THE price of freedom is eternal vigilance – and a lot of inconvenience.

No to mention dirty streets and lots of standing round. After Khalid Masood ’s exploits in Westminster last week, expect more of the same. It’s a small price to pay.

Once upon a time there were litter bins on nearly every lamppost and in every station. Ever wondered where they got to? In the 1970s and 1980s the IRA found them very handy to place a bomb – it was a bomb in a Warrington litter bin that killed twelve year old Tim Parry – so litter bins vanished and are only just creeping back onto the streets.

There used to be coin-operated left luggage lockers at most stations – very useful. But they were handy for bombs too, as well as the occasional murder victim, so they went. Inconvenient.

But a lot of terrorism is inconvenient. The IRA used to delight in sending coded bomb warnings. Nearly every day railway stations, airports, department stores, theatres, cinemas or office blocks would be evacuated while people stood grumbling on pavements. Nine times out of ten it was a hoax and after a few hours and a lot of police time and effort, everyone would troop in again, grumbling even more.

Then there came the tenth time… We all moan about security – the time it takes to get onto a plane or Eurostar, or even into a government building or art gallery. And the apparently ridiculous rules – do they really think my mascara could be a killer? Do I really have to empty out my handbag full of embarrassing junk?

The answer, of course, is yes. And we’ll be doing it am awful lot more .

We’ll be taking off our belts, emptying our bags, going through scanners. We’ll spend hours shuffling along shoeless in airport queues and never find a litter bin when we need it.

Enjoy a good grumble and consider the alternative.

And don’t forget to take your rubbish home.

IN these times of political turmoil, security threats and major decisions to be made, the Daily Mail ran a front page article comparing the legs of Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon. Yes, really.

“It was light-hearted” the paper said in its defence. Normal people might have thought it was sexist, crass, puerile and downright embarrassing.

Meanwhile, a judge decided that a wife whose husband hit her with a cricket bat and forced her to drink bleach wasn’t really abused because she had friends and a university education.

Such appalling ignorance makes you wonder if the judge is fit to be let out by himself let alone sit in judgement on other people.

He also spared the husband a jail sentence because he said he had a contract with a county cricket side – which was actually a lie. Great move, judge.

And you wonder why the world still needs feminists. Or even just people with common sense…

THE London school chosen for young Prince George by parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge apparently puts big store on “kindness, courtesy and humility”.

We like that. We like kindness. Courtesy and humility too, of course. But if there’s one single thing that could make a huge difference to the world it’s kindness. Kindness, on the whole, doesn’t mean killing people, hurting them, demeaning or destroying them, or writing nasty things on Twitter. Kindness means thinking the best of people and acting on it.

Kindness is not just a vague soppy niceness but a genuine sense of putting ourselves into someone else’s position. Kindness from friends and family can get us through all sorts of bad times. Kindness from strangers is sometimes simply overwhelming.

Being kind pretty well rules out all sorts of other nastier characteristics. Kind people are rarely unloved so it’s a virtue with benefits too. Maybe we need a National Kindness Campaign.

Sounds like a good start for a prince – and just about anyone else too.

WHEN I moved north all those years ago, nobody told me I’d end up eating pigeon food.

Carlins – those small grey peas indistinguishable from shot pellets and about as appetising – are on the menu this Sunday. So I shall soak them ,boil them, fry them douse them with pepper and vinegar and they’ll still taste… well.. like pigeon food.

Still, it’s tradition. Like pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, hot cross buns on Good Friday and eggs on Easter Day – and never a day earlier.

Now we eat so well, so often, that festive treats are hardly treats at all. It’s why hot cross buns have to be tarted up with cherries, apple and even chocolate to appeal to our jaded palates.

But in a strange and chaotic world when we are often out of sync with the seasons, the natural world and even with each other, there’s something about the old traditions that give us a link with the past and root us in the present. Doing what so many other people have done on the same day down the years is strangely comforting, especially in troubled times. Even if it means eating disgusting grey peas.

VERY occasionally, things work out just as they’re meant to.

On Sunday, Senior Son slaved in the kitchen cooking a great lunch, husband energetically entertained two manic toddlers – while daughter in law and I sat in the sunshine sipping champagne.

That’s what I call a proper Mother’s Day.