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

Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Thank goodness - we can now see the lawn again and the snow pig is just six inches high. Father Christmas couldn't even deliver Oscar's new bike because he worked out that giving a two-year-old a present and then telling him he can't go outside with it would not be a recipe for a happy Christmas Day. But he did bring the digger that Oscar had requested for over a month.

On Christmas Eve Oscar kept watch for Santa

And it was well worth it

And doesn't everyone get a new scarf and hat at Christmas?

Over Christmas dinner Oscar's uncle did the moving napkin trick to impress his nephew

On Boxing Day we took the London son to the airport  so that he could catch the Easyjet flight to Geneva - because it was over three hours late he missed his transfer at Geneva and ended up sleeping on the airport floor for ten hours.  While he was home for Christmas we were able to quiz him about his engagement - not that he ever gives much away.

This picture may suddenly disappear because my son has the copyright and I haven't been given permission to use it!

Sunday, 19 December 2010


I'm tempted to throw every Christmas card with a snow scene on it in the bin. Snow is not nice and I'm sick to the back teeth of looking out on stranded cars being pushed and birds buried up to their necks in white stuff.

The London son and his fiancee (YES ! they're engaged - hurray) were up for the weekend and in between digging his car out and skidding down the road, he found time to make a snow creature that Oscar thinks is Peppa Pig

We had a lovely party for my birthday at Oscar's mummy and daddy's house and Oscar helped me blow the candles out

There are so many comings and goings planned for this week and next by  car and train and plane that I'm dizzy and if they a actually happen then I'm a monkey's uncle.

Friday, 3 December 2010


The London son is off to Bruges this weekend - Eurostar permitting. last night he dressed as Count Duckula for a Christmas party.

Our daughter is snowed up in Hull but  managed to dig herself out to enjoy a slap-up meal last night. Meanwhile, Oscar has been plodding slowly around the room doubled up like an old man. When we asked him what he was doing  he said "Dada" - apparently his dad has had a bad back and without him realising it, Oscar was watching his every painful move. And I now have to be as good as gold and have emptied my coat pockets of all sweets because as Oscar's speech has improved I've found myself in hot water as he reports back to mummy and daddy: "Grandma, Oscar, jelly bean"

Sunday, 14 November 2010


How does one go about choosing a new birthday? My old birthday is a week before Christmas, and although it's very atmospheric having Happy Birthday sung around the Christmas tree, it's a bit of a pain when it comes to booking celebratory meals out - always fighting to get served against rowdy office Christmas party outings and having to pay top-whack for a mediocre slice of luke-warm turkey. Then there's the birthday cards. The house by then is already heaving with Christmas cards so there's no space to show off my lovely cards. And I feel sorry for friends and family having to fork out for birthday presents at a time when their bank balances have already been hit bystocking up for Christmas.  So I've decided to change my birthday, and that's a problem. Too much choice already. Do I go for midsummer and swap turkey for burgers on the barbecue, or what about Spring? But then am I celebrating the birthday I've just had or the one that's still to come? And I don't want to steal anyone else's thunder by choosing a date just before their's, so already the choice is dwindling. I think this is going to call for numbers in a hat and then pull one out - unless I decide that it's all too much hassle and just buy an extra turkey - again.

Sunday, 31 October 2010


We had a Hallowe'en visitor yesterday in the shape of a multi-coloured "pider"

it reminded us of last Hallowe'en when an orange fluffy pumpkin holding a black balloon on a chopstick knocked on the door.

It was half term last week which gave us the opportunity to get things done in the house. A strip of ceiling paper in my office needed replacing - sounds easy. It took us half a day of neck-breaking contortions, my husband up a ladder and me on a chair, first scraping off all the old paper and then putting up the new. My husband reckoned he'd watched a decorator at work and had seen him paste the paper and then concertina it before putting it up. It was like something off a Laurel and Hardy film - especially when we discovered, after getting all the creases and bubbles out, that the paper was 10 inches short of the wall. That's the very last time we attempt any sort of diy.

