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

Saturday, 18 April 2009


We've just had our latest fix of the Yorkshire Dales - glorious weather, beautiful scenery and fantastic food. The fish club sandwich at the Crab and Lobster at Asenby can't be recommended highly enough - especially when consumed al fresco under a thatched umbrella.


We missed seeing Oscar while we were away although we're always able to keep up to date through Facebook.


A young man in jeans..........


a soon-to-be seven-month old.......


I am a bit of a control freak - although some people might argue with the "bit of" bit of that statement - and I found it increasingly frustrating while the London son was in Cyprus looking at a Paphos webcam which constantly showed thunderous clouds looming over the hills, when the main reason for his five-day break was to sit in the sun and relax. There was NOTHING I COULD DO. Unfortunately my organisational skills don't include controlling the weather so I spent five days with a thunder cloud over my own head.

As it happens I needn't have worried - as is so often the case (why don't I learn?). He came home for Easter looking tanned and showed us the photos of the holiday. Had I known that he was negotiating hair-pin bends round Cypriot mountains in a tiny car that smelled of burning rubber and quad-biking at x-miles an hour over muddy terrain I really could have had something to worry about.


Tuesday, 7 April 2009



I've just finished reading "Why Us?"  by Dr James  le Fanu and I could hardly believe what I was reading. He's put my thoughts about Darwin's theories into eloquent language - I hadn't dared express what I thought because people like Richard Dawkins keep banging on about anyone who challenges Darwin's theory of evolution being a crackpot. But after reading Darwin's letters about finding various species of birds on a desert island and forming theories based on his one-man research, I have to say I had my doubts (as I believe he did). How could one man sort out the history of mankind? It didn't make sense - to me, anyway.

Now, along comes Dr le Fanu who believes that Darwin's theory is holding us back from proper research. Scientists put everything down to the Theory of Evolution when they could be opening their minds and their research to non-material topics such as how the firings of electrical impulses in the brain lead to feelings of empathy, compassion and the appreciation of music and beauty. Hurray for Dr le Fanu. I'm now going to search out another of his books......

Sunday, 5 April 2009


Our younger son is in Cyprus in a villa that was booked just 24 hours before setting off. Last night on the way to Liverpool I received a text telling me that he'd "been everywhere" in the hire car, including unwittingly, inside the UN buffer zone. What's wrong with just lying in the sun.



Last night we were in Kings College Chapel, Cambridge for three hours, watching the choir perform Handel's Messiah.  In fact we were in FACT in Liverpool, watching the live performance as it was beamed by satellite all over the world by Opus Arte but it certainly felt as though we were in Cambridge, and driving home to Southport from Liverpool felt very strange, as though I'd slept for the part of the journey from Cambridge to Liverpool.

It was absolutely fantastic, and in a way it was as good or even better than being there, since we were treated to close ups of the choir and soloists. There was only one drawback. I SO wanted to join in with the rapturous applause at the end of the performance that lasted for at least ten minutes, but instead, had to sit there with the other 20-odd members of the FACT audience, in silence, for fear of being singled out as a wild crackpot. Yes - only 20-odd people in a modern. comfortable cinema, that at a rough guess could seat at least 300. What a crying shame.

Opus Arte are trying to bring cultural events to the masses and this Spring will be showing ballets including The Tales of Beatrix Potter and Swan Lake as well as operas from The Royal Opera House in London.

Oh, and while we were in FACT we spotted some of the artist son's zines in the shop. Unfortunately we were just too late to see his work in an exhibition there.