Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate - Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner.

Although the institution of marriage pre-dates reliable recorded history it is still the case that the success of a marriage requires skills needed in building a healthy relationship.

Skills include understanding of the soulmate concept, making decisions together, dealing with conflict, being flexible in your attitudes, be willing to create a balance in your life, and be open to change.

 Love and commitment are important, of course. But there are many more necessary qualities couples need to have a healthy and happy marriage. A marriage should provide nurturance and comfort to each other.

An enduring marriage continues to build on the intimate relationship – emotionally and physically. Continued commitment forms the bedrock for any successful marriage. 

Get it wrong, take a marriage for granted and overlook all or some of the above can lead to separation, divorce and estrangement. Unfortunately some lessons in life come too late...

Whitelocks First City Luncheon Bar,
4 Turks Head Yard,
off Briggate,
West Yorkshire
Tel: 0113 245 3950

Sunday, 24 April 2011


The Kean's Head is a quiet oasis in the heart of a bustling city. Perfect place for a sit down, pint and a pause for thought.

Like a great many people up and down the country, I recently submitted my application to the lottery that is the London Olympic Games 2012 on-line ticket application process. Wish me luck!

Selecting the events to attend was a fairly painless exercise. The usual candidates stand out – athletics, cycling, boxing and gymnastics. But it is the less prosaic sports which capture your imagination. Beach volleyball – men and womens, handball, rhythmic gymnastics and synchronised swimming. Synchronised swimming? – if one synchronised swimmer gets into trouble and drowns, are the other team members expected to follow suit? Team spirit and dedication in the extreme that would be - can't see it happening though!

Whether these sports should be part of the Olympic Games format – I don’t know - some of the sports seem a bit bizarre to me. I don't doubt the skill or effort required; but I for one would sooner watch grass grow than spend an afternoon as a spectator to any of the above...

Kean's Head
46 St Mary’s Gate
Lace Market


Saturday, 16 April 2011


It was Andy Warhol, wasn’t it, who coined the phrase "15mins of fame"? So-called celebrities can now become famous simply by being in the right place at the right time. Allied to this, of course, is the reality TV phenomenon which often provides a platform for ‘celebrities’ to achieve their “fame”. 

Part of the success of reality television is due to its ability to provide schadenfreude, relishing the discomfort and pain of others – IACGMOOH  in the UK is a prime example of this. Talent shows are another part of the celebrity/reality TV trend.

Jedward have trousered an impressive £2.85m in the past year - the biggest annual pay cheque in X-Factor history. They were contestants in 2009. The Irish twins -  aged 19 – with outrageous quiffs - have raked in the cash from gigs, personal appearances, bar mitzvahs, endorsements and lucrative advertisement deals, such as Nintendo. Let’s be honest they couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket  - possibly possessing the lowest level of actual talent imaginable – and they may be the first to admit that - but it seems that doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

Prices for a three-song private set with Jedward start at around £10,000 (€11,000). Sobering thought!

Crown Posada
31/33 Side
Tyne and Wear NE1 3JE
Tel: 0191 232 1269

Sunday, 10 April 2011


Last week it was announced that Prime Minister David Cameron was set to hand hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money – my money and your money - to Pakistan to make amends for offending the Muslim nation last year. In fact the Prime Minister pledged to invest £650m into Pakistani schools at a time when the education budget at home is being slashed. Has he not heard of the student unrest over tuition fees? He is responsible for stopping all remedial work in schools throughout the UK. Does charity beginning at home no longer apply?

Pakistan allocates only 1.5% of its Gross Domestic Product to education. £650m represents about £10.65 to every man, woman and child within the UK.

Mr. Cameron appears to have a cavalier attitude in the way he administers money obtained from me and other tax-payers. I doubt he manages the finances in his household with the same casual manner!
It’s time to review the UK foreign aid budget at a time when we are constantly being told to tighten our belts and prepare for the bumpy ride ahead. Some of us may have to work into our seventies to pay off the current national debt burden. Enough is enough...

The Resolution
19 Newport Crescent,
Tel: 01642 260650