The empty nest has many silver linings: less laundry, no one to nag.....
But this one has taken a while to dawn on me. Our sensible grubby roomy hatchback is redundant. The big boot is surplus to requirements. Now I can drive the car I've always dreamed of.
It's a strange one for me, because I'm a rubbish driver. I have panic attacks just thinking about the M40.
But I had a Damascene moment when I climbed into my friend's sporty BMW last week. Her only regular passengers since her kids left home are her two teeny terriers.
I know it sounds sad, but bowling down the country lanes went straight to my head. It felt a bit Thelma and Louise, the sort of thing women with no responsibilities do.
Suddenly I thought, if I had a car like this....or the vintage Triumph Herald I dreamt of as a student... or any car I chose because I loved it, not because it was big enough and safe enough - maybe I could conquer my fears of the M40. Because come to think of it, it was driving with a baby in the car that gave me the panic attacks in the first place.