Friday, 28 August 2015

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Opinion & columns

Idiotic grinning? Give me an honest scowl every time

Today, as if you didn’t already know, is International Day of Happiness – so, shoulders back, chest out, take a deep breath and grin.

Last updated 20 March 2015
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Go on, give your mum a tonic this Sunday...and gin

Daffodils and mothers. This is the weekend when they become indivisible – with one absolutely synonymous with the other.

Last updated 13 March 2015
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I’m sorry but M&S shades it over S&M every time

He’s here again. Saint Valentine or Christian Grey or whatever his name is these days. He’s back and you can bet your last scented candle he’s bringing his usual bother with him.

Last updated 13 February 2015
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Spectre of farming’s loss looms large in the landscape

Here’s a confession – and it’s a guilty one. I haven’t a clue how much I pay for my milk, which probably makes me a contributor to Cumbria’s deepening worries right now.

Last updated 6 February 2015
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We need more Jordans - of the Bernard variety that is

They don’t make men like Bernard any more. Spirited, single-minded, brave, principled men with hearts as big as battleships.

Last updated 30 January 2015
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Goodbye jaded January and hello fabulous February!

That was that then. The year’s most miserable day has been and gone – relatively quietly, all things considered. It passed in a glowering, grunting sulk... obviously.

Last updated 23 January 2015
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Face armed boy soldiers or the dentist? Tough one...

Some shames are best kept secret – but here goes. I’m terrified of dentists. Not just anxious, mind. Beyond cliff-hanging edge of nervousness; more than merely frightened. Petrified. Always have been.

Last updated 9 January 2015
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All things are bright and beautiful round at Twinkle’s

She thinks she’s lowering the tone of her well-to-do neighbourhood... not that she’s too worried about it.

Last updated 19 December 2014
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There is room at the inn but it’s going to cost you

My favourite nativity story comes from a friend whose little grandson single-mindedly secured a longed-for starring role in his primary school production.

Last updated 12 December 2014
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A toddler’s approach to avoiding Christmas’s trickier bits

He could have had a tablet – but he said he wasn’t poorly. When little William was asked what he’d like Santa to bring on Christmas morning, he was nothing if not decisive.

Last updated 5 December 2014
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Set your sights on a black bargain and give ’em hell

Friday. It’s the new black – as they say in the fashion world. And if, on this Black Friday, you’re fighting for bargains with umpteen other frenzied shoppers... well, the best of British.

Last updated 28 November 2014
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Dual reasons why the Archers must not relocate to the north

Advice to be careful of what you wish for is rarely taken. Ruth and David Archer should take note – they’d be wise to heed caution before it’s too late.

Last updated 14 November 2014
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Grumpy by nature but all smiles when children call

Always glad when that foreign nonsense is out of the way – when Americanised trick or treaters have been and gone and we can settle down again to some good old English traditional celebrations... with leftover mini Mars Bars.

Last updated 7 November 2014
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Sausage or Swiss rolls fine. But forward rolls? Forget it!

Nothing good ever came of a forward roll. Should any school-starter want the advising benefit of long life experience, that would be mine. Don’t waste your time.

Last updated 31 October 2014
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The nights are going to be dark - along with my dress

Nights are drawing in and it’s time for going out. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Last updated 30 October 2014
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Cake expectations... and how to avoid soggy bottoms

She’s successful, efficient, comfortable in her own lofty position and, unsurprisingly, she knows the many and various powers of cake.

Last updated 10 October 2014
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I’ll raise my bacon and eggs to great Cumbrian runners

What makes a Cumbrian run? Beats me. But if everybody had their own – as my old gran used to say – I couldn’t properly be called a Cumbrian. Not for another 40 years, anyway.

Last updated 3 October 2014
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Marooned on the starting blocks of disturbing quandary

I used to be indecisive but now – as they say in the chic continental cafe-cultured streets of Carlisle – I don’t rightly know.

Last updated 26 September 2014
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Pick-and-mix sexism for the 21st century fashion shopper

I’m not averse to a bit of sexism. Not a lot, obviously. No abuse or oppression, thank you. Just a smidgeon of courteous acknowledgement that I’m actually not a man and never wanted to be... get my drift?

Last updated 19 September 2014
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Why can't I learn to say no, just once?

Hmm, well... it probably won’t be happening again in a hurry. A staycation is all very well, when the sun shines and you can do your own thing. But another one next year? Unlikely.

Last updated 12 September 2014
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Should organ donation opt-in be automatic?



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