Ten pieces of advice for Kate Middleton

NOTWITHSTANDING the palaces, jewels and pastel couture frockery, I reckon it’d be a right pain being the Duchess of Cambridge. There you are, curled up on the sofa watching Game of Thrones with Wills and wondering if you can get through the next five minutes of dwarf sex before you have to express a feed, when the phone rings. It’s the … [Read more...]

Guide to growing up

TOMORROW, my darling, you turn 12; a girl, still. But sometime when I wasn't paying attention, the pudgy-cheeked baby skipped away and here you are, a soft sketch of the woman you're going to be. I want to freeze-frame you so I can say all the things I've missed, that the words may be indelibly inked like a suit of armour around your soul. But … [Read more...]

Why a hug or kiss adds a touch of love

"Pretend," he'd say every afternoon as the sun went over the yardarm, "that I've just come home from a hard day at work." And with that my granddad Jack would uncurl himself from the easy chair where he'd been doing the crossword or some other retiree pursuit. He'd pull my grandmother into his arms and kiss her fully on the lips. And if you … [Read more...]

You should teach your children to be tough

SHE climbs into my bed early one morning, blue eyes duller than usual. "I don't want to go to school today," she says quietly. "Why darling? You love school." "I don't want to watch the other kids get awards. I've been at school five years now and I've never got an award. Five kids get an award every year. Five times five equals 25 and … [Read more...]

How does a modern jury unshackle itself from gossip?

I've been asked hundreds of times - by friends, colleagues, people who know that I know her. Did she do it? Some are genuinely curious; others want to corroborate their own view; most just see me as a keyhole through which they can glimpse briefly with their own eyes that most compelling and repellent of creatures - the "mother who killed … [Read more...]

A good dad’s not mission impossible

MY godson Rufus was eight weeks old when his dad went to fight the war in Afghanistan. The morning he left he stood on the doorstep in his uniform cradling his new baby while his wife Sarah - my best friend - took photos of father and son together. "We both knew why I was taking them," recalls Sarah. "They might have been the last pictures … [Read more...]