"Well of course in the countryside, all teenagers do is have sex. There is nothing else to do. When I came to London I met people that didn't get round to having sex until they were 21, they were so busy".
That evening I asked my daughter:"Are you going to have sex in France?"
Spluttering her tea she said:"NO!"
"In fact I'm so sick of hearing about sex. That's all they talk about at school. The more they talk about it, the less I want to do it. One girl writes 'I love sex' all over her pencil case and her exercise books. It's pathetic. I know for a fact that she's only had sex once. And she didn't even like it. But she keeps making out like she loves it. To be popular."
It is moments like this that I truly love my daughter and think that I must be doing something right.
I was at school near Swiss Cottage and we had to walk to Belsize Park to play tennis. There must have been rehearsal studios there because every week we would see men with long hair and guitars unloading their van. One week, a group of us 14 year old schoolgirls were standing around watching them when one of the men stopped unloading. He perused our group and commanded
"Hands up who's a virgin!"
Embarrassed, our hands remained firmly next to our sides except for an orthodox Jewish girl, Esther, who wore thick round glasses and had her hair in pigtails. She was the only one who didn't hitch her school skirt up to look like a mini-skirt. She said daily prayers over her packed lunch.
Esther proudly put up her hand with the enthusiasm of a pupil knowing the answer to a teacher's question.
The group of long-haired men laughed.
A few weeks later I recognized the same men on the TV, they were a band called Thin Lizzy.