We bought six Ligne Roset Finn chairs, to go with our dining table when we lived in Paris. We bought some interchangeable back covers as occasional replacements for the grey faux suede at the same time, even though they were quite expensive, because you never know.

And actually, the chairs haven’t had a great deal of use as we usually perched on stools around breakfast bars to eat our meals both in Paris and back in London. The chairs were only ever used when we had guests around for a formal meal which, given the state of our dining room until four months ago, wasn’t often.

Nevertheless, we installed our table and chairs proudly in our new kitchen in September last year. All except the one that the Boywonder broke a couple of days before he left for Canada to start his University course at the end of August. You’ll remember how bereft I felt, how much I missed him.

It wasn’t that he put undue pressure on the chair back. He just leant back on it whilst laughing and the metal bolts that hold the back to the seat snapped. I contacted Ligne Roset and a very helpful man gave me some instructions, but our busy life had recommenced and we did nothing about it. I discovered that┬áLigne Roset have discontinued the Finn range after many years so I can’t even find replacements on eBay.

At Christmas, the Boywonder returned for the holidays and it was lovely to have him back. We did quite a lot of entertaining, and supplemented our five remaining Finn chairs with four chairs from the local Quaker meeting, which happens to be the house of my parents in law. And then, last Saturday, a few days before he’s due to leave again, exactly the same thing happened. The Boywonder, laughing copiously yet not violently, snapped the bolts of another Finn chair. A pattern is emerging here.

That leaves us with four Finn chairs. And, after this term, the Boywonder will have four more terms at University in Canada.

When the first chair broke, I was bereft at something being incomplete and imperfect in my beautiful new kitchen, at something missing. Now the second chair is no longer usable, well, I don’t feel quite so anxious or cross about that and I’m wondering whether the anxiety of my heartache will lessen with each passing term, each passing chair. Until the end of his degree course, when all six will have been broken, and I’ll have to move on and buy a new set of chairs.

Do you see what I’m saying here? Nothing lasts forever and it’s just as well it doesn’t, because if it did no-one would ever experience anything new or move on or grow. And where would be the fun in that? It is, perhaps, an alternative way of viewing the dull ache of your heart as your children grow and move on. They are just leaving room for more chairs.