positive -this was not long before she suffered her own stroke.

The loss of a child is an unbearably sad journey and one which nevers leaves a parent, I know my own aunt never really recovered from the loss of my cousin in a tragic accident. I am reminded by the words of a wise and loving lady who told me once that;-

‘Our children are only on loan to us and that we should love them and hold them dear.’

I have read Sara’s book of the same title and will definitely be ordering a copy of  ‘Letters to Sarah.’ We all benefit from those who are brave enough to share their experiences and that in itself takes great courage.



Tell somebody you love them now

My amazing mother and mentor frequently reminded us as children that the time to be good to somebody is when they are here. These words of wisdom spoke often were her own form of mindfulness, reminding us that today was for living and that showing those that we care in thoughts, words or deed should always be high on our personal agenda.

I have just watched a short but touchingly emotive film ‘Our hearts are bigger’. It shows how a couple dealing with Dementia write beautiful love letters to one another and read them to help the challenge of memory loss that this sad illness steals. In many ways loved ones face a type of bereavement as they are forced to accept they are losing the person they knew and loved.

Dementia, causes, prevention and on-going care is being featured within all forms of news media this week and the increased awareness is well over due.

Being isolated and having feelings of isolation are common factors and anything any of us can do to help enrich the lives of carers and dementia sufferers can really make an impact.

And, as my mother used to say in reality we can only live a day at a time so make it count.

‘A Mother’s Love’ Gospels according to Dorothy…now available from Amazon Kindle.




you care