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

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.