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

Sunday, 30 September 2007

It's our daughter-in-law's birthday today and yesterday she held a 'Quaint and Cravat' party - I wasn't sure what that was but it didn't matter because tiaras lay in wait for us! I have to say I enjoyed my afternoon looking like Lady Muck. Actually, as my husband (aka Richard) opened the door of the car for me while sporting a cravat, I felt more like Hyacinth Bucket.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

We,ve just been soaking up some brain cells in Cambridge. We had three days of lectures and tours for the alumni weekend and we gate crash every year using the second son's name. It was wonderful. We (or should I say I - since I caught my other half's head nodding lower and lower) learned about Renaissance architecture and music in Venice and there wasn't a dry eye in the lecture theatre when a sample of singing from St John's College Choir was played as they sang in a small hospital chapel on a Venetian island. We heard a debate between Sir Peter Hall, Sir Trevor Nunn and Julian Pettifer about Shakespeare at Cambridge; we were shown onto the T.B. balcony (where all the beds were pushed) of the Judge Business School which used to be Addenbrooke's Hospital and we heard Zadok The Priest sung in the magnificent Kings College Chapel.

We went along to the artist son's Masters Degree exhibition the other night. He found out on the night that he's got a distinction - so we're all thrilled and we're now looking forward to yet another graduation ceremony. We never ceased to be amazed by our clever children - especially since neither of us even went to university.

Our daughter starts her Masters Degree this week and she's moved back home for the year. I thought I'd got rid of all that extra washing, ironing and cooking - but I suppose I'm secretly enjoying being useful again.

The London son is now living in a Hamburg hotel room and trying to understand and speak German. The Innocent Drinks newsletter claimed that his favourite word is Guinea Pig (in German). It's his birthday today and last Friday while in Cambridge I posted a birthday cake to him - as luck would have it it arrived today and I've just received this photo - talk about the wonders of modern technology!

Monday, 17 September 2007

The younger son has just returned from Sicily with a healthy tan. He stayed in the Art Hotel and moved to a different room each night - apparently every room is designed to reflect the work of a modern Italian artist. They looked a bit too abstract and bare for my liking but he said he can recommend it.


one of the arty rooms

No sooner had he landed in this country than it was time to set off for his work-based sojourn in Hamburg. But he'll be jetting back next weekend to meet us for Sunday lunch in Cambridge - more about that anon.

Our daughter meanwhile is now back from a whirlwind tour of New York - she fitted so much in - The Lion King, a baseball match, the Open Tennis at Flushing Meadow plus journeys up and down the highest buildings she could find - that it's difficult to believe she was only there for a week.


The artist son has been working on the exhibition for his Masters degree and at the same time doing illustrations for a Dubai magazine.


He's also been working on his new studio which to me now looks as cluttered as it did in its former life as a garage.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Our daughter is in New York with a friend. We left them to their own devices when they booked online. The consequence of that was that their plane from Manchester went East to Amsterdam before setting off West for the Big Apple. A journey that would normally take seven or so hours took 13. They rolled up at their hotel/hostel at 10pm only to be told there was no reservation. Our daughter called Expedia - the company they'd booked through - and they had no record of the booking. Fortunately my husband had asked her as she hurried out of the door with her suitcase if she had the confirmation print-off, and fortunately the hotel/hostel did have a spare room. They said that this happened frequently with Expedia bookings.  Although the London son says that he has booked through Expedia on many occasions without a hitch and blames his sister 100%

Talking about the London son, he was home to dump the contents of his flat  before going to work in Hamburg for three months and brought the Innocent Cow Car, complete with pink lips, long eyelashes, tail and udder. It was fascinating watching people's reactions as they walked past.