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TRYING to keep our little blighters occupied for six weeks in the summer holidays is no mean feat.

Hearing that actress Eva Mendes is determined to bring “boredom” back for her kids is not just music to my ears, but reinforces the mantra with which I’ve brought my children up over the past 27 years: “Kids need boredom”.

5Children must experience boredom to value the times they are entertainedCredit: Getty

Granted, when my Ungratefuls were younger (my computer game-obsessed youngest is now 14) I was forced to employ a nanny because I was often managing it alone.

My work schedule rarely fitted into the 9 to 5 that usual childcare offers.

But I look at the young kids of today and I see a cast of spoilt, over-indulged ankle-biters, sprats and minors.

Yes, I’m acutely aware there are plenty of children who aren’t advantaged and entitled, and whose parents don’t have the resources to afford days out — exciting trips to places and daily adventures — to ­satisfy their child’s hunger for learning through play.

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But at the risk of sounding like my parents, who are constantly hectoring about how kids of today have it “too good” because they, the oldies, had nothing and were effectively brought up in a cardboard box without any sides, I’m very inclined to agree.

I object to the parenting of today, which seems to be founded on some kind of misjudged notion that their offspring should be stimulated at all times, without exception.

I don’t know if it stems from some competitive “keeping up with the Joneses” streak that propels these parents into giving their kids everything every other child might have.

Or maybe it’s based on fear.

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Fear that if they are not stimulated and entertained every moment of the day, they will grow up disadvantaged, deprived or even plain stoopid.

Maybe it’s just a middle-class thing. I see acquaintances with sprogs who are constantly being pandered to and offered things to do.

So much so, that they can’t even go to the toilet without having a tantrum along the way because they are not being entertained.

My point is that boredom is good for children.

In fact, it’s crucial. If kids aren’t allowed to experience monotony and tedium, it’s unlikely they will value the times they are entertained.

Boredom helps develop their independence and reduces their expectations — so they don’t become too spoilt.

Living as we do in an over-stimulative world where kids are brought up on an all-you-can-eat buffet of technological gadgets, screens and electronic games, it’s really important they have a break from that and tap into their imagination.

5Eva Mendes has said she is determined to bring 'boredom' back for her kidsCredit: Rex

I’m wholly with Mendes when she says ideas come when you’re bored. It’s so true.

When you aren’t artificially and externally stimulated you are forced to draw on your internal resources — your brain, imagination, creativity.


No one entertained me during the three-month Swedish summer holidays.

I just messed around on the housing estate playground with or without friends, and spent hours inside my dad’s tiny flat where I had to think and imagine a world beyond those four, thin walls.

As a result, when the time came for me to parent, I flew the flag for boredom.

I wore the “Bore Your Kids” badge with pride.

I made it clear to them that trips out and activities would be the exception rather than the rule.

So, for all those bleating, snotty-nosed and spoilt children out there stamping their feet and digging their heels in, in protest at not being taken to Harry Potter World every day, I hope your parents give you bugger all to do, and teach you to enjoy apathy and dullness.

Or better still, that they give you a cardboard box.

Preferably one without any sides.


THE #metoo movement has given us a lot to be grateful for.

It raised the voices of those who had been silent for too long in the presence of inappropriate behaviour and unwanted contact.

5Sean Bean, pictured with Joely Richardson in Lady Chatterley) believes intimacy coaches must be ruining sex scenes in HollywoodCredit: ITV

One change the movement brought about is that of employing “intimacy coaches” on film, TV and theatre sets.

These professionals specialise in how to stage scenes that might involve nudity, sexuality, sexual violence or tension.

It sounds ideal for making people feel safe in their performances. But actor Sean Bean doesn’t rate them.

Bean has done his fair share of sex scenes and if I may just objectify him for a moment, he wouldn’t have to ask me twice.

But, point is, Sean Bean believes these intimacy coaches must be ruining sex scenes in Hollywood because it “slows down the thrust of things”.

His terminology is a tad unfortunate, but I agree.

I’ve only ever done some snogging on stage in a musical – some 20 years ago.

But sex is so subjective. It is bound to reveal an actor’s personal predilections.

It is surely exactly that which they draw upon when they play their character.

And if things are meant to look and feel real, there has to be an element of improvisation and oodles of spontaneity.

So, if you have someone clinically plotting body movements, hand positions and even eyelines, surely that must take some of the momentum out of sexy time and end up looking and feeling staged.

In principle, intimacy coaches are an excellent idea.

But those scenes between Sean Bean and Joely Richardson in Lady Chatterley wouldn’t have benefitted from one because there was an undeniable naturalness, subtlety and chemistry between the actors.

At least that’s what Bean says.

And they were some of the hottest scenes to watch.

I, for one, am rather thrilled no one slowed his thrust down.


I ALMOST don’t have the words to describe the inane actions of the vegan activists who marched into Harrods and poured several pints of milk on the floor of the London store’s food hall.

It was supposedly an attempt to persuade us all to ditch dairy and anything else that might be derived from a living thing. It seemed like a largely pointless protest in view of the fact only the tiniest proportion of the population buys its milk from Harrods (maybe only Rishi Sunak and his wife).

5Vegan activists marched into Harrods and poured several pints of milk on the floor

I’m so bored with these utterly pointless demonstrations – like pouring out milk or destroying meat in supermarkets.

All they do is turn us against the protesters.

I think of the poor people who were left to clear the mess up – the cleaners, probably among the lowest paid.

