NEVER mind how foreigners live – what about rich people? It would be good to try a bit of that.

School exchange visits are in sharp decline. Plummeting interest in foreign languages combined with health and safety concerns, means fewer teenagers are flung to the lions of alien food and even more alien plumbing. Not a good combination.

But coping with a foreign family is a piece of gateau compared to being dropped into the world of the super posh or super rich from our own country.

As British society gets more polarised between rich and poor – this week we were told the gap was bigger than ever - what we need are a few more cross-border exchanges across the great divide. For all our sakes. Between rich and poor, north and south, countryside and inner city, we all need to know – and understand – more about each other.

The Grenfell tower fire showed us too clearly the sharp divide between people living within yards of each other, knowing little of each others’ lives.

Not exactly under-privileged but as one of the few state school students in a posh university I found visits to rich friends’ homes were always a culture shock. Houses with more bathrooms than we had rooms in ours, where people dressed for dinner and served wine that cost more than my head postmaster father earned in a week. Families who had tennis courts, staff, a home in France, a flat in town where they could pop up for an opera… and who thought they were ORDINARY!

These glimpses into another world were far more of an education for this Welsh peasant than my degree ever was.

Prince Andrew was apparently once baffled when someone tried to explain to him the complicated ritual of sorting out rubbish and putting out the bins. Price Charles complained that flying business class was terribly uncomfortable. Poor lamb. And I bet he didn’t even have any stag parties to put up with.

Prince Charles once spent a week working on a croft on a Scottish island to see how real people live. Maybe he would have been better off spending a week in an inner city tower block less than a mile from home.

Meanwhile, I look at the sort of magazines which feature simple T-shirts for £400, hand bags for £100,000 and “everyday” dresses at £1,500 and wonder how much the people who buy that stuff know about how the rest of us live.

I wouldn’t mind a chance at their sort of lifestyle – if only for a week.

PRINCE Harry, meanwhile, has been doing a lot of moaning lately, mainly about being royal and about how nobody in the family really wants the top job.

Well maybe. But there’s no need to go on about it.

Prince Harry’s done a lot of good things in the last few years – the Invictus Games, talking about mental health, being a generally pretty good egg at hugging and cheering people up.

But he can’t seem to make up his mind whether he wants to be royal and do royal duties – in which case he should do more – like his Aunty Anne, who works hard but who doesn’t make a fuss about it. Or whether he doesn’t – when he should be like his cousins Peter and Zara who pretty much earn their own living and just get on with their lives in relative privacy.

The trouble is that nobody can have it all – not even royal princes.

OUCH! – John McEnroe reckoned that Serena Williams, holder of 39 grand slam titles and probably the best women tennis player in history – would rank only about 700 below the men.

Serena, currently expecting her first child and looking quite terrifying in a virtually naked photo shoot – has called on McEnroe to show respect.

Still, I wouldn’t mind a bet that as soon as she’s popped the baby out she’ll be challenging him to a match.

Men v women tennis matches are always great grudge occasions. Billi Jean King famously beat Bobby Riggs, but Jimmy Connors beat Martina Navratolova.

But Serena Williams is a different beast altogether. If I were McEnroe I think I’d pray she stays on maternity leave for a nice long time.

MEANWHILE, Andy Murray, the world’s number one tennis player, got knocked out in the first round at Queen’s this month. A shock defeat.

He was wonderfully philosophical about it. “Hopefully we’ll now get a chance to catch a bit more Peppa Pig,” he said.

Daughter Sophia has clearly given him a new sense of priorities.

SUMMERS in my Pembrokeshire childhood always seemed to be bathed in unbroken sun. But even in this idyll I can never remember the sand being so hurt it burned my feet. But so it was last week when there was a heatwave and we were there. Just a handful of people on a glorious beach with crystal clear sea. Wonderful. And still 27 degrees late at night.

“Who needs to go abroad for sun?” we asked ourselves smugly.

Unless, of course, you happened to be there this week….

TIME for the annual ritual embarrassment, otherwise known as the parents’ race at school sports day.

Even Princess Di struggled to look good while racing past other mums, so what hope for the rest of us?

On the boys’ very first sports day I was on crutches and watched, horrified, as fellow mothers produced their swish trainers and proved to be former county champions.

So I decided that even when fit I was never ever going to join in the mothers’ race.

The boys’ embarrassment at my refusal was as nothing compared to what it would have been had I entered against these terrifyingly competitive champions.

If your children’s schoolmates have mothers like that, I recommend borrowing a pair of crutches immediately. It’s the only answer.