Out walking the dog last week I spotted a huge pile of dog poop that hadn’t been done by a teacup Chihuahua. Come on folks, pick it up, especially – as this was – on the grass of school grounds. It really annoyed me as I was walking around, so much so that I actually went back and picked it up in a spare poop bag that I had on me.

Here’s the weird thing. I don’t mind picking up my own dog’s droppings, but there is something quite gross about picking up someone else’s. I was gipping like a good-un anyway during the scooping up process, and that got me thinking – why is that? Answers on a postcard please.

I went to the Lamproom last week to watch the musical of Oliver! And it was absolutely superb. Spoilt only by the people in the row behind who spent a good proportion of the show with their hand stuffed in a crackly bag of spice and making a noise that featured on the decibel scale. Not only that but they appeared to be passing the bag up and down between friends who were equally as crackly. I was one step away from turning around, grabbing the bag and saying ‘You can have these back at the interval’. Luckily for them I’m too much of a calm, cool and collected personage.

I learned something this week – did you know that George Orwell lodged at a house in Agnes Terrace, off Day Street. That’s literally at the end of the street where I was brought up as a nipper on Nursery Street. How exciting that the great man himself and I have walked on the same flagstones.

Barnsley Civic Trust have agreed to put up a blue plaque so watch out for details of the unveiling next year. He stayed there when he was researching ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ although his most famous work was, of course, 1984. A brilliant book, scaringly prophetic I have to say, and one of those books everyone should read. And don’t worry if you haven’t read it because we are all living its horrors anyway.

I read Sarah Sidebottom’s story last week with my heart in my mouth. Sarah, now 54, was abused by both her father and her brother when she was a little girl. The fact that medics back then believed she had fallen downstairs and landed on a go-cart handle after receiving internal injuries so serious she needed a blood transfusion is criminal in itself. Those doctors should be struck off.

Her father went to prison last year and with any luck he won’t see the light of day again but both he and her brother, also now in prison but for a much shorter period, have been free to live their lives for many years as if nothing had ever happened, and it is Sarah who has been in a prison of her own awful memories which must have cast a long shadow over her life. She has been so brave in coming forward and waiving her anonymity. But what a tragedy that anyone has to bring charges of sexual abuse against their own family, the very people who should be protecting them and keeping them from harm.

There was a bit of a queue in A & E this week (isn’t there always) when I took up my mum, but I have to say everyone who dealt with us from the receptionist to the doctor was absolutely lovely, kind and patient with her. Thank you.