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Francesca’s Mexican Takeaway party

I was there in spirit, even though I couldn’t make it in person. I’m delighted for Francesca that her party was so successful, with guests travelling from around the world – most importantly Mexico. This is her how it went: Saturday my book, Mexican Takeaway came to life. It has been in physical existence for a few months now with lots of high profile media coverage. However it...
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My message to Andrew Lansley over father’s death

I was sorry to read about the circumstances surrounding the death of Andrew Lansely’s father, particularly the lack of communication between healthcare professionals. The Health Secretary has described how Thomas Lansley, a distinguished NHS pathologist, was left in an observation bay for several days because no beds were available on a suitable ward. In the end, out of sheer frustration,...
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The greatest travesty of justice for Milly Dowler’s family….

For me, the greatest travesty of justice during the trial of Milly Dowler’s evil killer Levi Bellfied was not the trauma his defence team put her anguished family through, the character assassination over their private lives (including her father’s bondage fetish which is of no relevance), and hurtful claims that Milly was unhappy at home, but that the law did not require him to give...
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Could Congressional candidate Aubrey Immelman help track missing toddler Kevin Ayotte?

Aubrey Immelman, who is standing as an Independent candidate for Congress, has urged the family of missing toddler Kevin Ayotte to contact him as he may have vital information about his disappearance. The university lecturer, who is standing in Minnesota, left the following message on my blog for Kevin’s sister-in-law Beth Ayotte: “Please contact me. I have a potential lead, but I...
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We are off to the Olympics!

By an incredible stroke of luck, we are off to the Olympics next year! My husband has just discovered that our application for a number of athletic events with our two sons has been successful. We have tickets for six races! We had thought the worst as he believed didn’t that any money had been sucked out of his bank account, and then, hey presto, he noticed the big dip and realised we...
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A week at the Wellcome Trust

I have spent the last week at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute working with their media team to promote the biomedical research being carried out by their scientists, the kind of research that contributes to making discoveries which make a huge difference to all our lives, from its Cancer Genome Project and research leading to a vaccine for malaria, as well  migraine, MRSA and human...
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What to do when you get a shock demand for thousands of pounds from the taxman

I read about my PR buddy’s dilemma on Facebook. She was in shock having received an unexpected – and unwarranted – tax bill for £20,000. I really felt for her. But Sheila Kiggins’ story does have a happy ending, the taxman finally resolved matters, but only after countless headaches – thanks to the intervention of her wonderful MP James Paice. I thought it was such...
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Adoption should not be a last resort

I’m thrilled to see philanthropist Francesca Polini in today’s Times promoting a fairer adoption system both in the UK and internationally. Francesca and her husband Rick went to Mexico to adopt two babies after being turned by their local authority in Ealing where a cap on white couples adopting a black or mixed race child had been reached. As a result, countless children around the...
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The Mumsnet Rules

I wish Mumsnet had been around when I agonised over bringing up my kids. The best part is knowing you are never alone with problems, that a national – and international – community of mums are online for a chat. Their pearly words of wisdom are now available in a new book, The Mumsnet Rules, by Natasha Joffe and Justine Roberts, and published today by Bloomsbury. It’s a...
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Why can’t Annunziata Rees-Mogg stand as a Tory MP?

Would you consider putting yourself up for a dream job a second time which you had previously lost, particularly having experienced the harsh unpleasantness that can be par for the course? After reading Annunziata Rees-Mogg’s account in today’s Sunday Times, I wouldn’t have blamed her from wanting to turn her back on political life.  But she didn’t give it a second...
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Are you saving for your future care home?

How many of us give a thought to saving for a care home when we become old and vulnerable? In today’s cash struck society, it’s tough enough keeping a job and paying everyday bills, keeping our heads above water. And, of course, we don’t think we will need one while we enjoy the best health. However, if we think things are bad now following the demise of the Southern Cross Care...
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Was your Olympic bid successful?

Our family is one of the tens of thousands who missed out on having our bank account emptied overnight to pay for Olympic tickets. I was keen to see diving, while my husband was geared up for athletics, cycling and boxing (he thought boxing would be a dead cert as there seemed to be much less interest in it). I wouldn’t mind missing out if the system had been fair, but there doesn’t...
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