Schoolchildren shouldn’t have to breathe in filthy car fumes – Verity Lush  

Verity says children should not have breathe in fumes from cars at the school gates
Verity says children should not have breathe in fumes from cars at the school gates

Apparently some schools are going to stop parents from dropping their children off near to the school in cars with an engine running. 

This is essentially due to the pollution caused near the school, and I can appreciate both sides of the argument. 

It’s all too easy to think ‘well it’s just me, I’m only stopping here for a second’.

But when there are several million kids being dropped off each day across the UK that’s a whole lot of exhaust fumes hanging around in the air near to those schools and the perfect little lungs of our youngsters.

Obviously cars are convenient but perhaps we do need to think about the future outside of our own selfish little boxes. 

Try switching off and talking to each other

The summer holidays are the time of year when my husband and I switch off from work.

We turn our phones off whilst we are away, no texts, no emails, no calls, nada. Bliss.

The sense of not being menaced is like a very heavy physical weight being removed from around your neck, and one that you can’t really appreciate until you’ve done it.

The first day is always a little weird without a phone but after that, it’s heaven. To the extent that each year, when we return, we tend to leave them off a while longer, and then leave them at home when we go out anywhere with the kids.

I can’t bear it anyway when you see entire families in restaurants all glued to their phones and saying nothing to one another.

We took my husband out for Father’s Day and there was an elderly couple sitting with their daughter at another table.

Their daughter looked only at her phone for the entire meal, with headphones on. I didn’t see her look up once.

This continued once food was served, and the couple simply stared into space. It was ridiculously sad to see and a pretty extreme example, but a stark reminder also that there is life – real life – outside of social media and devices.

The sense that somebody can always get hold of you, whenever they wish, can be immensely pressurising.

I wonder if we have forgotten the importance of actually having time to ourselves, time that doesn’t have to be entirely stuffed full of tasks. Time when you go and simply sit alone, either daydreaming or reading, or just relishing the peace and quiet.

I am not even sure if many of us remember how to do that. Which in itself must stifle creativity and the scope to dream and imagine.

The feeling of being constantly wired and on alert isn’t good for anyone.

We all need to be able to shut ourselves away once in a while, or just sit with loved ones conversing and sharing tales of our days, whilst listening to those of others.

It’s August so it must be time to start Christmas shopping

It is crazy to think that autumn will soon be upon us. Time seems to speed up and as opposed to slow down over summer and before we know it, John Lewis will have their Christmas decorations out. In fact, a month from now and I guarantee Tesco will have festive tubs of Celebrations.

If you work behind the scenes in retail, you must live in a near permanent state of Christmas. It is all either preparation for Christmas products, shop windows, and even Christmas clothing.

Then it is time to get the produce out in the shops and then it actually is Christmas. Which, due to the incessant sales, goes on until around March. By which time, I presume the festive Celebrations tubs are back on the assembly line.