THOSE heady days of summer seem so far away now.

No, it's not the snap in the air or the clocks going back - it's how far we've sunk back when it comes to young British female role models.

The Olympics and Paralympics saw British women achievers who became the best in the world, women like Jessica Ennis, Jade Jones, Laura Trott, Ellie Simmonds and Hannah Cockroft.

We have since had small girls taking up swimming, cycling and Tae Kwando and athletics as a direct result of watching these amazing women at the Games. Taster sessions for such sports are now crammed full of them.

So how depressing was it to read last week all the coverage devoted in London-based newspapers to a woman whose only real claim to fame is her backside.

It is bad enough that the future Queen is a woman who has never done anything remotely important with her life except marry someone whose family has a large proportion of the UK's wealth.

Last week, we had a book launch by her sister. During said book launch Pippa Middleton, who works as a party planner, wore four different designer outfits as she paraded her wares - a book about 'effortless entertaining' - in front of a stage-managed group of children.

But even the best-laid party plans can't legislate for that special child who makes me want to run up and hug her because she is a glimmer of hope in that mass-produced, sickly sweet world where every little girl is dressed in pink and has a Hello Kitty backpack.

One girl of six told Miss Middleton she was a 'tomboy'.

La Middleton replied: "I was a tomboy. I bet when you're ten you will love pink and you will love princesses."

Then another girl, the one I am deciding is my new heroine, piped up.

She replied: "I hate princesses. I hate fairies and princesses. I like vampires."

Ha! Take that. Little Vampire Lover, keep hating fairies, princesses, pink and small toy ovens. Keep liking whatever it is you like despite what the rest of the world tells you is right for you because it wants to sell you something.

A former Argus reporter has a small daughter who sleeps under her bed because she is in training for 'when she joins the Army' and was last pictured on Facebook in her fatigues conquering the Sugar Loaf at Abergavenny.

Now that's a role model.

I have a dream. I dream that there comes a time when having a decent derriere and a royal connection doesn't get you a career in Britain.





THIS was a quote reported from the chief of a housing association which wants to build a new block of flats in London, something which drew objections from a number of existing residents on the grounds of potential noise.

He said: "If people want to live in solitude without many neighbours they should go and live in Wales with some sheep."

Because, of course, we all live in the back end of nowhere and sheep regularly roam through our houses. Perhaps this housing association boss's experience of Wales was an afternoon in Troedrhiwgwair. Nope, couldn't have been there - he'd have realised just how blinking noisy those woolly blighters are.





HAVE you hears the good news? THE RECESSION IS OVER. As one of those Eighties red-top tabloids might have said 'and it's official'.

Now that's all based on one three-month period of growth, which included the Olympics and Paralympics in London.

Forgive me if I don't go out and put my name down for a Ferrari right now, but I'll believe it when I see the growth figures for the next three months and the three months after that. Professor James Mitchell of Warwick Business School is not yet ruling out a 'triple-dip'.

Never mind...soon be Christmas!