Over the weekend I talked to several friends on the telephone, as a result the conversations have given me a lot to think about.
Thoughts about widely diverging topics, one of which was the idea of campaigning for men who abandon their children to be jailed.
After talking with a friend who mentioned this idea, I thought about it and decided that it reconfirmed for me once again why I was totally opposed to prison changing behaviour.
Prison does not in my opinion stop people from offending, all it does is punish and warehouse offenders, jailing men for not being good fathers is not I think a good idea.
Men contrary to popular belief are not the only ones to leave their children, women also abandon their children, something that does not get mentioned often.
Perhaps community service orders where parents could work on community-based projects as well as parenting courses might be more beneficial than detention in prison.
The other was about an unpleasant incident being able to upset somebody so much that they could become quite prejudiced about the country in which it happened.
I think it is quite understandable that somebody should be wary after something unpleasant happening to them, but not prejudiced against the country.
Even that I can understand happening, especially if depressed, or under pressure, bad experiences can have quite an effect.
There have been times when I have had to have a good think about my reactions usually once I've thought about why it happened I've been able to deal with the situation much better.
The last was about birthdays, and whether or not to celebrate them, apart from a brief period in the 1980s when I was depressed I love celebrating my birthday.
I think it is a lovely thing to do especially because it is an excellent reason to invite close friends, acquaintances as well as new friends to join in.
Years ago I would try and avoid my birthday, then I began to enjoy them again, especially the ones since I met Richie in 1989.
One thing that used to worry me was getting too much attention, it made me feel self-conscious now I realise that I enjoy it very much.
My upbringing was all about being modest, self-effacing and not speaking until spoken to, not asking but waiting, all of which were recommended as virtues.
In the years after leaving home I realised that none of these things were virtues in fact they were as far as I could see the total opposite.
All those so-called virtues are as far as I'm concerned seemed to be just means to curb individuality and freedom of expression.
I'm all in favour of individuality, freedom of expression and enjoying every moment possible, any reason for having a party with friends is good.