30/03/2011 11:27 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Surviving Teenagers Or Is It Time To Study Abroad?

study I read in one of the weekend papers that an English student can go to university in Maastricht for £1,450 a year. This sounds good.

Quite soon English students are going to have to pay a million pounds to study in the UK. (Or £9,000 a year. Which is equally unrealistic.)

'Look!' I said excitedly as my 18-year-old wandered into the kitchen. 'Look! You can go to university in Holland.'

He frowned. 'Why would I want to do that?'

'It's cheaper!' I said.

'I don't speak Dutch,' he said.

'They speak English,' I said. 'Everyone speaks English in Holland.'

'Are you trying to get rid of me?' said my 18-year-old.

'I'm just saying,' I said, 'that it's good to be European.'

My 16-year-old daughter, who had been reading out bits from the problem page in You magazine ('Is it time for me to leave this loveless marriage?'), looked up.

'Are there other places you can go besides Holland?' she said.

'All over Europe,' I said. 'Milan, for example.'

'Where's that?' she said. (She isn't doing geography for GCSE.)

My husband came in to make a cup of tea.

'I'm trying to persuade him,' I said, 'to go to university in Holland. It's much, much cheaper.'

'Lots of opportunities in the EU,' said my husband. 'That's where the future is. Think of Nick Clegg.'

He stopped, horribly aware - like a clown wobbling on a unicycle - that back-pedalling just wasn't an option.

We all looked at each other.

I picked up the paper. 'I'll put this out for recycling,' I said.