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

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

1 YEAR 11 MONTHS AND 16 DAYS..........

I have just double-checked my state pension date (surely not old-age pension these days?) and the countdown has begun. The government site tells me that it will come my way in one year, eleven months and 16 days. Now I have a dilemma. I'm tempted to chalk up the digits on my office wall and score them off day by day like a prisoner in solitary confinement but if I do that I'll be wishing my life away. I'm very happy at 59 years, nine months and four days and apart from looking forward to my pensionable age, I'm not that desperate to be 61 years eight months and 20 days.

More to look forward to in December, free prescriptions - hurray! And a bus pass. Can I really be that old? Apparently I already look it because last week when I travelled by bus with Oscar the driver asked me if I had to pay. Cheek.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Thomassy Rabbit

When Oscar came to play yesterday we spotted the fat robin in the garden. I asked Oscar to give him a name and suggested Robert. "Thomassy Rabbit" he said without hesitation. Thomassy Rabbit is in the garden again now waiting for his breakfast and normally I would call to him, but I think I'll just leave it for now.

I taped the dinosaur programme the other night in case Oscar fancied watching it. Some of it It was rather gruesome but I thought I'd fast forward through those bits. Yes, said Oscar, he wanted to watch it, and he positioned himself on the settee furthest from the television, torch (on) in one hand and football rattle in the other. As soon as a dinosaur appeared that wasn't one of his favourites, the football rattle was put to good effect- continuously until the dinosaur had left the screen.

Monday, 5 September 2011


Last month I enrolled on a distance-learning Latin course, run by Cambridge University. I've wanted to learn Latin for many years but it doesn't feature on any local college itinerary. I hope the course will eventually enable me to do what I want to do - which is understand the many Latin phrases I see dotted around in all sorts of reading matter. But I'm not convinced that reading about the cook preparing a peacock and the slave creeping into the dining room and tasting the peacock while his master sleeps, is exactly the way forward. However, I will persevere because this is the very same stage at which I ditched Latin when I was 15 and surely I've grown up a bit since then.

I was surprised to see a letter of mine in the Times on Friday. When I checked the paper's on-line site late on Thursday night it wasn't showing up so I presumed it had been binned. Reading the letters page on Friday, I thought someone else had written in on the same topic - then I realised the words were very like mine. Hang on, they were mine......

Hit the high notes for less than £10

Sir, Enjoying an opera in the Royal Opera House, means, for us, an expensive rail trip to London, plus the cost of an overnight stay (letter, Sept 1). This problem was briefly solved when a production was beamed live to a cinema in Liverpool. From our £8 seats we watched the London audience chat, heard the orchestra tune up and then as the lights went down, we were given the best view of the performance with close-up camera shots.
Since then other operas have been screened but none of them live. As there is nothing to match a “live” performance, could I make a plea for more of the same. There are many opera lovers north of Watford.
Deb Atkinson
Southport, Merseyside

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Whenever I look out of the kitchen window, there's my little friend. He was very curious when my husband had some turf delivered the other day.