Modern parenting techniques never cease to shock me. I recently heard about some parents of a two-year-old who are currently very pleased with themselves because they've bought their child a TV and DVD player for his room. Now, instead of waking up Mummy and Daddy first thing in the morning, he can switch on and watch his favourite cartoons all by himself.

I suppose the silver lining in this utterly depressing piece of news - albeit an extremely dull and tarnished one - is that it reminded me that a writer isn't a writer unless he or she writes. I haven't been a writer since around the middle of May... for very good reasons, mind you. However, each of those reasons has now been dealt with, so to speak, and now there is nothing to stop me from stuffing ear plugs into my ears, turning my notebook to a fresh page and giving my old fountain pen a good shake. And I'd like to think the story above is the world's way of reminding me that my favourite subject - the way parents mess up their kids - is alive and (dys)functioning... so I just need to get my act together (not for the first time) and find a way to make the words flow again.

Keep watching this space for news of any developments and/or successes.

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