Lena has been a music producer, writer and Personal Manager; a photographer and journalist and, over thirty years ago, got together with Caroline Scattergood to create the Caring & Sharing Trust to bring music, hope and love into the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families from throughout Northamptonshire.
Loneliness is now being treated seriously as a basis for ill-health and unhappiness and even suicide.
So Kate Leaver’s “The Friendship Cure” (Duckworth Overlook hardback £16.99) is all the more welcome and interesting.
Virtually every aspect of friendship is investigated from the thoroughly healthy to the thoroughly toxic.
The writing has a lightness of touch you would expect from Kate who was previously Features Editor for Cosmopolitan magazine in Australia and is now a journalist for such as The Guardian, Glamour, Red, etc.
I thoroughly recommend this book to Tracey Crouch MP, the first ever Government Minister for Loneliness.
In fact I recommend it, not only to sociologists (who will certainly find it fascinating) but also to those of us whose friendships have come and gone and, thanks to the internet, sometimes come flying back again into our all too open arms! The same publisher continues in a similar vein with “One Kiss or Two?” by Andy Scott (Duckworth Overlook hardback £16.99).
This is not solely aimed at those of us who have been greeted by what we thought was a kiss on one cheek, or both cheeks and then finding we were going to be kissed on a return visit to the first cheek!
This is really a study of how we have greeted each other through the ages and various civilisations etc for many thousands of years.
But, take my word for it, it is immensely interesting and entertaining and Andy Scott is certainly the perfect man to take us on what the publisher calls “a captivating journey through a subject far richer than we might have expected”.
In fact Andy Scott himself has a fascinating background.
With a PhD in History from Cambridge under his belt, he joined the Cabinet Office in 2009 and has since served as a British Diplomat in Libya and Sudan and been a consultant to the UN.
At this very moment he is a “Conflict and Stabilisation Adviser” to the Government.
Just the man you need when your next family wedding is getting a bit out of hand! Of course, how we greet each other in future might be even more computerised than it is today.
However, even those of you who only encounter prospective “friends” by swiping right or left will eventually have to face the first of your many conundrums on actually meeting – if is it going to be “One Kiss or Two?” will probably be the least of your problems!
For those of you who love a good mystery novel with wonderful characters, a good story and a desire to search the authors back catalogue for even more – I can highly recommend “Beau Death” by Peter Lovesey (Sphere hardback £19.99).
I love this genre of good old fashioned crime detection and Peter is still at the top of his game after writing best sellers for years plus winning every accolade going.
Just why television hasn’t snapped up a series starring Bath Police Detective Peter Diamond is quite beyond me.
Perhaps there just isn’t an actor quite butch enough!