Louisa Saunders

Louisa Saunders is associate features editor of The Independent and writes a weekly advice column, The Help Desk, for the Independent on Sunday’s New Review magazine

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Champs perform at The Lexington in London

Champs, The Lexington, gig review

Multi-layered sound sets small venue alight

The help desk: 'My sister is a perfectionist and being with her makes me feel inadequate'

Q. Recently, I've been seeing a lot more of my older sister – we have small children the same age, and we are also involved together in organising a ruby wedding party for our parents. We usually get on quite well, and I do love her, but she's driving me mad. She's always been a high-achiever, and she's quite competitive.

The help desk: A case of unwanted flirty advances from a colleague

Q. I recently met a man at a work-training weekend, and we got on really well. We shared the same sense of humour – and the same quite cynical attitude to our line of work – and we had a great time. We exchanged numbers. I felt keen to keep in touch, but only as friends. He texted me the very next day, just with some fun stuff – but also asking when we were going to meet up again. Since then, he has kept on texting.

The help desk: 'I don't like my brother's fiancée'

Q. I have an older brother I'm close to, and I've tried to get on with his fiancée, but it's not easy and I usually try to see him on his own. To be honest, he's never had great taste in women. This girlfriend is 10 years younger than him and quite a lot less intelligent. She is very pretty, but seems obsessed with her looks. She also talks non-stop.

The help desk: 'I'm writing my will - should I divide everything equally between my children?'

'It is not your business to equalise their status in life at this late stage'

The help desk: 'My mother has sold my childhood home and I feel desperately sad. What's wrong with me?'

'In mourning its loss, you are mourning your parents' marriage and your father'

The help desk: 'I have developed a fixation with death - how can I relax and enjoy life?'

'Bereavement counselling could help you to put your fears in proportion'

The help desk: How do I maintain my New Year's resolution to be more active?

Q. Every year at New Year, I swear I will exercise more, and every year I manage to stick to my resolution for only about a month. I'm 38 and starting to be aware that sitting at a desk all day is terrible for my health. I've never smoked and I hardly drink – but nor did my mother and she died of breast cancer at 59.

The help desk: My young grandson likes to dress up in girls' clothes but my daughter-in-law discourages him

Q. My lovely grandson is six years old and not at all a typical boy. He's obsessed with Disney films, and when I used to take him to playgroup he always rushed to put on the girls' dressing-up clothes. I know he likes to wear his sister's clothes, too.

The help desk: 'My girlfriend has lost her job and now I dread going home'

Q. My girlfriend lost her job about six months ago, and things have been really difficult between us ever since. It was a real shock – we are both dedicated to our jobs, and she was the one who earnt more. She's freelancing from home while looking for a new permanent job; the prospects for this seem good, and fortunately, money is not too much of a problem at this point.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'