Self-reflective learning journal (aka navel gazing)

Fresh back from a CPD weekend and I’m full of ideas for blog posts, albeit slightly tired and emotional (there may have been some socialising too – the children keep correcting me when I say I’ve been away for work: ‘No mum, you’ve been to a party!’).

Anyway, high hopes of knocking out a blog post on the train up and another on the train back did not materialise, but since I am in that sweet spot between a long trial collapsing at the last minute and the diary refilling itself, I have time to ruminate, to limber up my blogging muscles before embarking on the half a dozen chonky ones that are taking up RAM in my brain, but which I will need to be able to focus on rather more than I care to do today.

I’ve been using this blog as a sort of combined CPD motivator and therapeutic vehicle for almost 15 years (3/4 of my professional life!). I checked back to see that in July 2007 I wrote my first post. It was….underwhelming.

Its Sunday night and I’m all prepped for my trial tomorrow. So finally a few minutes to make my first entry. Unfortunately little energy left to think of something sparkling to say. But I have lots of ideas brewing in my mind at the moment which I hope will emerge here sooner rather than later. Bear with me. Life is busy.

Yes, that’s the entire post. Admirably – and uncharacteristically – brief. But it’s as true as ever on this Sunday evening. Life is busy. And blogs have been ever thinner on the ground as the years have worn on.

I have found over the years that I can trick myself into making time to do things if I promise to do them publicly on this blog. This ridiculous home-made psychological medicine saw me through the training for my first half marathon (absolutely no way I’m going to publicly promise to do that again!), and (after a couple of attempts) got me off the cigarettes. So, the theory is that if I write a blogging ‘to do’ list and share it with you, I’ll have to make good on my promise.

  • Financial remedy transparency – this is occupying about fifty percent of my brain at the moment, at the expense of basic motor functions. I have read Xanthopolous and Sir James Munby’s detailed piece in support of it, and today Christopher Wagstaffe’s equally persuasive and beautifully written riposte. I’d like to add something useful to that discussion, but it’s percolating. And it’s a frankly daunting follow up act to attempt.
  • Domestic Abuse – the prohibition on cross examination will be in force very soon (June) – as soon as the final version of the rules and guidance are published I shall have some thoughts to share.
  • I *might* venture into the water on the Amber Heard / Jonny Depp trial that is currently ongoing. Not because I know anything about US / Virginian law or libel law generally, not even because I’ve watched more than a snippet or two of the trial, and certainly not because I know who is telling the truth – but because I am really troubled by both the trauma and abuse as entertainment that this trial has facilitated, and by some of the responses by both lawyers and lay persons to what they’ve seen or what they think they’ve seen and as to what a fair trial looks like.
  • I am slowly, intermittently, plugging my way through a book called ‘Challenging Parental Alienation’, which I have promised to review. It is possible that I’m subconsciously putting off reading it in order to delay the moment when my review prompts a wave of twitter outrage or critique – something I’ve no doubt will arrive at my virtual door no matter whether I give the book a rave review or a rotten tomato (since merely tweeting a picture which incidentally showed a corner of the cover on my dinner table seemed to prompt a surprising amount of responses from those wishing to make a point about alienation and about my assumed views, as divined from my mere proximity to the text). But I’m not going to chicken out, even if parental alienation is a horribly toxic topic which I’d rather steer clear of.
  • I have a fuzzy outline for a post about clients who transgress the boundaries in the lawyer-client relationship.
  • There are several interesting judgments I’d like to write up – either here or on the Transparency Project blog (a case about the use of intimate images and the Somerset judgment)
  • I’m following with interest the developments around BAILII and the National Archives…that might involve a blog post at some point too.
  • The 4th edition of Family Court without a Lawyer is going to the printers very soon. I shall of course tell you all what’s new in it since last time once that is done. Might be a blog post or a video or both.

As you can see there is a lot going on in my head. Better out than in though, eh?

I dare not put any realistic timescale on this frankly ridiculous list of stuff to write about, and I must lay down a marker for myself that I do need to spend some time doing something apart from law (and crochet) – and so next weekend is earmarked for sorting out the garden, tidying the house (we’re getting ready for a Ukrainian hopefully, so lots of ‘stuff’ needs sorting, moving, chucking) and for making rhubarb, ginger and chilli jam. I owe myself the space to do that too. Having spent a reasonable amount of time of late staying away from home for work and for ‘parties’, I am genuinely longing for a bit of pottering around the house and garden, restoring order in my environment as well as inside my head.

Anyway, for now, much like 15 years ago, I have little energy left to think of anything sparkling to say right now, so I’m off to vegetate…


One thought on “Self-reflective learning journal (aka navel gazing)

  1. Christopher Wagstaffe


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