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

Saturday, 26 May 2012


We're still on a high after the younger son's wedding last weekend. I'd had two, no three, major worries beforehand. a) the weather; b) the speeches and c) Oscar!

The weather couldn't have been better - after weeks of rain and wintery weather, the sun shone and we were able to mingle on the terraces of Brocket Hall's golf club. The speeches were funny and within the bounds of decency (just) and Oscar performed his page boy duties with aplomb and the help of a few jelly beans.
The bride was an absolute picture and we were very proud parents, grandparents and in-laws throughout the day.

Oscar collected the confetti

and Hugo had a great time too

and at the end of the night some of the more flexible among us enjoyed a limbo

Sunday, 13 May 2012


The head of an all girls' school had a letter in last week's Times, extolling the virtues of single sex education. I wholeheartedly agreed with everything she said until she added that she was trying to get a ps on the school motto stating "I did not emerge from the womb holding a duster." What feminist clap-trap. My career as a journalist might not have been on Fleet Street, but a career I did have and I can honestly say that nothing I achieved in the office could compare to the feeling of satisfaction I got when I flopped into a comfy chair with a cup of coffee after having cleaned the house from top to bottom using my trusty yellow duster.
Raising children, cleaning, baking and taking a pride in the home are jobs that should not be demeaned and to my mind are every bit as important as moving up a rung on the career ladder.

Instead of a stick to kill people with, Oscar took a spanner into Sunday School today. I wasn't sure how he would weave it into the Bible story and I even found myself thinking up reasons that we could give, if questioned. As luck would have it, he found a drum more interesting and I was able to slip the spanner into my bag. Half way through the service he piped up in a loud voice "when are we getting the bread and wine grandma?" Sticks, spanners, cups of wine........ I can see we're going to be viewed as partners in crime.

My mother spent a couple of days in hospital last week. So for reassurance I got her a big red mobile phone with large numbers to keep in her bedroom  in case she ever felt too unwell to get to her phone in the kitchen. I instructed her never to turn it off and to leave it on the table next to the bed. When I called on her today I saw that the phone was not on the table next to the bed. "No," she said, "It's in its box in my wardrobe so that it doesn't get dusty."