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The personality of numbers as revealed in sudoku

Something’s just become clear to me: the reason why I like sudoku is because it’s a sociable, strategic game. Sure, I play alone, in theory. But equally, the numbers are playing me. Each one has a distinct personality and they use their unique strengths to the hilt. Anyway I’ve just spent a happy pointless hour with my […]

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Why older people talk about their ailments

Aunt Beulah posed (indirectly) a fascinating question in her latest blog post: Why, as we grow older, do we feel the urge to discuss our health problems at length, when as children we never did? So many hypotheses rushed into my head that I was forced to share them immediately. Oh dear. So that means I’m a case in […]

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A writer’s take on eating alone

Many people feel dispirited when they eat alone. At least half the fun of good food is sharing with friends or family or — anyone! Eating alone seems to be particularly difficult for those who are widowed or divorced, at least initially. For years your meals were sociable occasions, and it seems hard to adapt […]

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The big family get-together

Aaaahhh, it’s Christmas and in New Zealand that means a summer holiday, time to relax, preferably by a beach or pool. For some the holiday involves a big family gathering. We are a huge family and we love our occasional maxi-reunions, but not at Christmas. Then we drift off in different directions for smaller gatherings, which are seldom fraught. […]

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Writing heals: the story of Mrs D

Writing can heal. Some people discover this through therapy (or perhaps an online writing course like Write Over Divorce), and some people make it happen all by themselves. Lotta Dann was a wife-and-mother with a perfect life and a drinking problem. One day she decided privately, suddenly, independently, urgently, to stop drinking alcohol. She didn’t seek help or join AA or […]

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