Funny feeling when the kids go

I'M in a bit of a funny position at the moment and I dare say quite a few of you are too. No, I don't mean that I'm sitting with my legs over the back of my head or anything like that although of course some of you may be in which case I say good for you, and keep it up.

I'M in a bit of a funny position at the moment and I dare say quite a few of you are too. No, I don't mean that I'm sitting with my legs over the back of my head or anything like that although of course some of you may be in which case I say good for you, and keep it up. I've quite often fancied the idea of doing yoga myself - I'm assuming that is what you're doing - but what with college, writing, dancing and daily workouts on my karaoke machine I don't think my spare time - or my body - could stretch to doing yoga classes as well.

Now what I was actually referring to was the fact that having just deposited my daughter back at uni after the summer break I'm feeling in a strange state of limbo. After 14 weeks - yes, 14! - of not really knowing whether it was actually her or me who was coming or going, she's gone.

So, if you too are one of these so called 'helicopter' mums ­- or dads come to that - who spends most of their time hovering over their offspring, then I'm sure you'll appreciate how difficult it is for me to switch off my rotor blades and come in to land.

Okay, there may well be 1001 things that I've got to do but sometimes it's really hard to carry on when the lack of clothes, shoes, magazines, etc. on the floor acts as a constant reminder of her absence and the temporary lull in my flying activities.

Believe me, not having to loop the loop around the lounge - do helicopters do that? - or undertake regular ascents into uncharted areas i.e. bedrooms, takes some getting used to. It's a weird sort of almost being lost sensation. Sometimes I wander in and out of rooms wondering what I've gone in there for. Yes, I know that's what I usually do anyway, but it's even worse now that she's not here to remind me where I'm actually supposed to be going.

And if that isn't bad enough it also means that I've lost my shopping-and-soap-watching-buddy. Thank goodness one of my media modules this semester is all about different aspects of consumer culture. At least I'll be able to talk about one of my favourite subjects on a regular basis and with young people too. Who knows with any luck I might even have to undertake some practical research.

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The soap issue though remains a major worry. Unfortunately my hubby doesn't share quite the same level of enthusiasm for Hollyoaks, or Emmerdale come to that, as our daughter and I do. How I'm going to cope without our deep and meaningful discussions about the Hutchinsons or the Dingles, I don't know.

Still she'll be home again at Christmas. Until then I'm going to have to try to restrain myself, and not use my piloting skills anyway near my other half. He's not too keen when I suddenly whip away his mug of tea and paper.

If there is one thing I do on almost a daily basis, it's pinch myself.

You see, sometimes I find it hard to believe that I'm not dreaming and that I actually do write this column. So when BBC Radio Suffolk contacted me recently asking me if I'd like to chat to Mark Murphy on his breakfast show, my 'pinch me' mode went into overdrive.

It was all to do with a really useful booklet they have produced, along with Suffolk County Council and CSV Media Suffolk Action, entitled 'Just around the corner', a guide to 'the best years of your life'.

Aimed at people aged around 45 and over, it is jam-packed with helpful information relating to finance, health, widening horizons, getting out and about and looking ahead.

Now as Mark was featuring these topics, one per day, for a week they thought I might like to talk about how your education and career doesn't have to stop just because you've reached a certain age.

Well you know me, I'm all for championing the idea of older people having a go at new activities - including me being on the radio - so of course I was more than willing to oblige.

And what an experience it was! I'd like to thank everyone at Radio Suffolk, especially Mark, for making me feel so welcome. It certainly taught me a number of things, including never to complain again when I hear interviewees on TV or radio, repeating themselves!

It also proves that you really don't know what wonderful things might be waiting for you around the corner if you'd only give them a go.

I still can't believe that little ol' me has broadcast live on air. If you happen to see me around don't go waking me up, please!

Hallelujah! I see that someone at the BBC has had the good sense to revive Top of the Pops 2, and at a prime time on Saturday too.

I wonder how long it will be before the real McCoy is back on our screens. Personally I'm plumping for Christmas - well turkey and all the trimmings just won't be the same without it.

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