The Princess has two teachers this year; good cop and bad cop. This morning as I left, bad cop was in charge and she pulled the crying Princess’s hand from mine and pushed me resolutely out the door saying “the sooner you leave, the better it will be”. True, doubtless, but brutal. Mind you, my travails are as nothing compared to my friend who has just started her two children at a new school. The two and a half year old is, to quote her mother “a tough little nut” but the five year old is a very sensitive soul. When she comes to collect the younger child at midday, she finds her two children glued together in the playground. She has to prise them apart and then her son cries and clutches the fence and says “I’ll wait here until you come back”. When she comes to collect him at 3.00 she can see his little hand clutching the fence from afar. Dear God, it’s all very depressing. Meanwhile, she tells me that another Irish friend of hers has unexpectedly decamped to Dublin over the Summer because her two little girls have been offered places in a good primary school and, if they don’t take them up this September, the places will be gone forever. Their papa continues to be based in Brussels. So, if given a choice between a good school and a father, which would you pick? I know that’s not fair, but really, it’s madness.