Out in the Field with chief reporter Annemarie Field: Students should get on with what they’re meant to be doing

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I'VE LONG suspected I’m getting old. I love my shed, I listen to Radio 2, I'm thinking about joining the National Trust and I'm even developing a fondness for gardening.

But it would seem I'm not only old but grumpy too because every which way I turned in Eastbourne this week, all I could see was young Fresher students dressed in skimpy luminous dresses (and that's just the boys) and little else with their faces painted and drinking themselves stupid six days and nights in a row.

I’m all for a party but can’t help thinking they need to stop wasting their student loans and get on with what they’re meant to be doing – and that’s to get their heads down and work hard.

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I’VE been getting a lot of stick lately after I suggested neither the 11-year-old Ginger Prince and Little Princess (seven, going on 14) need wait until they’re 16 before they leave home and that anytime in the near future will do.

I love the very bones of my children and like any parent would walk to the ends of the earth for them. What I meant was that children want, demand and need every single ounce of your energy, enthusiasm, imagination and patience.

Then, when you’re completely and utterly wrung dry and out of resources, they want some more. And we find it. Motherhood – and fatherhood – is enormous. It’s an endless outpouring of love and sometimes it’s exhausting.

Kids can be cruel, hideous sometimes, but they can also be funny, honest, kind and very loving.

And when they throw their arms round you for a hug, it’s the best thing in the world and makes it all worthwhile.

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I HAVE made a couple of lovely discoveries in the last couple of weeks – both in Seaside Road.

The first is Little Polka, the family run polish cafe, which serves the most gorgeous apple pancakes ever.

The second is Dolce Vita, a new Italian restaurant, run by the lovely Carlos.

Not only does this eaterie serve fab food, it’s very reasonably priced and is a lovely addition to a part of town which doesn’t always get the good press it deserves.

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HERE AT Beckett Towers we very rarely blow our own trumpet but we have something to be celebrating after being shortlisted in the EDF Energy Media Awards.

My colleague Richard Morris is down to the last four in the Feature Writer of the Year and Campaign of the Year, and yours truly is in the final for the Columnist of the Year category.

Keeping fingers and toes crossed for the winners ceremony at Lords Cricket Club in London at the end of October.