It's not nice to gloat, dear.
Help is at hand! Agony Aunt extraordinaire, Eunice Peaks, answers your letters and offers sound practical advice on family, relationships, work and container gardening - a problem shared is a problem halved!
Thank you for your letter; I was sorry to hear your job didn’t work out. Managing ‘eleven narcissistic prima donnas’ doesn’t sound like much fun, dear, so perhaps a change of position is for the best. Why not consider a rewarding voluntary role? The Scouts Association offer a tremendous amount of fun and adventure and just think, it would present you with the opportunity to work towards your Survival Skills activity badge – might help you to dodge all those knives in the back next time.
At least you are to receive a fabulous leaving gift, which no doubt reflects the excellent results you achieved in your role. It reminds me of when I had to leave my much-loved position at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill factory – all the girls clubbed together to get me a waxing voucher, which was extremely thoughtful of them; I do so love candles.
So do not fret, dear – I strongly believe things happen for a reason. For example, you will now be able to spend some quality time with your good friend Roy, who has written to tell me he is expecting to be relieved of his management duties too, on or around the 24th June.
All the very best.
I was intrigued by your letter - such a modern relationship! Skyping and Facetime and such – it’s all a mystery to me, of course but my dear niece assures me many couples interact through the Internet these days. I believe she attracts a great deal of admirers herself via her regular webcam appearances; what a liberated girl she is!
You must be very excited at the prospect of finally meeting your long-distance beau. I agree, his flight is extremely expensive and what a shame it has been cancelled four times now, but of course it is fine to keep sending the money – it will be as safe as houses in his account at the Union Bank of Nigeria.
I must confess, I am at a loss - I don’t know why she hasn’t returned your calls, especially after such a successful first date at the National Railway Museum. Perhaps she is still recovering from the heady rush of the steam locomotive simulator ride, or the thrill of viewing the entire timetable collection; I bet she couldn’t believe it dated right back to 1839!
Just give her time to recuperate, dear, and perhaps choose somewhere less giddy for your second date.
Ah, children are such a blessing, aren’t they? And you have three of the little angels, how marvellous. Maths isn’t your strong point, is it dear, as you write that you have ‘one of each’, but not to worry, no doubt you can encourage your children in other areas. Indeed, your letter demonstrates that you have an extremely commanding grasp of the Anglo Saxon language.
Now, you mustn’t fret dear, all children experiment with dress styles as they grow up, it’s only natural. My sisters and I loved nothing more than to slip into my mother’s wrestling outfit when it was still steamy and hot from the contest, although we had to wait until she’d wiped the bull’s blood from it, of course. I’m really impressed that your youngest is able to express himself so freely and clearly he feels at one with nature. Try
and encourage him to wear pants though dear, nettle rash can be extremely debilitating.
It sounds as if your eldest son prefers a more sedentary life style; youngsters just love the Internet, don’t they? I sometimes worry about all the things they can view nowadays so it’s reassuring to hear your son has used the World Wide Web to develop his keen interest in farm animals; this is definitely to be encouraged if he’s going for his Naturalist badge. I assume he is in the Scouts, because you mention his regular hand tools activities. Or perhaps he’s more Beaver age?
And gosh – you are to be become a grandmother at the ripe old age of 34! I do hope your daughter will be able to manage a newborn baby alongside her mock exams. No doubt the father will step up to his responsibilities - it sounds as if he has a wonderful career at Ford’s and he must be doing well if he’s been told he’ll be there for the next ten years! What a terrific role model he’s going to be.
Do keep in touch, Karen and let me know how your wonderful family is progressing. I’m afraid I don’t know much about fostering so I can’t answer your questions on that, but I’d say you had your hands quite full
enough at the moment, dear.
You did not provide your full name on your letter but you will forgive me for assuming I am replying to a woman – we lassies are prone to a spot of havering, are we not?!
I am sorry to hear you have fallen out with your teammates, dear – girls can be a little unkind to each other sometimes and it reminds me of my time spent at Highlands High for Girls. I was always the last to be chosen for Curling, but it was difficult to sweep vigorously whilst wearing my sibling’s hand-me-down gym shorts. My sister was, after all, not known as Big Bellied Bertha McBelch for nothing! I daresay your teammates have a menagerie of hilarious nicknames you too, dear.
Try not to take this little set back to heart, KP – you sound as if you have some wonderful friends to support you through this troubled time and Piers especially seems awfully sweet and kind – with people like that behind you, you can’t go far wrong. And anyway, if you are as you say, about to become ‘minted’, I’m sure you will soon attract lots of lovely new friends. My advice is to always keep in mind the Girl Guide motto – ‘A guide is loyal and can be trusted’ – if you can remember that dear, it will always stand you in good stead.
Goodness me! How on earth did you manage to sit on the poor thing, dear? I can only suggest you try and coax it out with a piece of lettuce.
Thank you for your letter. Yes, I am fed up with these freezing temperatures too and you are quite right, neighbours should look out for each other in times of extremely inclement weather. It is disappointing that the gentlemen next door has not checked on you - he’s not going to win his Team Player badge, is he?!
My motto has always been ‘a guide that leads is a guide that succeeds!’ so perhaps you could show him the way and call on him. It is just possible that, at the age of eighty-seven, he may have lost a little confidence in his social abilities and clearly he is becoming forgetful, so make sure you remind him to take his milk in; he really shouldn’t have left it on his doorstep all week.
Let me know how your visit goes, dear.
If your husband is getting irritated with Movember, I suggest you shave, dear.
You have got yourself into a tizzy, haven’t you? It sounds to me as if your husband may be experiencing that much over-used phrase ‘a mid-life crisis’. Spending hours alone on the computer or locked away in the shed are all classic symptoms, dear. Men do need their personal space, a yearning that dates right back to the Stone Age; cave men were extremely territorial. My father was much the same over his pigeon coop, which he actually referred to as his ‘cave’ – I even saw him dragging my mother around by her hair once! These ancestral instincts are so deeply ingrained, aren't they?
I know it must be hurtful when your husband refers to you as ‘Dreary’ but perhaps you should stop looking at his social media entries; eavesdroppers never hear any good of themselves! You say that his shed always smells of skunk, which I imagine is most unpleasant; skunks don’t make great pets, dear - I've taken the liberty of enclosing a wonderful pamphlet the guides have produced on handling animals, which is a joy to read. I hope, too, that this might discourage his activity of ‘whacking the one eyed weasel’; I simply can’t abide blood sports.
Try not to worry, Deirdre, this phase will soon pass and then you will both be able to reconvene your wonderful activities at the Basingstoke Tea Bag Folding Society. Won’t that be exciting?
"WE DISCOVER, WE GROW". Girl Guiding Association