Kerby wins every time ...

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There cannot be many of us who won’t be going away at some point during August.

After all, what is this month for if we don’t dig out shorts so old that they have been in and out of fashion at least twice or recover the sat nav from its natural home, the glove box? There aren’t many blokes who admit to using the device, as it is seen as a direct challenge to our masculinity but in August their use appears to be mandatory.

This month is traditionally known as the height of Silly Season – a time of year when it is perceived very little happens but try telling that to journalists who have covered momentous August events such as the deaths of both Elvis Presley and Princess Diana and countless major tragedies.

Of course, for the past week, the world has been on the edge of its collective sofa, as the name calling between the ridiculous leaders of the USA and North Korea has reached the point where it is enough to put anybody off their barbecue lunch.

To be honest, rather than Armageddon, it has been summer playtime which has been dominating proceedings in our house. Like many 21st Century kids, my offspring are, sadly, strangers to the joys of getting up to mischief on the pavements outside of the family home. Wind the clock back three or four decades, before stranger danger and rat runs, playing out was the law. Every street had its own favourite game. Ours was kerby, which involved throwing a scuffed leather football from one side of the road to another with the aim of bouncing it off the opposite kerb. Hours of fun. Few children today will ever experience the joys of kerby and I think the world is a poorer place for it. Which is why, during a break in Cornwall, I was so keen that my own children got away from screens and discovered the joy of swingball or borrowed scooters. Last week, a man who was once one of Britain’s leading spooks, suggested that parents shouldn’t feel guilty if their children spend too long online this summer as he believes the skills they learn could help the country in the long run. He couldn’t be more wrong. I have never made a meaningful relationship online. In my book, kerby wins every time.