Dear Janice, my school friends are organising a spooky Hallowe’en night in one of their garden huts, and they are planning to play with an Ouija board.

They insist I take part, but I’m terrified as I have heard some really scary stuff about it.

They say it’s only a bit of fun and that I should man up (although I’m female), and stop being a drama queen.

My parents would be so angry if they found out because they are church people and don’t approve of such things.

Apart from faking an illness to get out of it, I don’t know what else to do.


Dear Emma,

An Ouija board (or spirit board) is a means of obtaining messages from the spirit world to answer questions about the past, present, and future.

Christians condemn all occult practices and warn that nothing positive can ever come from the use of the Ouija board, and some even say that they are not harmless fun but a direct communication with demons. So yes, your parents would not be pleased.

However, regardless of whether you think it’s a load of old rubbish, or any of the above is true, it is your decision whether you take part.

By all means, pretend you are ill. Stay at home and enjoy a funny movie by yourself, because I guarantee not everyone will be laughing after Halloween.

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Dear Janice,

I am six months pregnant with our first child and my partner virtually ignores me.

He was a loving, caring, and attentive guy, but now I barely see him. If he is not in the spare room gaming, then he is at the gym, football training, or catching up with his mates.

I did speak to him, but he shrugged and said he was just doing the same as he always did and that my hormones must be affecting my mood!

He wanted this baby so it’s not like I sprung the pregnancy on him, and now he’s in shock.

I don’t know why he has changed so much, but I just want the old loving guy I used to know as I need him more than ever now.


Dear Lindsay,

Pregnancy loneliness can make you feel insecure and rejected, but it’s not uncommon for several reasons.

Maybe your partner is having one last ‘fling’ at doing everything to suit himself as he knows his life will never be the same again. Or perhaps he is nervous about the whole parenting thing and his behaviour is escapism from the magnitude of the changes about to happen because this impending change and the fear of responsibility is a lot to deal with.

Your body is at the mercy of hormonal change which can be confusing for your partner to understand or empathise with, so ask your friend if she has noticed that you are oversensitive since you got pregnant. Don’t be hard on yourself if you are, it’s not your fault!

Either way, you need to speak to him again and explain how you feel. Set aside time for him to do ‘his thing’, and for you both to spend time together.

Also, seek support from others close to you and accept any help offered.

It’ll all work out.

Dear Janice,

My mum and dad are convinced I am gay.

They think it’s weird that I’ve never jumped from one female to another like my older brothers did before they got married.

I am 35-years-old and have never had a steady girlfriend, so in their eyes, this must mean I’m homosexual.

I have a good single life which I enjoy, but they only see me as a loner with no marital future.

Recently they tried to set me up on a date with the daughter of a family friend. We have known each other for years and have no interest in each other and the whole scenario was embarrassing.

I get such a hard time, especially from my mum, (she is longing for another grandchild), that I rarely visit anymore as I can’t face another lecture.

How do I get them off my back and accept my life the way it is?


Dear Derek,

Your parents worry because as you are still single, they feel that your life hasn’t evolved much over the years. But, so long as you are happy within yourself and not feeling isolated or down, then I think it’s wonderful that you haven’t bowed to their pressures to marry and have children.

The more you distance yourself from them, the more they will assume that they are right in their thinking and that you are hiding the truth (their truth).

So, invite them round for dinner and let them see the happy contented son you are.

When the conversation turns to you again (and it will), tell them that this is the last time you are having this conversation and that if they don’t back off then it will be difficult for you to be in their company in the future as they simply don’t listen to you.

Explain that as a 35-year-old man, you know your own mind and are content and that if you do meet a partner, male or female, they will be the first to know.

Hopefully, they will back off and let you enjoy your single life.