And I wanted to weep when I saw all that milk being wasted.

People are struggling to find money to eat or heat and millions of families would have gratefully received that milk.

But I also think of the cows who produced it.

Harrods will now have to place a new order for milk for the posh people who wouldn’t be seen dead in Tesco.

Which rather defeats the object of the vegans’ idiotic exercise.


THANK God that Premier League players are going to be supported with full-time “care officers” who will manage every aspect of their lives.

Things like paying their bills, providing food and entertainment and cleaning their cars.

5Premier League players such as Ronaldo are going to be supported with full-time 'care officers' who will manage every aspect of their livesCredit: Reuters

Basically providing a concierge service.

I can now sleep better at night knowing these pampered “stars” can concentrate on their skills on the pitch and have minimum distraction from practical issues us mere mortals have to deal with.

As if the world of football doesn’t already produce some (not all) of the most misogynistic, entitled men whose egos supersede anything or anyone else in the world because they are hailed as heroes and superstars.

Now the clubs are going to over-indulge them just that little bit more to ensure they become wholly out-of-touch human beings.

It’s already bad enough that these young men are cosseted by their clubs, and encouraged to settle down young so their talent is not “disturbed” by the presence of the female form later in life, which hinders their development and understanding of relationships.

Now they’re going to be mollycoddled even more.

Many of the Premier League players I have come into contact with over the years had very little concept of how the real world worked because, all their lives, they had been convinced it revolved around them.

They got a real shock when they retired in their mid-thirties.

For what it’s worth, the clubs are doing these young men a great disservice.

They should be doing the exact opposite and making them have practical lessons based on the realities of life.

Not employing assistants to wipe their privileged arses.

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I can’t imagine any of the Lionesses needing a care officer.

Because us women do it all ourselves.

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222 Angel Number meaning: 6 reasons you’re seeing the divine symbolism everywhere

HAVE you ever noticed a repeating number sequence, like 222 or 777, appearing so much that it couldn't possibly be a coincidence?

It is thought that repeating numbers are signs sent to us from angels -- but what in heaven do these numbers mean?

2Repeating numbers could be signs sent to us from the angelsCredit: Getty What is the meaning and symbolism of angel number 222?

If you've been seeing 222 pop up on watches, receipts, page numbers, spreadsheets, or anywhere else, chances are this is more than just a coincidence.

Repeating numbers could be our angels trying to communicate with us, and knowing the secrets behind each number is the key to unlocking the message.

In numerology, different numbers carry different significance, and when a number repeats itself its energy is even stronger.

According to Well+Good, 222 and other angel numbers carry a variety of possible meanings. That's why it's essential to use your intuition to explore what the angels are telling you.

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Sometimes seeing an angel number, like 222, is simply confirmation that you are headed the right way. This can be especially affirming if you've made a decision you're unsure of: 222 means it was probably the right one!

2. There's something you have to do

Angel numbers can also be a call to action. Pay attention to where you are and what you're doing when you see 222 because this number could be trying to tell you there is something you must do.

3. You might need to slow down

The number 2 is connected to the idea of harmony, so if you see 222 it could be that you're moving too fast and you need to slow down and pay attention.

Horoscope traits

What does your star sign mean for you?

Aries - The best and worst characteristics of the head of the zodiac
Aquarius - The traits you need to know for the air sign
Capricorn - What does this star sign mean for your personality?
Cancer - The key traits for the sign include a keen love of food
Gemini - The traits to be aware of for the sign with a symbol of twins
Leo - The best and worst characteristics of the fire sign
Libra - What does the seventh star sign mean for your personality?
Pisces - The key traits for the sign include an interest in the arts
Sagittarius - The traits you need to know for the fire sign
Scorpio - What does this star sign mean for your personality?
Taurus - The best and worst characteristics of the earth sign
Virgo - The key traits for the sign include loyalty and kindness

4. Your life could be out of balance

Also connected to the idea of harmony, 222 might be asking you to check where you're placing your energy and attention. The way you divide up your life might need a reassessment.

5. It's a sign your angels are with you

Sometimes angel numbers are simply a sign that you are being watched over and protected by your angels. When you see 222 or another angel number, know that you are not alone.

6. You're exactly where you need to be

If you've been looking for a sign that you are where you're meant to be, then seeing 222 is probably reassurance from your angels that you don't need to worry. If you see this number or another angel number, it's okay to relax.

2Angel number 222 is connected with harmony and balanceCredit: Getty - Contributor What other angel numbers are there?

Any repeating number, like 333 or 888, is considered an angel number. If you see one of these, it could very well be an important sign.

There is also the 1111 angel number which many people are familiar with.

On top of that, other sequences could be messages from your angels. These other sequences include 1010, 1212 and 1234.

Next time you happen upon one of these number sequences, stop and listen to your intuition because you may be receiving important spiritual guidance.

List of 12 star signs

The traditional dates used by Mystic Meg for each sign are below

  • Capricorn: December 22 – January 20
  • Aquarius: January 21 – February 18
  • Pisces: February 19 - March 20
  • Aries: March 21 - April 20
  • Taurus: April 21 – May 21
  • Gemini: May 22 – June 21
  • Cancer:  June 22 – July 22
  • Leo: July 23 – August 23
  • Virgo: August 24 – September 22
  • Libra: September 23 – October 23
  • Scorpio: October 24 – November 22
  • Sagittarius: November 23 – December 21
  • Explainers
  • horoscopes
  • Numerology
  • US Evergreen
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