The main car has clocked up a very high mileage - and they say the devil finds work for idle hands - so again, while we were free over half term, we searched the internet for a low mileage, one-owner, comfortable car. Found one in Derbyshire, spoke to the salesman by phone - it had had one little elderly owner from new who only took it out of the garage when the sun was shining and in six years he had done just 18,000 miles. Fantastic. We agreed a part-ex price and set off on Friday to claim this fine specimen. We were shown the car documents while the car was being serviced - no service book (funny!) and a load of bills in somebody else's name. Turned out the car had had three owners and the mileage didn't stack up. The interior was more marked and scraped than ours. So no deal. We made the best of the day, stocking up on original Bakewell puddings before we left Derbyshire and as soon as we got home we got to work on Google Street View to look at the little old third owner's address. A very pokey terraced house - WITH NO GARAGE! I'm just glad we weren't born yesterday.

Monday, 18 October 2010


We went to see the Armstrong & Miller show when it was on in Manchester. We had great seats - centre front row of the circle. Far enough away not to be hauled onto the stage and a very good view. But I was amazed to find that the small theatre was only half full. Those who weren't there missed a wonderfully funny evening. All the sketches from the television shows were included plus more and best of all, there was no support act.

One of the landmark homes in our area has been demolished. It was a beautiful big 1920s' detached place set in acres of woodland, which the elderly owner had left untouched to encourage local wildlife, including red squirrels, natterjack toads and barn owls. When he died a property developer bought the gorgeous pink house for a knock-down price and knocked it down. The trees have been felled, presumably the wildlife slaughtered or at best homeless and the site flattened. On the plus side we have a ready-made afternoon's entertainment for Oscar within walking distance. The diggers, dumper trucks and men in hard hats who wave give him more pleasure than a trip to Disneyland.

Oscar has started a pre-school group where he has to be left for three hours. This he is not overly keen on. In fact as soon as we get into the car on a school morning he instructs me to drive in the opposite direction. But I can remember the tears and tantrums when I left my own three children at their respective playgroups - and that was just me. So I wait in the car park for half an hour and then ring the very nice pre-school ladies to see if the tears have subsided. They always have.

time for school

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


We managed to get tickets to watch a recording of Question of Sport in Manchester. I think the bright sparks who decided to move the BBC up north will now be regretting it. When the recordings took place in London you just couldn't get tickets - there was even a waiting list. Yesterday the studio audience was very thin on the ground and there were lots of empty seats. But as luck would have it it was a great show - a celebrity edition. Paddy McGuinness and my favourite X Factor contestant, Olly Murs were guests.

It was a great laugh - but I don't think we needed the warm up man to tell us how to clap and I cringed when he told us to whoop like American audiences. Surely I'm not the only television viewer who'd rather not have our long-standing traditional programmes turned into Oprah Winfrey soundalikes.


It was a weekend of celebrations. Oscar and his uncle (our younger son) share the same birthday. Oscar was having his party on the Sunday so our son had his on the Saturday and we're still suffering the after effects of birthday cake overload.

Our daughter had gone to great lengths to bid on (and win)  some football boots worn and signed by a Villa player. She told the seller to send them to our address but on Saturday morning they arrived at her home in Hull - annoying. But thanks to the wizardry of mobile phone cameras she was still able to show her brother what she'd bought him.

Saturday, 11 September 2010


E-on have just sent us a little gadget that tells us how much electricity we're using every second of every day and it's horrifying. I tiptoe into the kitchen first thing in the morning, when only the fridge freezer is on and it tells me that at that rate we'll pay just £10 a month for our usage. Kettle on, dishwasher on and immersion on and it's a bank-breaking £888 a month. I'm like a woman possessed - we now sit in the semi-dark in the evenings, the tumble drier is a no-go area and showers are limited to 30 seconds. My husband says he doesn't want a minute-by-minute account of how much fuel we're using, but I'm afraid that's what he'll get until the novelty wears off. And what has surprised me more than anything is the huge amount of electricity the television uses so I think his football viewing is going to have to be rationed.

Friday, 10 September 2010


As soon as I posted the previous piece on this site something popped up above it, advertising "Inner cleanse capsules, best selling colon supplement" perhaps someone, somewhere thinks I suffer from verbal diarrhoea.


Thanks to a Virgin train offer, we travelled first class last Saturday to Euston. Up at the crack of dawn to board the 7.19am from Lime Street. The London son met us at the station door in his car - what luxury and what a treat, to be driven, free of charge, through the capital. He showed us Michael Winner's house and other landmarks on the way to his new pad in Richmond. Then we walked by the river, through the parks and had a barbeque lunch in a meadow at the back of a pub. Later we sat in the sun enjoying afternoon tea, looking out from a great height over Eel Pie Island. Why does everything about a day in London seem so special?

