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Prayers for Paris

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 20 November 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been horrified at the catastrophe in Paris this weekend, particularly as my son is shortly due to fly out there in a few weeks on a work experience project.  I am scared witless that another atrocity could occur whilst he is there, although I do realise it is just as likely that such a barbaric act could be carried out in this country, particularly in London, where I live.

How is it possible for us all to go about our normal lives without being affected? I worry about journeys I need to make on the underground, and even about going to a well attended restaurant now!

I don't know how to put this tragedy aside in my mind.

Patricia Marie says...

The stark reality of the Paris attack has brought about an international outpouring of utter shock and grief, both for personal loss, the loss of others, and almost for our own safety.  The aftermath of events such as this can cause heightened anxiety, and we would be wise to place limitations on our exposure to the media reports, and do our best to continue our daily routines to install a sense of normality.

 Theresa May, the Home Secretary, reassured us by saying "Our law enforcement and intelligence agencies are working day and night to keep the people of this country safe and secure".  She added that those who attacked Paris "represent no one, and will fail to divide free countries such as Britain and France.  France grieves, but she does not grieve alone. People of all faiths, all nationalities and all backgrounds around the world are with you, and together we will defeat them."

 I cannot echo this bold sentiment enough, and hope you feel calmed and uplifted by this powerful, heartfelt message.

  Understandably, recent events have left you feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed.  Perhaps you could offer some positive advice to your son about keeping himself safe. Children of all ages look to their parents for guidance, so also remind him that these fanatics cannot stop any of us from living our lives. Reassuring him will make you feel more in control and help detract from your fears. 

Adults as well as children require a sense of community and belonging, to help us feel protected.  Don’t worry alone. Talk about your fears and concerns with your family and friends. It’s the love and support from our relationships which hold us safely in this world.

 Despite how devastating this act was, if we could all just try to put things into perspective, we would realise these tragedies do very rarely happen.   Finally and thankfully, take comfort in the fact that history has proven, good will always triumph over evil.

Keeping up with my ten-year old

Posted by Slummy single mummy
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on Monday, 12 November 2012
It’s 9am and I’m on my third breakfast – yogurt, a pancake and two slices of watermelon. We’re in Disneyland Paris for the weekend and I am making the most of the breakfast buffet.

Despite falling asleep last night before Belle it seems to be taking me rather longer than her to wake up. “Come on!” she says, bouncing up and down in her chair. “We’ve got to go, we’ve got to be at the front for Crush’s Coaster!”

Ah yes, the rollercoasters. I’d sort of forgotten about them, focused as I was on getting best value for money at the buffet. Belle has eaten just half a sausage and one mini pain au chocolat, yet is full of beans already. (Figuratively only unfortunately – her baked beans remain untouched).

“OK, OK,” I say, trying to stop thinking about the pastry selection, “ready when you are!” “Yesssss!” she says, doing a little air punch. She’s up out of her chair, clutching her fast pass, before I can take one final swig of coffee.

I take a deep breath, mentally preparing myself for another high-energy day and hoping my stomach can hang on to all three breakfasts on the rides.

Outside the hotel, Belle takes my hand. “We wasted loads of time eating,” she says, “we’re going to have to run,” and she breaks into a trot, dragging me along with her.

Forget the rollercoasters, my pancakes have got to make it to the queue first…

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