Deb's Digest
Debbie Atkinson’s family life column, as featured in the Southport Visiter.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

The London son gave me a box of Iranian dates when he got back from Dubai. I've never tasted dates like them - they were called Bam Dates and were just divine - especially stuffed with cream cheese. I've now finished the pack and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms. Does anyone know where I can buy more? I dread to think how many calories they contain - they're so delicious they must be fattening.

A friend lent me a her copy of a James Martin cookery book. Apparently his super fast banana ice cream is delicious - it only involves frozen banana chunks, sugar and buttermilk - I'll let you know how it goes. I followed a recipe for biscotti at the weekend and all I can say is that the blackbirds loved it.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Yesterday we went to the artist son's and his wife's housewarming. Very nice too and good to meet all their friends. Our daughter left early to get back to Loughborough in time for a night out. She left at 4pm and got home at 11pm - a journey that should take under three hours. So obviously no night out.

The London son is going home today and his journey is going to take over five hours because there are two changes interspersed with delightful bus journeys. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE RAIL SERVICE IN THIS COUNTRY? and why isn't something being done about it?

Thursday, 24 May 2007

The tickets for REM in Dublin arrived yesterday. I knew I was one of the first to book because I was sitting poised at the keyboard 20 minutes before the official "off". We're on row A - in fact we're slap bang in the centre of row A - so that must just about be the best view in the whole theatre. There was a slight temptation to put them on eBay for £500 but it passed.

We'll be going to Innocent's Fruitstock fair again in August at Regents Park and the artist son and his wife are coming too - so's our daughter so it'll be a real family affair. I decided to see what was on at the theatre for the Sunday night. Managed to get a couple of tickets for Othello at The Globe - much to my husband's disgust. But I reckon if I have to trail around horse racing events with him, the least he can do is sit in the seat next to me at the theatre.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

As well as putting hanging basket brackets up, laying turf and moving fences, the artist son has found time to fill numerous magazines with his work.

Computer Arts mag


Wad Mag
I've left the ironing for five minutes to come and sit down. This is the trouble - it takes at least two weeks to get everywhere back to normal after a holiday. And that's just with the two of us - how I ever managed when there were five of us I just don't know.

The cruise on The Arcadia was lovely although I could wring the necks of the loutish cruisers who left towels on their well-positioned sunbeds and then disappeared for hours on end. I haven't dared step on the scales yet

- maybe tomorrow!

Our favourite port of call was Santa Margherita - mainly because it gave access to the beautiful Porto Fino.

We liked Monte Carlo too and visited the casino.....

From the boat we saw lots of dolphins and some amazing sunsets.....

At home we NEVER get dressed up and it felt quite strange doing it on board....

In Florence and Rome we kept seeing those life-like statues, standing absolutely still for hours on end. At the final port there was a proper bronze statue in the shape of a postman with a sack, sitting on a bench. An elderly fellow cruiser turned to her husband and said: "EE, he's really good in't he?"

The younger son decided he'd drive to Southampton to see us off. I kept this a secret from my husband so secretive texts had to be sent to my son along the journey. At 9am he said he was awaiting our arrival in McDonalds car park. His dad wanted to break the journey and have breakfast en-route. He couldn't understand my insistence on a McDonalds breakfast - something I've never requested in our 33 years of married life. It was worth all the subterfuge however - his face was a picture when, as we parked our son knocked on the driver's window.

But after seeing him, I spent the whole cruise worrying. A week earlier he'd gone to Cambridge for a game of football and the boots had taken all the skin off his little toes - made worse by cricket the following day. He'd been wearing flip flops all week (dirt and germs in the wounds) and when we saw him they were still oozing and bleeding and looked horrendous. I emailed and texted him from the boat and he kept reassuring me that they were healing, but I won't be happy until I see for myself when he's home next weekend (especially since he played cricket again on Sunday and opened the wounds up again.)

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Just got back from a P&O cruise- so washing, ironing, gardening etc etc. Will tell all v soon.