Then, in the park, we came across a black wrought iron archway with a hole in the middle and a sign that said "St Paul's six miles". When we looked through a handily-placed telescope, there was St Paul's Cathedral, as clear as anything, right in the centre of the hole. Magical.

Saturday, 21 August 2010


Perhaps it's something in the water, but first our daughter and then the elder son and his family spent their summer holidays in Berlin. Oscar thoroughly enjoyed the experience

and insisted on trying out ALL available treats

Friday, 13 August 2010


Just back from Stratford where we saw the RSC's production of "The Winter's Tale" . Greg Hicks - who I last saw when he was covered in blood as Coriolanus - took the part of Leontes and was just brilliant.

The play lasted for just over three hours and I found that my knees had become sort of hinged in a very uncomfortable position - I even found myself worrying about DVT (I hope that's not rude).

We saw some of the meteorite shower on the way back to the hotel after the performance but although I really wanted to stay out and see more, I'd looked up for so long that I'd developed a crick in my neck - is this what getting old is all about - hinged knees, dvt and a cricked neck?

This morning at breakfast I was just about to place a slice of bread on the hotel's toasting contraption, using the tongs provided when a girl of about 11 raced up, manhandled the white cloths covering the loaves and started grabbing pieces of bread - desperate to get her slices onto the toaster before I could get mine on. I told her mother that there were tongs available if she'd care to wait for a split second. "Oh we don't bother about that, it's only us who'll be eating it," she barked. Judging by the number of slices that the girl had her hands all over - I doubt that - but who knows.

We'd just sat down to enjoy our  first-past-the-post toast when a father, dressed in shorts and flip flops (Stratford in the rain) stood up, bent over his table so that his face was two inches from his son's (son about seven) and started berating him for some crime to humanity in an exceptionally loud and booming voice. "We had all this in London, why won't you listen, it shows that you have no fidelity, no thoughtfulness, no sincerity...." etc...etc....etc for ten full minutes. I looked at the family - the little wife was shrinking in her seat, the white-faced son wanted the floor to swallow him up and the man's mother didn't know where to look. It was like something from The Fast Show, except it was extremely unfunny. Just when we felt it was safe to get stuck into the now cold toast, he started again: "YOU DO UNDERSTAND WHY I'VE TAKEN THIS ACTION AND SPOKEN LIKE THIS,"  he bellowed. For pity's sake leave the poor child alone and give us all a break I wanted to shout. I had chronic indigestion all morning. Hinged knees, dvt, cricked neck and indigestion - are these holidays worth it?

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


We've lived with a fireplace we didn't like ever since we moved in 30 years ago and last month we finally did something about it. So for weeks now the house has been upside down, with workmen here, there and everywhere because a new fireplace meant new wallpaper and a new carpet. Yesterday the carpet (lounge, diningroom, hall, stairs and landing) was removed so last night the only available space to sit in was a two-square yard space in the conservatory, wedged between furniture from all the other rooms. In a funny old way it was quite nice not having to check the television listings to see how the BBC was going to entertain us. We read the papers, drank coffee and watched the sun sink in the West. Now we await our new bouncy underlay and carpet and after it's fitted shoes will be left in the porch and coffee consumed in the kitchen only.

It was really lovely at the weekend. We had an entire family gathering and the artist son set up his tripod and camera and we all smiled for 20 shots. Here's one of them....



Oscar has been to his first gig - "In the Night Garden" in Sefton Park, followed by a party where he swept one young lady off her feet after showing her his moves on the dance floor.


But when it was time to go home, Bernard was his companion of choice.


Anybody out there? It's been so long since I added a post to this blog that I'd forgotten my user details. It's not really that nothing's been happening, more that it's all been pretty run-of-the-mill stuff.

There have been a couple of personal highlights - a letter in the Times followed by my piece being used in that paper's "You the Editor" column, although their description of me as "retired journalist" made me sound older than I feel (I didn't say look).

