I recently lunched with a really long term pal – we go back years, and know each other’s families very well, but only from these quarterly lunch or evening coffee dates! I am always fascinated by the complexity of their wide family relationships too. I come from a small family with very few branches, cousins exist but we’ve never really had much contact, and all the grandparents are well gone. Hearing my pal relay a long running saga about one particular newly introduced ‘in law’ has been an eye opener. It did remind me of my days as private secretary to the judiciary when I dealt with complaints – dealing with people with extraordinarly complex personalities and egos to match. The words calm, down and compromise were oft used and eventually heeded by even the most beligerent and objectionable party. An ability to calmy sort verbal fisticuffs is a good starting point for character building courses!