It's that time of year. The sky's turned into an expanse of wet plaster. The Italian alders on the Backs are turning, and it's getting cold. And they're back. The students. All weekend, as I struggled backwards and forwards between old house and new, my overladen car sunk deep on its haunches, I saw mums and dads and boxes and bright, excited youngsters arriving for their first term at the Evil Empire. "Students Returning" said the sign on all the entrance roads into town. "Congestion likely on 29 and 30 September".
Congestion likely. Phoo. You know, they really do look nine years old, these days. They brim with that fantastically poignant air of new assurance. Ah, to be grown up. I've arrived! I'm an adult! And then anxious looks back at mum and dad, toiling behind, with an estate car full of lampshades and toasters.