I AM drawn to emails which begin ‘I read your column every week’ because I know that I, and the reader, will have shared much of our Hillingdon lives since Bm@il was ‘born’ in 2008.
As the column will be five years old in May, I think Mr F and I should celebrate, don’t you? Take it out for a meal maybe.
Anyway, I pounced on such a missive from a reader who works for Hillingdon Play Association (HPA). The subject of the email turned out to be something I also feel passionately about, so this week I am sharing my soapbox.
HPA is offering free training to parents, carers, and young people because of concerns that modern children rarely play outside on bikes or roller skates, never mind – heaven forbid – further afield to catch tadpoles or climb trees.
It accepts that parents are busy and worry about traffic and strangers but says, as children are increasingly wrapped in cotton wool, their social, emotional and physical development is being affected.
A child is more likely to be tweeting on a car journey, rather than gazing out of the window, so imagination and creativity have no chance to thrive.
As 2013 is the Year of Play, HPA is encouraging families to go outdoors and do just that. It says there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. It must have seen my new furry hat – with ears.
Hillingdon Council is working with HPA to organise events and would like to encourage as many children as possible to join in.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 8841 5322 if you would like to help.
n THERE’S been a run on Metcalfe’s ‘skinny topcorn’ in Debenhams restaurant since I mentioned it on January 16.
The display was missing last week, but the assistant fetched me ONE packet of this low calorie popcorn from out the back. He said it had suddenly become very popular. Surely not because of Bm@il, I thought?
Just then, Sue Searle from Colham Manor Primary School came over to say hello’ and spotted my bag of popcorn.
“I bought that after you recommended it in your column,” she said. “Others have too.”
Oh no! What have I done? This could lead to a serious famine.