She's leaving home, bye, bye!
My youngest daughter hated the idea of us selling the house.
She had grown up there all her life. All those memories. Christmas Day with the family, arguing with her elder brother, confiding in her elder sister.
We had family traditions at Christmas. I reckon most families do, at least those that are fortunate enough to have genuine, warm and comforting families to support and nurture them.
We would line up in age order before marching into the living room where the Christmas tree poked its decorated branches through a mountain of presents, wrapping paper glinting in the reflected light of baubles, tinsel and twinkling lights.
All that changed when we decided to downsize from the extended cottage in the Forest Of Dean where we had lived for 25 years. That's a long time.
I still hanker after the old place, especially as we are living in a caravan while we renovate a smaller house on the edge of a town called Ross-on-Wye.
\"I'll never talk to you again and I'll never come visit," my daughter said.
\"You don't mean that.\"
\"I do. How can you sell the house? How can you?"
I tried to explain the reasons behind our decision. We were getting older. It would nice and different to live in a small town, be close to shops and services instead of having to drive miles for the simplest item of shopping or medical attention.
It didn't do much good.
My daughter has had her own growing up pains to contend with. A degree, then a Masters, a desire to work to save the environment but the bad luck never to find a job in that field.
Now she wants to be a doctor. Or a paramedic. She has now moved out to an apartment with six other girls.
She's grown up. Accepting that we had to move on may have helped trigger the final break with her childhood home â€“ her move into total independence.
She's a woman now. An adult. Yet I still find myself editing her applications, her treatises, her essays.
I enjoy doing that Ã‚â€“ just as much as I do writing books.
It keeps me in touch and reminds me of the old days when she played with dolls and loved horseriding. And later when I was her personal taxi driver.
It's a different kind of writing but I love it just the same.
Now I have finished the final draft before editing my new Mike Delaney thriller 'Good Girl Bad Girl'. The title has no connection with my daughter.
She will always be my little girl.