My new book, 'All Grown Up: Nurturing relationships with adult children', is published by Green Tree/Bloomsbury. It's about the everyday dilemmas and anxieties that keep parents awake at night: about communicating well, dealing with conflict between adult siblings, living with kids who move back home, and getting on with your child's partner. But it's also about the big crises, like divorce (theirs or yours), mental health issues, and when one parent dies. I learned so much from the other parents, psychologists and psychotherapists I interviewed for the book, and they all offer really helpful insights into what can be the most life-enhancing and rewarding relationships we ever have.
Copies of the new edition have just arrived, in time for parents whose kids are leaving home this autumn.
Since the first edition was published in 2011 I've had so much fantastic feedback from readers. I've added loads of new material and interviews, and there are extra chapters on going back to work, young adults' mental health, couples, and finding a new direction in life. I really hope that reading about how other parents have coped - as well as what the experts have to say - will help parents facing the empty nest, because it's one of the biggest and most challenging transitions in life.
Mother's Day was so sad this year, coming three days before Lockdown.
The wonderful Ria Hebden invited me on her show to talk about the strength of the very special relationship between mothers and their children and to talk about ways to show their love, despite being apart.
I'm thrilled that the Daily Express serialised Not Fade Away in 2019.
They asked for a photo of my mum and dad - his unhappy retirement inspired me to write the book. Choosing one brought back all kinds of memories. This is one of the happier ones.
I was so pleased to be asked to go on Woman's Hour just before Christmas, but I wasn't expecting to love it! I did though. Jane Garvey is a great interviewer, obviously, and the listeners' e-mails and calls were incredibly varied and interesting. Some were loving retirement, others hating it.
I was really pleased to be asked to stay on for the Woman's Hour podcast, and bowled over when my interview was chosen to be part of Weekend Woman's Hour the following Saturday. Thank you!
Last autumn Action for Elders asked me to speak at a reception they held at the House of Commons, hosted by Tonia Antoniazzi MP. Although it's a new charity they've already made great strides in communities across the country, working with GPs to give people a new lease of life through their Balanced Lives programme.
I'm a big fan of Jo Good's BBC Radio London show so I was thrilled when she invited me on to talk about Not Fade Away. Even more thrilled when she played the Stones version of Not Fade Away to introduce the interview.
Jo hates the idea of retirement and so I thought she would hate the book too.
But she really got what I'm trying to do - write about what retirement really is like for people now. So she's the perfect audience.