THE MUM About Town gang packed up and shipped out for our summer holiday… this year it was The North.

By that I don’t mean the fjords of Norway, I literally mean The North, straight up the M1 to Leeds and then on to Sheffield. Having recently moved house, and with the arrival of Ben Mark Two just a couple of months away, the financial committee ruled out any all-inclusive action in some tropical paradise.

So instead we decided to take a long overdue trip to catch up with mates that we hadn’t seen for donkey’s years.

A gang of us met and got together with our respective partners at university in the heady days of the late nineties and we have remained firm friends ever since.

However, following the arrival of our children meet-ups have become few and far between.

The pep talk given to Ben was a long one. We covered the importance of sharing, being a good boy, doing as he was told and keeping screaming tantrums to a minimum should the worst happen and he not get his own way.

By and large he stuck to the script, which was a relief as I didn’t want to spend the week excusing his behaviour with “he’s not usually like this… perhaps he is just tired… it’s probably the change of climate,” and so on.

It was the adults who let the side down really. I’m not faulting the company, but if we made it past 10pm it was classed as a ‘wild one’. With me expecting and acute exhaustion affecting most of the rest of the party, by the time dinner was over we were all thinking the same thing: bed.

It was a far cry from our uni days drinking until we ran out of money, lying in until well into the PMs and just seeing where the day took us (rarely to the lecture theatre).

The drinking sessions were now confined to a couple of beers after dinner. But although times had changed we had the most fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed the catch-up. We also vowed that when the kids had grown up, an all-day drinking session was long overdue. Whether we’d still be able to is another matter.