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YOUR PROBLEMS: Rachel deserves her break.

Byline: Miriam Stoppard

WITH such an unloving family, I'm a bit surprised Rachel hasn't kicked over the traces before. She's a devoted wife and mum and has made sacrifices most of her life to look after Colin and the children.

She's always last on her list of priorities. She's been so conscientious and generous they've been taking her for granted for years. Until now, she's almost become invisible to them. She's a doormat they all walk on with impunity.

Their offhandedness and ingratitude is quite heartless but Rachel has soldiered on gamely, even when all her efforts were studiously ignored.

Thank heaven the worm has turned against such a graceless family. I reckon I would have turned a long time ago. So they've no one to blame but themselves.

At the very least, Rachel deserves some time of her own, doing things she enjoys and getting her full share of pleasure from doing so. That's why the art class is a godsend. It's escapism, self-fulfilment, companionship and satisfaction all rolled into one. No wonder she loves it, and gets totally lost in it. It's just right for Rachel at this moment.

It's the irresistible combination of self-expression, creativity and making something beautiful. It has all the features of a perfect hobby.

Given her barren existence of the past, no wonder Rachel succumbs to the first kind word she hears, especially as it's coupled with the professional praise, appreciation and encouragement of Steve, the art teacher.

It's like manna from heaven to Rachel, starved of affection and kind words. Nothing too heavy from Steve. No big come on. Just gentle, sensitive approbation. It's like balm for the soul to Rachel.

It's about time she got a bit of loving companionship back in her life and forgot about the years of being taken for granted. With an ungrateful family back home, I don't think she should hesitate about the thrill of meeting a twin soul at the art class.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 7, 2003
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