If we needed any reminder of how life can swing from the sublime to the ridiculous in a moment, and then back again, last week was it.

On the one hand it was time for children to go back to school, and on the other was the reassembling of that rather more vicious, bully-ridden rabble, the House of Commons.

Transcending it all, last Thursday, was the front page of this paper, dominated by the smiling face of four-year-old Swindon girl, Darra Roberts, whose parents were once told by their doctor that a heart condition meant she would probably not live to celebrate her first birthday.

Darra had other ideas, and was dressed for her first day at school. To read the whole joyous story we had to turn to page five, which was a pleasure indeed, once you had got past page four, right opposite.

That was dominated by a picture of the House, the domain of some of the most loathsome charlatans, hypocrites and liars most of us will ever have the misfortune of witnessing. Right hand page: sublime, left hand page: ridiculous.

You might think I am using somewhat unparliamentary language here, by the way, in my description of some of those MPs, but it’s nothing compared with what I have been saying about them privately, and which is mostly unsuitable for a family newspaper.

News of the skullduggery of certain people in Parliament is a necessary evil, unfortunately, and so is social media. Last week, Facebook was almost exactly divided in half between pictures of politicians forgetting their morals and their manners (if they ever had any) and my friends’ and relations’ now seemingly obligatory first-day-back-at-school photos.

When you are caught, as I am, in the twilight world between the children growing up and the grandchildren arriving, such pictures are always a pleasure, even when they are side-by-side with the false smiles of empty-hearted politicians. But as I was looking at the little darlings smiling away in their uncharacteristically clean uniforms, it did make me wonder. It was easy to understand why little Darra was beaming, but I couldn’t work out what it was that the rest of the kids had to smile about.

It’s now a very long time since I went back to school after the summer holidays, but the memory of it hasn’t faded one little bit. I hated it. After being free to play cricket, build dens and throw ourselves down the grassy banks of railway sidings for half the summer, the last thing I wanted to do was put on a uniform, smile at the camera and go to school.

In fact, apart from on Bonfire Night, I doubt I ever smiled again until we broke up for Christmas.

Then up popped a picture of two of my great nieces and nephews, Emma and Daniel, the former with a face that said “whatever”, and the latter with eyes that said: “Are you absolutely sure I can’t go splashing about in Grandma and Granddad’s hot tub instead?”

But the saddest sight I saw was while I was on my bike, weaving my way through the hordes of kids returning to school.

Ten minutes after the last of them had seemingly disappeared through the school gates, I passed another who was desperately looking at his watch and trying to run in his heavy (and probably pinching) new shoes. There is always one.

So I have two things to say to all those cute kids going back to school.

1: I feel your pain. 2: please don’t grow up to be like the losers on page four.