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Margaret Thatcher was the UK’s Prime Minister from 1979–1990. In her party’s October 1980 conference, she said: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning!” She was hitting back at those who wanted to force her hand, to get her to change her mind. She stood firm, despite the concern that the policies she advocated might negatively impact the economy and peoples’ livelihoods.

Today I want to do the opposite of a “Maggie.” I want to announce a wholehearted, complete and utter U-turn. This lady is definitely for turning. So, what’s prompting my public about-turn? …


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John Mcarthur, Unsplash

“I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay, ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me, that’s too bad”

ABBA, 1976

Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid grafted for decades before they made it. Their break came in 1974 at the Eurovision Song Contest. They never looked back. ABBA went on to be one of the most commercially successful bands in pop, selling over 150 million records across the globe.

But the path to success is strewn with boulders. Their original name was unimaginative and…


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Here’s a bit of Greek mythology that I discovered the other day.

In Greek legend, Lethe is the River of Unmindfulness, one of five rivers in the Underworld. The river winds around a cave where a character called Hypnos lives and anyone who drinks from Lethe’s waters forgets everything that went before. As is the way with Greek legend, the river Lethe also doubles up as the spirit of forgetfulness and oblivion. It’s from these names that we get the words lethargic and hypnosis.

Roman mythology also helps us with modern words too. Somnus is the Roman version of Hypnos…


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Ever found yourself rooted to the spot? Overwhelmed by choice, unsure what to buy? 30 sorts of cooking oil, 23 brands of shampoo, 15 types of eggs. The issue is not what. It’s which.

Renata Saleci is a Professor of Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Law (an interesting combination). This is her talking about the paradox of choice. She is originally from Slovenia, the first former communist country to join the Eurozone in 2007. This is what Professor Saleci says about that time of flux: “At the end of Communism we had a feeling that rights and choices had been finally secured…


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I’ve just finished reading Sheryl Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversations — Power of Talk in a Digital Age. Turkle is a Professor of the Social Study of Science and Technology at MIT. She’s spent 30 years studying people’s relationships with technology and her book is a great read. But if you haven’t got time here’s a summary: put down your phone and talk to your family and friends.

Reclaiming Conversations got me thinking. Even when we stop using our tech, our conversations can be half-hearted. We’re good at ‘glancing talking’, bouncing superficially from topic to topic. …


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When I rocked up to a school chemistry class my teacher would sigh. I was good at English and history, art and music. But I was terrible at science. Physics was within touching distance if I really stretched. But chemistry? However hard I tried, I couldn’t work it out. Physics interacted with the world I knew, but chemistry, that was pure abstraction to me. Wrapping my brain cells around atoms and molecules gave me a headache. And learning the periodic table? Really?

On the topic of tables, I came across an intriguing video called Science is Awesome. I wish I’d…


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Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day.

Rain, rain, rain. It’s been falling for days. I look out at the leaden sky as huge raindrops pound the windowsill and bounce heavily on the grass outside. Will it ever stop?

I’ve been indoors for weeks. OK, two days, but it feels much longer. I give up waiting for it to clear and go out for a muddy walk. Wellington boots, full length raincoat, woolly hat. The rain is diagonal and blinding. I can’t see my way or hear much either. …


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With the Christmas holidays upon us, my mind turns to gift giving. I thought I’d share with you a particular type of present: a Chewbacca present. This is something we buy for ourselves under the guise of buying it for another.

The name comes from the first Chewbacca present. It was selected by my husband in the late 1970s. The recipient of his kindness? His mother. It was an actual Chewbacca present — a poster of the 200-year-old Wookiee in the Stars Wars films who is called… Chewbacca.

Clearly it was more appropriate for the eight-year-old giver, than the forty-year-old…


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Brown. It’s the colour of the 1970s.

This is my family, all dressed up in 1974. My father an embodiment of brown, from his beard to his suit, and the rest of us with our hair, the shoes, the cushion. Even the dog is on trend. Brown is definitely à la mode.

My mother and younger sister hedge their bets in beige. My older sister (always ploughing her own furrow) stands out in red. I am the cheery one on the right, unimpressed with the plethora of brown. What I don’t know is that years later a kaleidoscope of colour will be unleashed. A world of shoulder…


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Shaun is in his mid 50’s, a successful businessman and consultant. He’s also one of my Spoon by Spoon interviewees. In recent years he feels he’s lost his way a bit in his career and when we caught up months ago, he was in a reflective mood.

Shaun shared lots of stories about his life. For example, he told me about his grandmother, Mary, and how he was incredibly fond of her. She was originally from Carricou, an island near Grenada. As Shaun put it “Carricou is a speck of an island.

Charlotte Sheridan

Psychologist, coach, writer, photographer… juggling them all but often dropping balls.

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