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Annaliese Jakimides is a writer and artist. Her poetry, essays, and short fiction have appeared in publications including , , , , and . A native of Boston, Jakimides lives in Bangor, Maine.

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Good communication is the key to any solid relationship, most of all, marriage. I would want my future husband to share his thoughts with me. I want to hear his dreams and to share in his struggles. On the other hand, I will also need someone who will be ready to listen to me, and interested to know what is happening in my life. There should be no secrets between us.

Here's how to make one for yourself in a few minutes.

Okay, okay, I'll spare you the rest of the story: it worksgreat. For convenience, I'll call it a--

Mark, who was 36, joined Avon Fire & Rescue Service in September 2005 and since that time worked at Kingswood and Bedminster Fire Stations. At the time of his passing he was a member of Bedminster Blue Watch.

“Everyone?” I asked incredulously.

The parties then dealt with the arguments about sex and race discrimination, and equal pay. The reason why they arise at all is that as time has gone by, the sex and racial balance of the fire and rescue service has become less predominantly white and male; so if you discriminate against younger members you also discriminate indirectly against female and BME members. Looked at in terms of equal pay, there is a hidden consequence: if the age discriminatory barrier is removed so that younger female firefighters are given full protection, then the same protection must be given to younger male firefighters – otherwise they are discriminated against on the grounds of their sex.

“Well, yeah, I might miss someone I need to know.”

This is sure to be a long hard fight. We remain confident in our arguments and although we cannot give any guarantees, the decisions of the EAT enable us to continue with our challenge.

And now, five years later, I’ve embraced my son’s philosophy.

Our QC pointed out that as a matter of law, recently decided by the Supreme Court, that’s not right. You have to show that the same sort of provision, criterion or practice causes one category of member to be disadvantaged, but if the advantaged and disadvantaged categories have a statistically significant gender or race imbalance, you do not have to show why. The employer has to justify the provision, criterion or practice.

There is plenty here for the judge to think about.

What this means is that, as matters stand, we would end up in the Employment Tribunal on the basis that the Government is entitled to protect the position of older firefighters but not their younger co-workers, and our criticism of the Government’s position would have to be limited to challenging the unfairness of the impact on unprotected firefighters. We have presented a legal case based on the argument that the Government is not entitled to protect some firefighters and not others if the distinction is age, no matter how the line is drawn.