Oh, Russia

I’ve long had a soft spot for Russia. Or, more specifically, for her people. Since I studied there in my youth, I’ve felt a deep-seated affection, verging on kinship, for this complex – and so frequently misunderstood – nation. Add now, as my heart goes out to the brave people of Ukraine, I cry also for the people of Russia. For a nation whose potential seems destined to remain forever unfulfilled.

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In praise of the domestic arts

When I talk about the ‘domestic arts’, I’m not just talking about the ironing. I’m talking about everything that goes into the management of a household and the nurturing of the family that resides within it. From the construction and maintenance of a dwelling to the growing and preserving of food, from the management of the household budget to the raising of the next generation. And, yes, the ironing. These are all essential skills. But we’re losing them.

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Balancing the books… and what happens when they don’t

It’s not often that being a chartered accountant is a good thing. We’re always cast as the boring guy in the movies. The beancounter who likes to say ‘no’. Small children snigger at us behind our backs. And we never get invited to the best parties. But it does have its advantages. I don’t panic when the bank calls. I can do my tax return in under fifteen minutes. And I can spot a looming financial car wreck from several miles off.

And, I can tell you, there are a lot of them about.

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A rare moment of calm

It’s very quiet here. I went out earlier with Ozzy (my younger Labrador) for a brisk run around the local countryside. We then came back and collected Molly (my older Labrador) for an hour’s walk at a slightly more sedate pace. Upon our return home, I prepared their dinner and added some microwaved chicken, which always puts them in a good mood. And now I’m back at my desk, while the dogs snooze contentedly.

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Reclaiming the conversation

I was listening the other day to someone on a video online. He spoke about family. He spoke about personal responsibility. And he spoke about the need for a strong, resilient and just society. I can get behind all of these things. But he then segued into how abortion is evil and how anyone who thinks otherwise is going straight to hell.

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