You don’t know that you’ve spent your whole life in a cave until you walk out of the entrance for the first time and look behind you.
That pretty much sums up daughter #1’s outlook at the moment after spending a week in sunny Spain with her friends on an exchange visit without her mum and dad to boss her about.
Life has suddenly opened up for our 15-year-old and after just a week in her exchange partner’s family home – complete with rooftop swimming pool, ping-pong table and sunshine in November – she’s come to realise that little old Lancaster is dull and grey in comparison.
The thing is, while she was out there we had more conversations with her than we ever do while she’s living under our roof.
There’s this thing from the future called Skype.
You may have seen something like it on 1970s sci-fi TV shows like Space 1999 where the people talking on the phone can see each other’s faces on some sort of futuristic monitor.
Yeah, like that’d ever happen.
Well, it exists, and her nightly calls were like something out of Star Wars (okay pedant, I realise Luke, Darth, Han and all the rest lived their lives a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away but you get my point).
I must admit I do come from a town in Cumbria where people point at aeroplanes and Channel 4 didn’t arrive until 1985, but I was seriously impressed.
It was like she was in the room, with the added bonus that we could turn the volume down whenever we felt like it.
What we wouldn’t give for that luxury now she’s back in the fold.
Me, the boss and her sister were glad to see her face, but daughter #1 was more bothered about looking at our listless, bone-idle tom cats than talking to us.
Cats being cats, she held their attention for less than a second before slinging a back leg over their shoulders and embarking on an intensive grooming regime.
And thanks to social media we were able to see the edited highlights of her holiday pictures before she got back home, taken while holding something called a selfie stick.
No, I’ve no idea either.