A relative has just had a big birthday and I was stumped when it came to thinking of a gift. However,  I saw that Christies was going to be holding the Althorp Attic Sale at the beginning of July - perfect timing and the birthday girl LOVES anything to do with Diana's family. As soon as I saw the Telegraph supplement about the sale in May I registered to bid online (a lengthy procedure during which I was asked if I would be bidding more than £30k - I hardly dared admit what my upper limit was.). I bought the catalogue, listed 50 possibilities and on July 7th I was in front of my laptop at 9.30am ready for the sale to start at 10. A webcam picture showed me the auctioneer's podium and lots of to-ing and fro-ing around it. Ten o'clock came and went and I shouted to my husband, who was in the loft: "You'd think they'd start on time wouldn't you" at that point my laptop went black with lots of warnings on the screen - it was dead. Nightmare and Absolute Panic! I ran round the house - my husband's laptop is only used to coping with instructions from an elderly silver surfer and gave up the ghost at the first attempt. My ancient computer was in a huff - after all, I'd deserted it months ago for a second-hand laptop. I had to go back to the warning notices and the black screen. I know not how but by as if my magic I got the auction room back and they were onto lot 16. YES, the very item I knew my relative would adore was just about to be shown. The bidding went up and then stopped - still shaking from the "on-off" episode, I pressed "bid now" . "an online bid from Southport" the auctioneer shouted (how exciting!). A rotter in the stalls outbid me and the auctioneer was on his "for the third time" when the devil got into me and I pressed the button again. The rotter knew he was beaten and I GOT IT. I don't often run round and round the house (except when my laptop freezes) but I did then - round and round and round and round. I rang everyone I could think of, I even dialled the number of the relative it was for, until I remembered. I just couldn't believe that I had won this exquisite item. When I calmed down, three days later it struck me that the item was at Christies and I was in Southport. I enquired about transport - £100 and a courier with a van would be used.  I have a wealth of experience of couriers with vans. There was nothing else for it, I had to go and get it. I felt like a secret agent on the day I whizzed down to London and back on the train. I was totally amazed when I had the item in my hand - so sure was I that something had to go wrong. I left Liverpool at 10am and I was back on Lime Street station at 3.30.  So the gift has now been given and the story told.

Saturday, 19 June 2010


Back from the cruise, and full of hayfever - we went to see Simon Callow last night in his touring one-man-show "The Man from Stratford". He was absolutely fantastic. He took the stage for two hours wearing a pair of old grey trousers and a crumpled white shirt and transported us back to Shakespeare's time, with priceless cameos from many of the plays, illustrating a life that starts and ends in Stratford but has so much in between. I just hope that students studying plays for A level (do they still do that?)  get the chance to see this touring play.

While we were away Oscar was busy bouncing on his new trampoline,  decorating his wendy house and sliding down his slide.


But one of the things he likes doing best is telling  the little spiders (ants) that he's going to have some "juice". He can just about say "pider" but at times it sounds like "murder" and the other day when his dad was tidying up after a chicken dinner he said to Oscar "should we put mummy's bones in the bin?"  "murder" shouted Oscar - who we all hope had just spotted one of his eight-legged friends.

Saturday, 15 May 2010



Oscar's soccer-oblivious dad was hoping that he could keep his son in a football-free zone - not a chance! Aunty Lala (not the name we chose for her, but the one Oscar prefers) came home with a mini England kit this week.


and the pair of them were busy trying to secure a multi-million pound deal with Fabio Capello at the weekend.  So, between that and his football-mad uncle, I'd say that Oscar's dad had better start swotting up on the off-side rule.

We went to the beach in the pouring rain on Friday to see a vintage plane fly-past. Oscar took a cursory glance at the sky but gave the impression that the planes were disturbing his artistic attempts at drawing mama and dada in the mud.



Tuesday, 11 May 2010



I can put my marching shoes away. Cameron is at number 10 and justice has been done. To celebrate we sent up a Chinese lantern - the only trouble is it might have given neighbours the impression that we were BNP supporters.


Thank goodness but what am I going to watch on television now?

Monday, 10 May 2010



You nasty, unprincipled, scheming  toad.

If  the two parties which the electorate voted second and third get their ugly heads together and take power, I'm marching to Downing Street.

Thursday, 29 April 2010



Forget foul-mouthed Ricky Gervais and bigoted (oh yes) Jimmy Carr. Peter Kay is THE man. We saw him yesterday on the second night of his tour and he was completely fantastic. New material, hardly any "blue for the dads" and so funny that a group of teenage boys in front of us were literally crying with laughter. He got a long standing ovation and boy, did he deserve it. We've booked to see his show again in November 2011 and I'm counting the days.

