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

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


Patricia Routledge MUST have been Queen Mary in a past life. The resemblance was uncanny when we saw her last night in Crown Matrimonial at The Lowry. She's brilliant of course and how she remembers all those lines I just can't imagine. We used the Tom Tom to get there and when the lady in the box gave instructions such as "turn left then take the first exit at the roundabout" - no sooner had she uttered the words than I'd completely forgotten what she'd said. So my idea of hell would be to have to learn lines. Patricia Routledge reminds me of the best teachers we had at school - spinsters who devoted themselves to their work - do they still exist?


I felt as though we were part of an Alan Bennett production while we were waiting for the play to start. Four elderly ladies with broad Lancashire accents were in the seats behind. We learnt all about their hatred of the dark, how one carries a torch with her to the theatre and how another had a panic attack when she went to a monkey show and the lights went out. "Ooh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Ooh No no no no no - well, they'd have to put me out," is a snippet from the conversation. My husband, whose banter is almost non-existent,  seems to take delight in mimicking people in theatres. And I suddenly heard him shout: "YES, YES, YES" out of the blue. Then when we were on the terrace at the interval listening to other people laughing and enjoying themselves, he gave such a loud, hearty laugh at nothing at all that I'm thinking of enrolling him in the local amateur dramatic society.


  1. I have noticed that TomTom gives the instructions too soon which confuses me when for instance there are two roundabouts one after another and I'm only navigating.

  2. Spinsters teachers like Miss Clark, Miss Ackerley. Miss Ainsworth, Miss Standing, Miss O'Donohue, Miss Wild (saw her in Sainsbury's recently, she remembered me!), Miss Ormerod (we teased her in RE) - life has changed so much in the 38 (!) years since we left Debbie...we just have to move with it!!! Good to see you at the Open. Judith

    Hi Judith
    Yes all those teachers - I still keep in touch with Miss Ainsworth through Abbeyfield and have seen Miss Ormerod in Ainsdale. Miss Standing and Miss O'Donohue were great English teachers. I wonder if we'll have a reunion soon.