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

Tuesday, 30 June 2009



I'm still in heaven. Last night we went again to the Picture House in FACT, Liverpool to see another fantastic performance broadcast live. Last time it was the Messiah from Kings College, Cambridge. Last night it was La Traviata from the Royal Opera House. To say it was fantastic is an understatement. We saw the audience take their seats (I just hope no-one was there with someone they shoudln't have been with, because we were treated to close-ups of all sorts of people). I wished the London son had been in the Covent Garden audience - he could have given us a wave. But he's sunning himself in Majorca.

I feel very privileged to have witnessed  this superb, emotional performance of a great opera. And we didn't even have to travel to London to see it.  And this time we all broke into spontaneous applause - which may seem daft when you're watching an on-screen performance , but it was just impossible to sit there like dummies. Roll on the next live broadcast.

Friday, 26 June 2009


o 104

Unless I'm very much mistaken, it won't be long before young Oscar Ying Lung Atkinson is walking. They say don't walk before you can crawl (at least I think they do, my mind's gone blank) - he's now got crawling off to a fine art so walking's next on the agenda. Oh no, I've just remembered, it's "Don't run before you can walk" - same difference.


We were really pleased to see our younger son's friend James do so well on the first episode of the new ITV quiz "Divided".  He won a very decent amount of cash and would have won even more  if the female contestant hadn't brow beaten the others with her St Patrick's Day answer.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009


The artist son was invited to BBC Radio Merseyside's studios for an interview last week. He sounded laid back and - dare I say it - intelligent. I don't know where he gets it from - put a microphone in front of me and I turn into a bowl of jelly.

He and his wife founded a publishing house for up-and-coming artists, called Cafe Royal and he's just had some very durable bags made, which he is selling for a fiver. My friend and I used them to transport our worldly goods yesterday to the Take That concert so I can vouch for their quality. If anyone wants one they're available on his website (go to 'news' on the left hand side)


take that 2


My husband wasn't keen to visit Lancashire Cricket Club to see Take That, after going there for an REM concert last year so I went with a friend. It was absolutely fantastic. They certainly give value for money.

take that 5

Balloons soar skywards as Take That take the stage

take that 8

take that 10

take that 12

take that 14

take that 15

Fireworks rounded off a perfect evening

We were back at the car for 10.30 for our 40 minute journey home - hahaha some hope! We eventually pulled into the front path at 3am after negotiating the cars of 49,999 other concert goers and then standing still on the motorway, for two hours because the powers that be had chosen this week to resurface it. Twisted minds or what.

Saturday, 20 June 2009



Oscar no longer poses for photographs. He's far too busy belting across the floor, stopping only to pick the floral patterns off the carpet.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009




I can confirm that our lovely grandson Oscar can now crawl,  say 'ba' and wave.  All pretty exhausting stuff for an eight month old.

Sunday, 14 June 2009



We fell in love with Porto and with the friendly people there. The minute we stepped off the train from the airport and began to study a wall map, we were surrounded by helpful strangers who couldn't speak a word of English but were desperate to lend a hand.

The weather was perfect and I don't think anyone could have made more use of a 10 euro tour bus than we did - We spent two full days on the top deck, basking in the sun and since the ticket also included a river trip, we did that too.

The main reason for the visit was to see the artist son's solo exhibition  it looked fantastic and many of the drawings had healthy red sold spots under them.


As for food, well all I can say is I don't want to see another lump of beef, or pile of chips or rice for a very long time.  The fish restaurants by the river were where we found the healthiest food and there's not much that beats  sitting outside in the sunshine enjoying a plate of grilled fish and a glass of wine with a view like this:


I loved the tiled churches


and this statue must have sweltered for the few coins that were in his bowl. He was in the same position, by the river every day.


While we were away Oscar started to crawl - I can't wait to see that.....

Friday, 5 June 2009




Eating from chopsticks?  no problem!