I think Oscar's dad is turning into Fagin and sending his 18-month-old son out looking for cash. We walked down to the village the other day and Oscar spotted a ten pence piece on the pavement. It went straight into a deep trouser pocket with the words "dada". Another two shiney coins were discovered during the same walk and went the way of the first. The next day I asked Oscar to put my change into my purse for me. The minute I handed it over he ran off like the wind shouting "dada" . I'll have to look into this....


"aaaah, there's a coin, in the grounds of the bank"


Back with his spoils - we can look but we can't touch

Saturday, 10 April 2010



Oscar has been sightseeing in Edinburgh with his mum and dad. The bit of the holiday he enjoyed best however was the bowl of ice cream after the evening meal - during which he perfected the two-spoon trick.





all gone

Monday, 29 March 2010


I've always told my husband that he shouldn't read the Daily Mail

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


A Christmas present to my husband was a ticket to see The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Drifters and The Three Degrees at the MEN. The show was on Sunday night and was a bit disappointing. The arena was less than half full;  the Three Degrees all had bad colds and let the audience take over for my favourite song "When Will I See You Again?" (I can sing it any old time - I wanted to hear them sing it); The Four Tops and The Temptations weren't as I remembered them and I had a 6ft 5in shaven-headed drunken idiot next to me who not only had to dance like a spinning top to every single song, be it fast or slow, but insisted on flailing his long baboon-type arms, narrowly missing my face on numerous occasions. But apart from that........ .... Actually The Drifters were very good but didn't sing "Under the Boardwalk" which my husband, as he later revealed,  had been looking forward to.



Today we have been married for 36 years - a lifetime. To celebrate we had a takeaway and I told my husband that I would order the same dish that I chose in the hotel on our wedding night. "Do you remember what that was?" I asked. "You tell me and I'll tell you if you're right," he replied. Fancy thinking I'd fall for that one after 36 years.

Friday, 19 March 2010


grad 4

Today our daughter was awarded her MSc in Chester Cathedral by the Duke of Westminster. A very proud day - this is the sixth graduation ceremony that we've attended as parents and we find it quite amazing that we have such clever offspring - especially when neither of us made it past A-levels.

My mother likes to keep me on my toes. "I've made myself a note to post a birthday card on Wednesday March the 31st, which is a Monday" she told me yesterday. "It can't be a Monday, Mum, if it's a Wednesday" I said - pretty sure that this would get me nowhere.   "Well, that's what my diary says."  Yep, I knew I was onto a loser.

Our daughter rushed through the front door on Wednesday, barely able to contain her excitement: "I've just seen Oscar sitting outside Bar Mio eating an all-day breakfast" she enthused. I had visions of our 17-month-old grandson wending his way through the village to our local wine bar and ordering a fry up. It turned out that he was with his other grandparents, and was dipping his toast into yummy bacon and eggs.

The London son enjoyed throwing his nephew up in the air when he was home at the weekend - almost as much as Oscar enjoyed it.


Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Lee Mack is now my favourite comedian. I've written off previous favourites, Jimmy Carr and Ricky Gervais due to their crudity. It's ages since I laughed uncontrollably - but Lee Mack was totally hilarious at The Lowry on Sunday night. And his take-off of the Mancunian walk and lingo was spot-on.



Today I took part in two hours of medical research at the Bio-Bank in Liverpool. I had to be there for 9.30am so set off in good time. I knew where I was going to park - I've parked there many times before. But for some inexplicable reason, this morning, in the middle of rush-hour city traffic, I got in the wrong lane at a roundabout and ended up going through the Mersey Tunnel to Birkenhead. This little detour cost me a £2.80 toll (£1.40 going and the same coming back!)

One of the readings they took while I was there was bone density. It was explained to me that this would be done by a machine which would pinch my heel. So why then, when asked if I had any wounds or open sores, did I mention a blister on my lip? When I realised that the nurse had been asking about wounds on my heel I couldn't stop laughing. The nurse's stony face made it seem even funnier - I'm just glad I won't be seeing what's written on my records.

Saturday, 6 March 2010


There have been a number of occasions over the past week or two when I've decided to sit here and update the blog.  But then something happens and it gets put on the backburner.

