Lesley Garner
Lesley Garner
Who Am I? Journalism
Books News Contact Home

I have had a long and rich career in journalism, working in all kinds of roles for all kinds of publications. At the moment I am writing a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph called “Lifeclass”. Readers write to me with their problems. I take one letter and look at it in depth and I invite readers to write back to me, which they do, particularly when an issue affects them deeply. So far the issues which have aroused the most controversy have been the way we treat our servicemen and women when they return home from conflict, the problems fathers face in staying in touch with their children after divorce, and the effect of internet porn on individuals and their relationships. I also write a monthly column for Easy Living, gentle reflective pieces in the style of my books.

Here is an extract from my introductory column for Lifeclass. You can find the full archive of Lifeclass columns on www.telegraph.co.uk. If you want to write to me with a problem for Lifeclass, send it to me at lesley.garner@telegraph.co.uk. I apologise in advance for being unable to give individual replies.


Daily Telegraph August 1st, 2006

What is bothering you? Something is bothering you and whatever it is you are not the only one. Life changes at high speed and millions of us are making up the rules as we go along. The language of human rights and consumerism has come into the arena of personal happiness and not made us any happier.
Do we have a right to children? To a work life balance? To great sex? To a bit of life where we can put ourselves first, instead of the partner, the children, the family, the job? Should our adult children still be living at home? Should we forgive adultery? Do we have a right to choose the time of our death? There are no simple answers, but I love putting my mind to the problems….The older I get the more I understand how many of our dissatisfactions are down to the way we think and interpret the world. But we can learn to think and interpret differently and, when we do, we find that the work looks different too.

Even the worst situations can be negotiated in an inspiring way. That is what the Lifeclass is about, learning to ride the waves and not get swamped. The waves are going to keep coming no matter what we do…
I have learned that sometimes there are no immediate answers and that there are some situations in our lives that never get cleanly resolved. I have learned that it is the unhappy times in my life that have actually pushed me into stretching myself and learning more. I wish we could learn through happiness and ease, but pain and discomfort are excellent teachers if you pay attention. I have learned to pay attention to all the good times and to salute them as they pass….
I can’t answer every letter individually but I hope you will write in a spirit of generosity and contribution to the common good, because even if you don’t get a direct answer your letter will not be wasted. The more we all share our life experience, the more everyone benefits. The worst aspect of any difficulty is that we feel so alone with it, but someone, somewhere, has gone through what you are going through.
In this spirit, I would also love to hear from people who have done something that worked – if you saved the marriage, mended the relationship, found the perfect job, made a successful life shift, please tell me, and us, how you did it. Together we can create a collective wisdom.

Writing Pen
Writing Pen
  web design: pedalo limited