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

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

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