Last weekend we drove down to Kent for my aunt's 80th birthday celebrations and en-route a picture of Oscar popped up on my mobile - minus his curls. It's a shame but it had to be done - he'd been mistaken for a girl once too often.


minus hair

before and after

The 80th party was lovely and it was really wonderful to meet up with family members who we hadn't seen for years. My cousin had put together a slide show of old photos - set to music. As 70 of us watched a giant screen it seemed as if long-gone relatives were with us once again and at the end there was a long queue for the mirror to dab at the old mascara.

slide show

While in the area we visited Eastbourne (lovely pebble beach) and Rye where we had a lovely lunch in The Mermaid - an old smugglers' haunt.


Last night we were at a friend's 60th party at Royal Birkdale so I really think that's our social calendar complete for this year.

I've just let the London son know that I'm handing my letter-writing pen to him. We both wrote to the Sunday Times's Winner's Dinners last week. His letter is in today's top spot and mine's been binned. But I'm not bitter!

A late night last night, Lee Mack at The Lowry tonight and Oscar tomorrow. So Tuesday will be spent in bed.

Monday, 15 February 2010


My Christmas present from our daughter was a pair of X Factor tickets so last night we went along to the Liverpool Echo Arena next to the Albert Dock. This was the first time I'd been in it - the location is spectacular and I made a mental note to visit the Pizza Express place next to it - with a window seat you'd be looking across the Mersey to one side and over to the beautiful new buildings at Liverpool One on the other.

The show was great fun, we had front row seats and we enjoyed every minute. The atmosphere and the acoustics weren't quite up to the standard set by the MEN and the person in charge of props seemed to favour swinging the acts over our heads as though they were Peter Pan. But that aside, everyone on stage was brilliant - belting out all the songs that had helped them through the X Factor rounds.

Lloyd had grown up and improved, Olly should have won and Jamie's rendition of Sex on Fire reminded me of why I thought he would win way back at the audition stage.


x fact 2



And I can't believe that I queued for ten minutes to buy a signed picture of Stacey for a friend. It was an occasion when I wished I was sporting a burka.

Meanwhile Oscar has again mislaid his blanket and we've all been trailing the streets  and car parks of Southport in an effort to find it. But this time it is well and truly lost. He now has blanket number two, which I hurriedly knitted last time number one temporarily went missing. It's no real substitute but it's the best we can do and needless to say I'm now working on blanket number three!

He's  been trying on his half-term swimming gear


Saturday, 13 February 2010


Have I slept through two months and woken up on April Fools' Day? I've just read (in a reputable newspaper) that Holiday Inn hotels are to offer guests the opportunity to have their beds pre-warmed by members of staff who will lie in them before the guests retire for the night. WHAT? My first question is does the guest get to select the member of staff, because, call me picky, but the thought of some sweaty, greasy-haired fatso lying in my bed would not be conducive to a sweet night's sleep. What sort of ninny is being paid by Holiday Inns to come up with this rubbish? And haven't they heard of hot water bottles? Don't tell me - health and safety.

I finished Thomas the Tank and Oscar looks very smart in it. The trouble is he keeps pulling the jumper away from him so that he can see the train - not the ideal way to treat lambswool.

thomas jumper

He took us all by surprise this week when he suddenly shouted "digger" as a digger drove past - he must have been working on that one. "Na" is "again" and I have discovered that Oscar particularly likes the 2006 Eurovision entry by Daz because I have now had to listen to it 2,000 times - responding to each "na"

Tuesday, 9 February 2010



I know it's probably not yet spring but looking over the beautiful flowers on the kitchen window ledge to the blue sky, yellow sun and white frost and seeing the birds flit from branch to branch - I'm in heaven. This is the best bit - the time of year when there's so much to look forward to. And never again will I dream of winning the lottery. I read yesterday about a millionaire in Austria who had worked every hour God sent to accumulate his vast wealth. He has now sold everything and given it all away because he realised that it wasn't making him happy. The multi-star hotel in Hawaii where he had his last holiday was without soul and the people staying there, shallow.  Mind you, I'd still like to have the money, just so that I could give it away.

I've finished the P.D. James book and had to control my urge to look at the last chapter to see who dun it. So now that's out of the way I can concentrate on knitting the Thomas the Tank jumper that's on the go.