VERITY LUSH: I forced myself out there despite monsoon conditions

Verity always feels better after a swim
Verity always feels better after a swim
A computer generated image of how Fort Gilkicker might look one day. Possibly.

RICK JACKSON: Give us back our Gosport fort

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It is the Easter holidays. For the first few days of said holidays, it was a glorious novelty to just rest.

But, in true human fashion, and as part of my on-going metamorphosis into my mother, that novelty soon ended.

Though I know once I’m back at work, I will be weeping at the loss of sofa-sloth time.

Today, I found myself walking a couple of miles to the pool in windswept and rainy conditions, in order to splash up and down for half-a-mile and shake off the feeling of indoorsy-ness that had struck me.

My offspring have no such issues with and one of them is still in her pjs as I type.

It is 3.15pm by the way.

When I was a whippersnapper, how I loved to lounge about.

When I am working, I always think that I would love to lounge about still, but unless I am truly exhausted then it simply doesn’t happen.

The longer you lounge for, the more lethargy sets in, and then you end up feeling grim and as if you are wasting the day. See – I am my mother.

So, to the pool I went.

Said pool was obviously crammed with other people and their offspring – mums and dads who’d been harsher with their kids than I was with mine today, and had forced them to get out and do something, despite the monsoon conditions.

The air was rife with the military orders that only parents can issue.

‘Rinse it. Have you rinsed it? I said, RINSE IT.’ ‘Put your pants on. What do you mean “where are my pants?”

‘Just put them on.’

‘Where are your pants? What have you done with your pants?

‘Who LOSES THEIR PANTS?’

When I went to dry my hair, a small child proceeded to steal my hairdryer from me.

I was naïve and believed I could get away with putting it down for three seconds while I got my brush out.

But, given that it’s quicker to blow on your own hair than wait for the pool ones to do the job, I didn’t begrudge the wee tyke.

THE DAFFODILS ARE OUT BUT, SADLY, THEY’RE NOT SMILING YET

One day, folk will look back on this as the Never-Ending Winter of 2018.

The year when half the population lost their necks inside their own shoulders due to hunkering down against the incessant rain.

The year when there wasn’t even a hose-pipe ban because it didn’t stop raining until March 2019.

Just a blue sky would be nice, even if there were no heat to accompany it.

The kind of spring sky that arcs endlessly above you, warming your mind if your not limbs.

The daffs are out but nodding beneath the weight of rain, and we are living under a blanket of gloom and cloud.

Roll on a glint of sun.

To misquote Robert Frost, nothing grey can stay.

POVERTY IS OFTEN HIDDEN BUT WE HAVE GOT TO DEAL WITH IT

Alocal head has spoken out about the poverty that is on our doorsteps.

The very idea of living in poverty is something that, all too often, we associate with lesser-developed countries,

but it is rife.

There are different types of poverty.

There is relative poverty, where a person or family cannot afford to take part in activities or to clothe themselves in anything but the basics.

There is also persistent poverty, where a family has been below the breadline for the past two, at least, of the previous three years.

In 2014, nearly 17 per cent of the UK fell into this category. That’s almost a fifth of the nation.

Poverty is on our doorsteps – but what are we going to do about it?