When I heard that two students had been killed at the University of Nottingham, where my daughter Sophia was studying, I immediately thought, “Without the grace of God, I’m going there.”
I’m sure every other parent in the country whose children are either now in college or have been there had a similar feeling.
I will never forget the moment I dropped Sophia for the first time.
I was so proud when she got into university – something I never did.
As a parent, you work your whole life to give your children a better future and hope they continue to do things you didn’t do. But I was terrified.
It was the first time she lived away from home. She was so excited about her future and all that she could still achieve.
It was a wonderfully proud moment.
But for me, and I’m sure it is for most parents, it was linked to a fear of the unknown and of things that could go wrong.
Gosh, it’s hard to let them go to college, send them out into the world to make their own mistakes and deal with their own difficulties.
But I was more worried about freshman week and the drinking than about anyone stabbing her.
Tragically, that’s exactly what happened this week to Barnaby Webber and his girlfriend Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19 years old.
They did exactly what people their age should do: they went out to celebrate the end of their exams and the end of the university semester.
However, out of the blue, in a completely random and unprovoked attack, they were stabbed.
The attacker then stabbed another victim, 65-year-old school administrator Ian Coates, and stole his van, ramming three people with it.
This attack was just so random and pointless – absolutely devastating.
These two youngsters had so much to offer – Grace was a talented hockey player and like her father was studying medicine, and Barney, as his parents called him, was a gifted cricketer who excelled at university.
They had such a bright future and everything they could hope for.
David and Emma Webber and Dr. Sanjoy Kumar and Dr. Sinead O’Malley must have been counting down the days until her beloved son and daughter returned home for the summer.
Instead, they’re trying to come to terms with the reality that they’ll never get home, which must feel impossible.
I just can’t imagine how difficult and awful it is to deal with.
Despite all their worst nightmares coming true, these two families have inspired our country with their dignity and public messages of love.
The day after their children were killed, the heartbroken families spoke to crowds on the university’s main campus.
dr Kumar urged the assembled students to “take care of each other”. . . The love we have out here, I just wish we had it everywhere. love everyone”.
Beside him, Barnaby’s father David spoke about the loss of “my little boy” and told his son’s friends that “his heart will be with you forever”.
The next day, they attended a vigil around the city where thousands paid their respects.
Barnaby’s mother Emma urged the crowd: “Please do not harbor hatred based on race, gender or religion.”
Even though it’s a real nightmare for these two families, they were still inspirational.
As tragic and terrible as this story is, I hope that other young people in Nottingham and other universities don’t let this stop them from enjoying life to the fullest.
After all, life is short and fleeting.
Our greatest hope for the young people in our lives is that they make the most of every moment while they can.
Party mom so cruel
It’s almost too disturbing to read the details of the inquest into the death of 20-month-old Asiah Kudi, who was left alone for an incredible six days while her mother went out to party.
Tragically, social workers had been concerned about Asiah for the past several weeks, but no action was taken.
I admire social workers, but in hindsight it’s a wonderful thing.
Asiah died in her cot after her mother, Verphy Kudi, left home alone to travel from Brighton to London, then to Coventry and finally to Solihull – more than 150 miles from her neglected baby – to celebrate her 18th birthday with friends. to celebrate a birthday.
Five days, 21 hours and 58 minutes later, she returned to the apartment to find Asiah dead in her cot.
The little girl was starving.
Her mother served nine years in prison, but it’s beyond heartbreaking to think about what the last days of this baby’s life were like.
I couldn’t leave my kids alone for 30 seconds when they were little, let alone for six days.
How could a person be so heartless, selfish and ruthless?
RECIPE TO WIN
In case you haven’t noticed, this country is experiencing a national health catastrophe.
Food manufacturers seem intent on getting children addicted to highly processed foods that are so addictive and harmful to you that, like cigarettes, they should carry a health warning label.
In the meantime, we need other solutions too, and fast.
New research shows that almost half of children in parts of England are overweight when they start secondary school, which is startling given the number of health problems it will cause them throughout their lives.
Bring cooking lessons back to schools.
If you can’t cook, you don’t know how to prepare simple and cheap meals and you end up at the diner instead.
BLIMEY, Tom Cruise sure is impressive, isn’t he?
It’s not just because of his huge biceps – which would be a miracle for a man half his age – but also because he flew by helicopter to London on Wednesday to screen the seventh installment of Mission: Impossible .
I love his films and I think Ethan Hunt is one of the best fictional characters – and Tom is a real handsome action hero.
Undoubtedly, he has a fleet of trainers, nutritionists, yoga teachers, coaches and health workers available 24/7.
But he’s a fine example of a man aging gracefully, isn’t he?
Apple is lovely, Gwyn. . . And so it is with your wardrobe
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s offspring would never lack looks and charisma.
But Apple Martin, 19, looked absolutely stunning as she tried on her mother’s famous 2002 gothic Oscar dress by Alexander McQueen this week.
Gwyneth shared the picture on Instagram and while Apple looks amazing, a few other things struck me more.
First off, my daughter wouldn’t dream of wearing anything from me, Oscars or not.
Not least because she is half my height.
But most of all, it’s Gwyneth’s walk-in closet that I can’t take my eyes off of – it’s every woman’s dream.
THANK YOU GLENDA
RIP Glenda Jackson.
What a great actress and woman, and what a path she must take – still doing the job she loved to the end.
Just weeks before her death this week, the two-time Oscar winner and former Labor MP was working with Sir Michael Caine on her latest film.
The Women In Love star, who gave up acting in 1992 to serve in Parliament for more than 20 years, died at his home in London after a short illness.
She had three appearances in her life: stage, then film and politics.
At 87, she was living to a lovely age and was obviously still enjoying life, which is probably more than most of us can hope for.
What a woman.
WOMEN UNDER THREAT
Keep your hat, those of you who don’t identify as male.
Yes, I know I may have just said “woman” before, but apparently that word is being phased out. Literally.
At least in the US, and we all know we tend to follow their lead.
According to a new “LGBTQ Glossary” published by Johns Hopkins University, the definition of a lesbian is “a non-male who is attracted to non-males”.
If you’re shaking your head in confusion, let me get one thing straight: the same glossary defines gay men as “a man” who is attracted to “other men.”
So only the word woman is endangered.
What I want to know is how does it come about that women are now defined in relation to men.
And why is the word actually taboo when the word man is okay?
It’s so depressing but also unsettling and feels a lot like we’re taking a step backwards.
In fact, it’s ridiculous that the term “woman” has become such an offensive and divisive word.
For my part, I have every intention of continuing to use it every time I want to refer to someone who is, you know? . . a woman.