People were fighting their way to the train, threatening to poke each other’s eyes out with skis and poles, clubbing me in the shins with their ski boots. Families off on holiday. I remember being one of them: Hastily packed sandwiches, children dropping their favourite toys, counting tickets and bags, the mixture of stress and excitment. I am going home to an empty flat.

The sun is low, the land undulates, covered in a green stubble of winter cereal. I think about my children, how their life story is so different to mine, and how I cannot really imagine what they are going through. My own parents had their ups and downs, but did not give up. And only now, as I discover a harsh new world of separation, custody and co-parenting, can I fully appreciate the gift they made us, by giving each other the time and chances they needed.

This is my daughter’s song. It came out when I was expecting her and made me cry everytime. I am soppy at the best of times, but pregnant and soppy is just great. Francis Cabrel – Des hommes pareils


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