My daughter is one of only two white girls at her East London school of 1,400. She may be the only one; she is unsure about a fleeting glance she caught of a younger girl. Nearly all of her Year 12 friends are Muslims, from Bangladeshi or Somali families. They’re studying science AS levels and want to go to university. Just like my daughter.
Most of the girls wear headscarves. She was excited at going on a residential field trip a few weeks ago: “I’ll get to see their hair!” They spent the evenings chatting and giggling, swapping sweets and studying. Just like my daughter
Over the last few days, my daughter has got swishy new specs from a hip new City optician. She’s been on a day trip to the Royal Veterinary College: her first university visit. There were lots of girls, practising sutures and listening to lectures, full of plans for their careers. Just like my daughter.
She’s watched Game of Thrones and gazed adoringly at Jon Snow (even though he knows nothing), and been angry and upset by the rape of Craster’s wives: some of them just young girls. Just like my daughter.
And back in a world as random and horrific as anything Westeros can devise, she’s been shocked beyond telling, reading about and listening to the news about the girls in Nigeria. Girls of 17, sitting their exams. Girls from loving families. Just like my daughter.