AS the mother of sons who left schoolwork and revision till the last possible minute because there was always more fun elsewhere, I sympathise with parents worrying about whether their teenagers will get to university or college.

This year the closure of schools has fuelled that understandable anxiety. But spare a thought for teachers, too.

This week I bumped into one who reminded me that staff were having to award exam grades based on pupils’ work to date.

She was painfully aware of the responsibility, and how the life chances of youthful procrastinators could rest on her decisions.

It’s time the government stopped hammering away about the need to ‘do their duty’ and ‘be heroes’ and showed the profession some proper respect and understanding of what they do.

THE Spirit & Endeavour exhibition is a real eye-opener, even online.

Our amazing Cathedral can welcome an array of artworks in wildly differing styles and to me, they simply underline the majesty of this vast airy space.

I’m not a religious person. What I am is a big fan of Antony Gormley.

My Mum was, too, with a long-held ambition to see the Angel of the North. We finally made it the day before she turned 85, and I have a treasured photo of her, leaning on her stick alongside it, like a little Lowry figure.

The following summer we pushed her walking trolley across Crosby beach to take in his stunningly atmospheric metallic men staring out to sea.

Now one of his figures is perched in the Cathedral, and it does the trick again, drawing the eye up to the architectural detail in that immense height.

I had much the same reaction at the Sarum Lights extravaganza earlier this year. Interestingly, the place was full of families, yet there was very little childish chatter. Adults and kids alike seemed awed by the whole spectacle.

We can tend to take the Cathedral for granted as part of the backdrop to city life. It’s such a shame we can’t wander round it now. But very well done to all involved in the virtual tour.

EVER helpful in these anxious times, my husband provided me with a book called Feel Better in 5. Minutes, that is.

Bite-size chunks of what wellness guru Dr Rangan Chatterjee calls, rather cheesily, ‘health snacks’. One’s mindfulness and another’s basically exercise.

Aha! I decided I could save time by combining the two - putting some Zen-themed ambient music on the iPad, then hopping aboard the exercise bike.

With legs whizzing round and eyes closed, meditating on the monotonous tinkling and humming, I felt like a duck, all calm serenity on the surface while paddling (or in this case pedalling) furiously underneath. As so often in life!

Meanwhile the household handyman was deployed to B & Queue, where someone with a sense of humour was playing “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” on the PA system.

Just what was needed after weeks cowering indoors!