Poor (but very rich) Heather

POOR Heather Mills.Disliked by so many people and criticized by the divorce courts - I almost feel sorry for her.As any half decent journalist will tell you, there are always two sides to any story and partly because I feel sorry for anyone with only one leg and partly because no one else is, I thought I'd offer her my support.

James Marston

POOR Heather Mills.

Disliked by so many people and criticized by the divorce courts - I almost feel sorry for her.

As any half decent journalist will tell you, there are always two sides to any story and partly because I feel sorry for anyone with only one leg and partly because no one else is, I thought I'd offer her my support.

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So chin up Heather - keep smiling.

As a mark of my support - and she does seem to do ever such a lot of charities - I even had a look at her website where she says she is relieved her divorce is finally settled.

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She said: “I am looking forward to moving on with the rest of my life with Beatrice. I would like to say a big thank you to my loyal friends and staff and everyone that has reached out to us, and supported me and Beatrice through these, for us, very difficult two years.

“It is with great excitement and energy that I will return to normal life. I am a woman…a positive, loving, independent woman who fell in love...like so many other couples, experienced the painful realisation of divorce. This is not how Paul and I intended it to be, sadly though this was the outcome."

I intend to be an active, enthusiastic advocate for health and well-being, as well as for all the important charitable, philanthropic and campaign work to which my life has been devoted.”

As an avid media watcher I am intrigued by the apparent dislike of this woman by many of us hacks.

Plenty of journos have been busy with their calculators working out that based on the four-year marriage, Heather was effectively paid more than £700 for every hour that she was married to Sir Paul. This works out at £159,687.50 a month, which compared to a nurse who earns about £1,920.33 is, I agree, an awful lot of money.

But surely no marriage is paid - “effectively” or otherwise.

A divorce settlement - handed down in this case by the justice system - is not a wage for being a good partner.

It is the termination of a contract that two people willingly and soberly entered in public and in front of witnesses, often family and friends.

Indeed marriage is one of the oldest contracts in British law and an institution on which is based much of our social conventions and way of life.

Marriage is a partnership that forms the basis for family and the nurturing and education of our young - thereby the continuation of our species and one of the most important roles we undertake.

Heather may have her faults and, as the judge said she is her own worst enemy, but by ridiculing her, kicking her when she is down, making snide comments about the money she has been awarded, and taking such obvious sides, we negate marriage itself and in turn what most of us stand for.

Us British love a loser - let's hope that kindly and compassionate trait isn't a thing of the past.

ARE you worried about this credit crunch? Are you concerned about the nations and your own finances?

I'm beginning to wonder if yet again we haven't fallen into the same old trap.

Roughly once a decade there are a few lean years when the economic cycle dictates that economic growth slows, stops or contracts.

This is an economic maxim that hasn't altered in modern times but time and time again we fall into the same trap. When the good years roll we think that this time it's different.

This time we've put much faith in so-called “prudent” economic management but to be honest it has made little difference.

When things are good they are good, when the cycle turns changing interest rates or fiscal policy make can only ever be the equivalent of sugaring a rather unpleasant pill.

We may have some tricky times ahead but this won't be the first or the last time.

THE pressure's on at the Ipswich really Operatic and indeed quite Dramatic Society.

Our latest production - Singin' In The Rain is just weeks away.

I've been busy trying to get the dance right. David, the choreographer responsible for making me look graceful as I tread the boards is shouting instructions.

“Five, six, seven, eight…and shuffle and kick and arms up and to the front and shoulders and strong arms.”

It all sounds rather confusing but to us trying to desperately remember our next move for fear of going wrong it's crystal clear.

Now I've been measured for a costume - which I fear consists of something sequinned - I know that it won't be long before I'm feeling sick in the wings waiting for the opening bars of music.

Why do we do it?

Now for a wanna-be celebutante on the Felixstowe peninsula it's a bit of a kick in the teeth.

My colleague Richard, who's worked and lived in Felixstowe since before I was born - almost, has opened an art exhibition.

I'm rather upset. This is surely the sort of thing I should be expecting to be asked to do.

I want to be asked to open things too you know and not just a bottle of 7pm and pre-supper crème de menthe to sip in my Felixstowe salon with sea views distant.

What's the point of being a famous celebrity when no one knows who you are? How very distressing.

Wayzgoose - It's not a word I use every day.

So unusual in fact that I had to look it up - it means “a works outing made annually by a printing house”.

It's the 18th century version of a journalist's jolly.

And, as you can see from this fascinating picture we discovered in our archives, it's been going on for years.

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