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  • Last weekend I was sitting down with my six-year old when he started telling me how his best friend no longer wanted to play with him during school breaks. My heart sunk slightly - as a dad, I'd like to solve his problems and I could see no realistic solution to this one. But there he was, telling me all about it, and I really wanted to do better than offering unhelpful advice about letting time take care of it.

    So I dug a little deeper, and found myself telling him quite truthfully about my former best friend when I was his age, Philip, and how I'd recently found him on the net and tried to get in touch, and he hadn't replied. "So it made me feel a bit sad. But I have other friends now, good friends. And the most important thing is, I have you and Mummy." And then, to my surprise, not only was he was comforting me, but it made me feel better, and, I think, him too.

    What has this to do with Horse Chestnut buds gleaming stickily in the sun? I don't know, it's just what I was thinking about when I spotted them this lunchtime. Spring is here.
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