I'd just like to take a moment to explain why I've had to put Ranting Stan well on truly on the back burner for the time being, but, before I do, a big thank you for your messages of support.
Mrs Stan has had what is known as "a breakdown". It's not the first time that my lovely wife has gone through such a distressing period - indeed, she was quite honest and open about her mental health problems when I first met her. However, the last time she went through this was in 2001 and there were very clear causes for her breakdown - which I do not want to dwell on. On this occasion, though, it has come utterly out of the blue and there is no single thing which I can put my finger on and identify as the cause.
It's also the first time this has happened since the kids were old enough to appreciate what was happening and it has been extremely distressing and unsettling for them in particular. It's hard enough for me to cope with my wife becoming a virtual stranger to me as happens when Mrs Stan goes into one of these dark periods, but for the kids it is far far worse. Worse still is that we have no idea how long this will last or how to help Mrs Stan through this - all we can do is give her all our love and support while she comes to terms with whatever inner demons are troubling her - in 2001 it took 9 months to a year before Mrs Stan began to emerge from the cloud which enveloped her.
Obviously this means that I have a lot on my plate to deal with right now so I can not spend what little spare time I have attending to a blog - I have a demanding job and my wife and kids need me more than ever so I have to devote as much time as I can to their needs. I can't say when or even if I will come back to blogging, but it is my sincere hope that I can and do.
However, as others have said, family comes first.
Thank you to all the readers and commenters over the last few years. I hope to be back sometime - I just don't know when.