Children do it hundreds of times a day. By the time you’re an adult, you’re lucky if it’s twenty.
Laughter. We all need more of it. We need it for our souls. We need it for our health.
If you could sell it as a health supplement it would look like liquid gold, but it’s actually there within all of us. We only need to bring it out.
There’s been an enormous amount of research carried out on the relationship between stress and disease, and the benefits of laughter in combating serious illness. …
50 years ago this February, a ruthless commanding officer in the Ugandan army pronounced himself President Idi Amin Dada of Uganda, having staged a military coup to oust President Milton Obote. It was a dark day for the African country. It would lead to half a million people being tortured, mutilated, and murdered over the following eight years and tens of thousands of Ugandan Asians being expelled, all their worldly possessions confiscated.
Amin’s mental stability has been called into question over the years as he was always unpredictable with fits of violence and illogical behaviour. Whatever his diagnosis, he held…
‘I couldn’t get it all out,’ said the surgeon. ‘Too close to the carotid artery.’
He was one of the top brain surgeons in the country and had sat on my bed two days before, prior to the operation, explaining the procedure. It was December 1999, and I was in The National Neurological Hospital in London — all on the NHS.
‘It’s a tricky operation,’ he said. ‘But don’t you worry about that. That’s what I do. I do tricky.’
He was going to cut off the front of my skull then push my brain gently aside so he could…
Can you honestly put your hand up and say you don’t?
It was early December, and I was driving my eight-year-old daughter home from After-School Club when a voice piped up from the rear seat.
‘Mummy, I’m going to ask you a question, and if you don’t tell me the truth, I will never, never trust you again. Ever.’
This sounded ominous.
‘Okay,’ I said, steeling myself for the worst.
‘Is Father Christmas real?’
Tricky. I paused. Silence, for what seemed like several minutes, but was probably only seconds.
‘Why do you ask?’
‘Suzie says that Father Christmas isn’t real…
It was some twenty years since I had last visited my childhood village and there was a true sense of homecoming as I drove down into the valley nestled within the English hills. Had I really appreciated how pretty this area was when I was growing up, with its twisting lanes and thatched cottages, the village duck pond and the four pubs serving the modest population. It seemed idyllic now.
As I drove through the village, I noticed one of the pubs had now been converted into a private house. My old home sat in darkness.
Although I now lived…
Thursday 21st May 2020 marks the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and we will all be celebrating it in very different ways. As we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, many of us won’t be celebrating at all. Many of us will wonder when we will have any cause for celebration again.
We may lack hope at the moment, not knowing how, or when, we will pick up the pieces of our lives.
We are asking ourselves what the future will hold but, no matter how hopeless life may seem at the moment, we…
In the Spring of 1914 master sailor Frank Worsley had a very odd dream. He dreamt he was sailing his ship down a specific street in the centre of London, trying to avoid large floating blocks of ice. Now most people would have woken in the morning and shaken off such imaginings, but Frank Worsley was different.
The next morning, he decided to visit the envisaged Burlington Street where he came upon a notice inviting applications to join Ernest Shackleton’s ‘Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition’. …
I never knew that a woman could yearn for a second child as intensely as craving a first. It seemed greedy to me. Surely one child should fill the maternal yearning. Shouldn’t one be enough?
Yet here I was, watching my biological clock ticking louder and louder, obsessed by ovulation charts, desperately wanting to produce a sibling for our beautiful three-year old son. So far, the fertility drugs and visits to a specialist had been inconclusive. The doctor couldn’t find any reason why I wasn’t conceiving.
Life carried on. I continued working during the day and, as a diversion, I…
English writer and author of The Fortunicity of Birdie Dalal