Odds and ends (includes some law)

A random selection of items that have caught my eye (or ear) over the last few days:

On Friday the Telegraph ran an excellent piece on the 'baby gloomers', that part of the population aged 45 to 54 (and therefore including myself), who are said to be the unhappiest age group in Britain. Why so unhappy? Because we are: "Assailed by worries about ageing parents, expensive children and a poverty-stricken retirement." Yep, been there. We are also "acquainted with Philip Larkin’s poem Aubade: “I work all day, and get half-drunk at night / Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. / In time the curtain-edges will grow light. / Till then I see what’s really always there: unresting death, a whole day nearer now.”" Yep, that strikes a chord too. Still, on the brighter side, in only a couple more years I'll be in a different age group, albeit a couple of years nearer to death...

The reference to Larkin reminded me of perhaps his best known poem This Be The Verse, famously quoted by Lord Justice Wall in CP v AR & Anor last year. He only quoted the first verse (which I won't repeat), saying that the rest of the poem "seems to me to say more about Philip Larkin himself than it does about the human condition". However, the last verse seems to me to contain some apt advice for a family law blog:

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Moving on, I've seen it said before but it is worth repeating: there is no 'honour' in honour killing, a point made by Penny Booth in her column for Family Law today, referring (I believe) to the Shafilea Ahmed case that I mentioned here as long ago as January 2008 (and which is still being investigated). Of honour killing she says: "This is simply murder, and conferring ‘honour killing' upon these activities merely shows that we are cloaking with the respect of religion a murderous action which deprives another human being of life for no reason that could be good or honourable." Well said, although no doubt the term will continue to be used.

And now for a musical interlude. YouTube is full of videos of wannabe rock stars doing cover versions of well-known songs. Most of them are best left unwatched, but today I came across an exception, via Buzzfeed:

If anyone wants to know a little more about this hauntingly beautiful song, including which film it was written for, see this Wikipedia entry. There is a link to families and relationships...

Lastly, the Independent today tells us that one sixth of Britons have a bank account that they keep secret from their partner, according to a survey commissioned by the Post Office. The director of financial services at the Post Office is quoted as saying: "While people have secret savings accounts for many different reasons, it's wise to be open and honest about money with loved ones to avoid strained relationships." Good advice, but if the strain reaches breaking point I wonder how many of these accounts will be disclosed in that party's Form E?


  1. i always thought the start of the larkin very cosy:
    'they tuck you up your mum and dad'
    bless! and they said he was miserable!

  2. Hmm, you may care to re-read it...


  3. oh goodness - that's why my dissertation got a third....

    (as you probably know, that reading isn't originally mine - wish it had been! it is one of my favourite borrowings along with the academic theory that the iliad wasn't written by homer but by a different man of the same name. actually had a good variant on that in a class at college with my director of studies. fellow student, when faced with theory that homer was simply the oral tradition written down said:
    'well of course it just means man'
    when dir of studies looked blank he helpfully said 'homo'. dir of studies proceeded to weep quietly. actually the student got a first.

  4. but then he probably remembered to close his parentheses)


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