My friend’s son has just done his A levels in a school in Liverpool where there was one science teacher for the whole school covering GSCEs and A levels – ONE. Because her son wants to do medicine, he has had more or less to teach himself the course thanks to YouTube videos and I think we can all agree some subjects are easier self-taught than others. He got a B, not the A he needed. The English government – though not the Welsh nor Scottish – decided to go back to pre-Covid grade boundaries, in fact they made them harder so you were doubly penalised. In any other year my friend’s son would have scored an A.

How pathetic of Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, to say that exam grades don’t matter. That employers won’t ask you what grade you earned a couple of years after you’ve got the certificate. That may be true but is of absolutely no use nor comfort at all to those kids, like my friend’s son, whose grades ARE all important to get into the universities they want. It was a beyond idiotic thing to say. Just what you want to hear from a so-called Education Secretary – not!

I really like the town centre now. I love the new places to eat. I had an amazing meal at the Botanist last week with friends (well done on the five star hygiene rating too!). Always wanted to try a hanging kebab and it didn’t disappoint. There is the argument that we will be paying this debt off for a long time – and so will our grandchildren probably. But I can’t help thinking that I want my town to be gorgeous and it really is now.

I’m enjoying it without getting into the argument of whether it’s money spent wisely, because too many pit towns haven’t regenerated like we have, shook off their old industry and risen like a phoenix from the ashes. It might have cost a lot but Barnsley is looking really beautiful and we have something to shout about. Maybe now the TV news programmes won’t come to us when their agenda is to find a ‘joke town’ because I’m getting totally sick of that.

Can I just say that the crews resurfacing Dodworth Road had a horrendously difficult task and miraculously managed it with the minimum of disruption. I don’t know how they did such a job, so well and so quickly, but they did and the road feels great under-wheel.

Misty the dog must be the luckiest animal on the planet. Not only was she rescued from Cyprus by a loving family but she escaped from whoever was looking after her when that family were on holiday and went a-travelling.

There were many sightings of her over the next two weeks from Langsett to Crane Moor and then she ended up on the M1 in rush hour traffic. What a brilliant effort from dog-loving police officers armed with chicken treats to catch her and get her home. The family must have thought she was gone for good.

When we first got our rescue dog, her only motive in life was to get herself out of our garden – probably because she saw safety in not being confined, so I have every sympathy.

Such dogs become streetwise until they’re settled and realise their lot in life is much better than it was before. Nice to have a dog story with a happy ending, so I’ll leave you with a smile this first week in September! Are we really here already? The cream eggs will be in the shops soon!