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By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

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I have to admit that I am finding it difficult to maintain a positive approach to life at the moment.

I even found myself being somewhat negative in my assessment of the game when Holsworthy was rightfully enjoying a 4-0 lead the other week at Upcott Field.

It is nit-picking really when an excellent win was being obtained against visitors Truro, but they should never have been let back into the game with a couple of soft goals.

Six-nil would have been a fairer reflection of the match and it showed that Holsworthy has some real potential. Perhaps the team also gets a little too hard on itself?

Mind you, I think the whole country, particularly in this area, is suffering from a sort of seasonal adjustment disorder which has been caused by continuous monsoon conditions over the last few years.

The sun is shining as I write this piece and it is so unusual I have had to don the specs with transition lens to cope with the glare.

Meanwhile, on the same day as the glorious victory over Truro Reserves, serious concerns were voiced over the safety of a brave Pyworthy resident venturing out into Stanhope Park to mark the pitch for the youth football on Sunday.

People feared he might vanish into the mud. We can only keep our fingers crossed for the success of the town council's plans for improving the drainage there.

Talking of councillors, I feel I must proffer my congratulations to John Allen for gallantly taking up the reins of office once more.

No doubt supported by his wife Jackie, he will do an excellent job for the town.

John's attendance to the job will be a lot better than one of our current district councillors. What is going on there?

Whatever the problems, it is not possible to perform your duties if you are not in the country very much – time for some intervention from his colleagues?

My tongue might be in my cheek, as always, but from my own experience some of the other district councillors at Torridge are not all that sympathetic towards Holsworthy and the problems in its surrounding rural areas.

We need full representation up in Bideford at all times. Meanwhile, I do hope that those who missed the public consultation held during the day the other Wednesday managed to catch the recent Tuesday evening chance to consult on Holsworthy's regeneration – it is the future for all of us residents.

I seem to remember some song from the Sixties which contained the lyric "I'm in the middle of nowhere, getting nowhere with you."

In times of difficulty these words are far too apposite for those of us requiring medical attention.

It is a long way to any of our major hospitals and such journeys can increase the hardship and difficulties for residents who require regular treatment.

Having had a few minor troubles myself recently, I have been reminded of how often we end up requiring the help and support of our friends and family and my thanks go out to all those who have extended their kindness to me.

Sticking together in hard times is still a characteristic of our local communities and it really shows during times of ill health.

Indulging in the dreaded nostalgia again, I reflected that one of the saddest developments of modern life is the way that children have lost the ability, apparently, to play outdoors – or at least in a safe sort of way.

We all know the reasons – dangerous traffic, shocking child molestation cases and a general feeling of hidden menace in our society.

Mind you, I have heard older people expressing fears of large groups of even quite young children, citing destructive and aggressive behaviour.

Something seems to have gone badly wrong in our society as one of our more senior citizens remarked, having been verbally abused in the park by some underage smokers recently.

Manners are in need of wholesale improvement even among so called grownups.

I feel we need to find ways of reintroducing our youngsters to some of the joys of just wandering around and playing in the fresh air – especially in rural areas like this.

I spent many happy hours in my childhood (from the age of about 5 to 15) out in the fields.

We knew enough not to trample crops or interfere with livestock and at times practically lived in places like Derriton Woods. I am sure it was a healthier lifestyle than stuck indoors with electronic machines.

Admittedly, we indulged in some habits since proved to be not so useful such as bird nesting and so forth, but more constructive hobbies could easily be substituted. After all, was there not some old expression about capturing the minds of the youngster "by the age of seven and you capture the man/woman for life"?

We still have open countryside in this area. Let us use it positively particularly in the light of reports on childhood obesity and calls for taxes on fizzy drinks and junk food.

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