THE novelty of having a child at university has not quite worn off yet.
So whenever I read of anything to do with student life I feel duty-bound to pass the information on to Firstborn.
I spotted a piece in the paper the other day about grief counsellors supplied by universities to students who, because they’re living away from home, don’t have a support network of old friends and family when tragedy strikes.
“Did you know about that?’’ I asked The Boy.
“No’’, he replied: “But I think I need counselling because my laptop has just died.’’
While this seemed a frivolous answer, I tried to put myself in his size nine Converses.
The laptop, an 18th birthday gift from his uncle Richard, is his dearest possession.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I discovered that he was connected to it by some sort of umbilical USB cable. It is the fount of all knowledge, storage place of all music and light entertainment, the vehicle by which he keeps in touch with all his friends and his work horse for university.
He looked so sad that I offered him a consoling glass of wine, which he accepted.
“Would you like to talk about it?’’ I asked.
But he didn’t.
Instead he sat up all night reconfiguring this and re-writing that until the laptop was restored to health.
In the morning he was tired but jubilant.
If only all grief could be fixed with a glass of wine and an all-nighter.
l Mirfield-born actor Patrick Stewart is to be the voice of God in a mystery play this summer, I read in Thursday’s Examiner. I can think of no actor more suited to this part.
Several years ago it was my privilege to interview the former Batley News journalist and found myself mesmerised by his mellow tones and fastidious articulation. He has a voice that positively drips with biblical milk and honey.
l Call me old fashioned, but at one time ‘public consultation’ meant getting a story or two in The Examiner and holding a public meeting. These days, it would seem, it’s necessary to harness digital technology and spend nearly £40,000 producing a DVD and hiring a soap actress to present it. This is the cost to council taxpayers in Kirklees of the “Brighter futures for our children and young people’’ DVD that went out to homes in North Kirklees last year. It formed only part of a consultation pack about a £200m plan for the future of secondary schools in the area. I wonder just how many of these DVDs were viewed and how many ended up in the bin. In my experience, people who are interested will turn out for meetings and seek out information. There really is no need to fell half a forest in paperwork and damage the environment with the production of plastic discs.