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

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


On Mondays we're lucky, because we look after three-and-a-half year old Oscar and his baby brother Hugo - our grandsons. This Monday, after dropping Oscar off at his little pre-school group, I brought Hugo to our house as usual, put the front door key in the lock and it refused to turn. Hugo took a seat on the porch floor while I continued to grapple. No luck. I got on all fours and peered into the keyhole - a piece of the  lock had parked itself right across the middle of the hole. What to do. My husband was out at golf and turns his phone off, and even if he came home, what could he do? Nightmare. I called my friend and neighbour who fortunately was at home and then I went over and got a scewer from her kitchen drawer. Every time I managed to move the bit that was blocking the centre of the hole, it jumped back again. By this time Hugo was fed up and my back and knees were aching. My friend ran over bearing a sharp knife. It seemed to work and with trembling fingers I pushed the key into the lock - it took a couple of hard turns but then something wonderful happened and I could open my own front door - what a relief.
The following day I spent the morning shopping in town, for five birthdays. Gift cards were purchased, boxes, cards, wrapping paper etc etc. I limped back to the car, worn out and put the shopping in the boot. But wait. Where was the bag from Boots with the gift cards, the much-needed vitamins, supplements, pain killers and cosmetics? One thing was certain, it wasn't in my hand or in the boot. My stomach was churning. I had been to so many shops that I didn't know where to begin. I was too tired to retrace my steps and the car park fee would jump another £6 if I didn't get moving.
I got home and made light of the situation to my husband who was demanding to know just how much money I had lost that morning. I sprinted up to the bedroom and rang three of the shops I'd visited. Not there. Someone was obviously having a field day, spending my gift vouchers, taking my supplements and using my make-up. Then I rang Clinton Cards. It was there, waiting for me behind the counter! Joy of joys! I've been lucky twice in two days. I don't think I'll be pushing my luck again, any time soon.

I managed to get another letter in the Times today:

Beyond the cringe
For those readers from Merseyside, Ladies’ Day at Ascot has just as many faults as the equivalent at Aintree
Sir, I can reassure Robert Crampton (Times Modern, Apr 17) that, here on Merseyside, our cringes when watching coverage of Ladies’ Day at Ascot almost equal the number of times we hide behind the settee during the same event at Aintree.
Deb Atkinson
Southport, Merseyside

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