It’s great when your children come home from university and college for the weekend, but it doesn’t take long to remember why they left in the first place.
Yours truly met daughters #1 and #2 on the train back north, where they proceeded to rip the p*** out of me the whole journey in new and uncharted ways.
Who knew camera phone filters which distort faces could be so hilarious? After 10 minutes of making me look like something from an Aphex Twin video, they laughed so hard their stomachs hurt and even the horrors of trying to get home on dangerously overcrowded trains on a Friday couldn’t dampen their spirits.
When we got home, daughter #1, after three whole weeks of living in student halls, opened the fridge door and gasped: “Wow! A full fridge! I’m so hungry! What’s for dinner?”
Pizza and garlic bread, as it turned out, which they practically inhaled.
Of course, university life in the centre of one of the greatest cities in the world is waaaaay more interesting than our middle-aged existence in Lancaster, which is soooooo boring in comparison, even taking into account her friend’s fancy dress party which was the reason for her visit.
But if I was living with six strangers I’d only met for the first time last month then, at the age of 49, I’d think my life had taken a few wrong turns - and included a lengthy spell in prison.
And her eye-watering rent on a single room costs more per month than a mortgage on a family home - which now feels so big and empty we’re umming and ahhing about giving the dog and cats their own rooms.
While the kids huffed pizza, daughter #1 brought us up to speed with her working week - a full SIX HOURS of lectures - basically PowerPoint presentations at which students are actively discouraged from interrupting by asking questions. Excellent value, I’m sure you’ll agree, as the lecturer’s notes are transferred to the student’s without passing through the brains of either, for £9,250-a-year tuition fees, charged at six per cent interest.
I’m sure the Mafia run brutally efficient rackets like that, but none on such a grand scale.