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My little boy has just arrived back from the Yarra Valley, where he’s been hefting grapes and sorting them in the Giant Steps vineyard. Look at the beard he’s grown! I was a little concerned that they might not have let him back into the country. Having shown The Beard to his girlfriend, he’s shaved it off.

What has he learned from his time away?

Independence, a little. The need to organise himself to do his own laundry and shopping and cooking for himself. How to look for lodgings and get himself about. The ability to be alone and travel alone. Resilience. Knowing that feeling like a fish out of water will not last for long. The ability to do what is asked of him, not matter how hard it might seem.

The Boywonder seems to have realised how much he missed his music and returns determined, so he says, to restart playing the trumpet and piano. In fact, twice today, strains of a new Debussy Waltz he has decided to learn floated up the stairs and filled me with utter joy. When one is surrounded by talented musicians as peers, its easy to lose sight of what a gift it is, this wonderful musical ability. I’m overjoyed that he seems to have found it again.

I had mixed feelings at his return. Obviously, I am pleased to welcome him back to the family but I was full of trepidation about what to do next. My main concern regarded   his university choice for September. Having been disappointed with his initial 2 UCAS choices, for the same university, he still had offers from three good universities. And then, yesterday afternoon, came the news that he has been offered a place at a prestigious university in Canada, something he has aspired to for the last two years. I’m so pleased for him. I can hardly believe that, after so many years, things have finally started to go right for him. In one fell swoop I feel like a huge weight of worry has been lifted from my shoulders.

So, having returned at 6 am, by 4pm he found himself in a flurry of arranging a Canadian study visa and looking into accommodation and finance. What a productive day!

As for me: I’m off to India again tomorrow evening to visit my mum. I thought it would be fine but now I’m loth to leave.

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