And then there was one…ONE CHILD LEFT OUT OF THREE – good grief. Where has the time gone? It’s been a busy old week – full of fond farewells and late nights and noise and many many people in my house and now I’m exhausted and it’s very very quiet and tidy back at the ranch. I dropped my daughter off yesterday at her university, complete with half the content of every single shop we went into and a handful of her best friends. She is happy, happy, happy and whilst the drive back was not easy because I was in the car alone, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. This is what life is all about – the ebb and flow and how did we not know that our bloody children arrive on the planet to exhaust and worry us, stress us out beyond belief, make us laugh and cry and give us heart attacks on a daily basis, only to (if you’re lucky), have a few stress free years (I didn’t) before they tear at your heart strings again and bugger off.
It’s been good and bad having them all around for the whole summer. MOUNDS of food and dirty washing and empty bottles. Who is going to stay in now when my washing machine or sink or boiler breaks down whilst I’m at work? No back up whatsoever. Rubbish. That said, on my return from work this evening my youngest son had been to the supermarket and cooked me dinner!! “How was your day?” he asked as we ate together and I wondered if this was the moment he has been waiting for – to be an only child – it suits him. The house was however, still not only eerily quiet, but everything was where I had left it. Not used to that. I have more empty rooms than full ones for the first time in years.
Every spare hour I had was spent with my daughter this week – one evening we took a trip up to London to see my niece and take advantage of her new job which gives us 50% discount off lots of make-up products. Sounded amazing until I twigged that what I had failed to realise that 50% off a whole load of shit that she didn’t actually need was still way more expensive than I had budgeted for.
Then, the obligatory trip to John Lewis to buy bedding. I have realised now that the mattress topper (£120 for a good one!!!) was a complete ruse. It’s actually designed to be a spare bed for all the mates that have threatened to pop down to stay with her any minute. It also means that by the time I’d made the bed up she looked like the princess and the pea with a mattress so thick her nose is practically touching the ceiling. We also had to go to Zara Home to buy cushions bedecked with feathers (pink and white) and a sparkly picture frame and a rug and blanket and frankly ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? DO YOU REALLY NEED ALL THIS SHIT?? This is more expensive than buying everything she needs for her first flat. I’m going to save the receipts and wrap them up for her for Christmas.
But then her friend sent her a photo that she wanted to put in the frame and my heart melted – wish I wasn’t wearing that awful dress or looking quite so small and old, but she looks gorgeous and that’s the main thing (well, no actually, it isn’t – but nevertheless, who am I to complain?):-
We’ve had parties and gatherings and LOADS of group hugs and I’m going to have to do a separate post on that when I’ve uploaded all my photos, but here is a sample so that you get the general idea:-
Then a trip to Boots for toiletries that spill over the basket as if they’re going to the desert and never coming back:-
Then a wonderful lunch with my mother that I wrote about in a separate post, another group of girlies to come and say goodbye and a handmade fair with Kirsty Allsopp which again, I’ll have to write about separately. The photo at the top of this post is my daughter saying goodbye to my mother…
Then on her last night we had dinner together, just the two of us, which was very special indeed and I was honoured that she wanted to spend it just with me. I tried to say some intelligent things like, “I don’t think I need to give you any particular words of wisdom, hopefully I’ve taught you well and you understand the importance of honesty and trust and being kind to people you love and she said, “mum all you’ve taught me is how to get drunk and be stupid”. Oh. Then I told her that my other golden rule was not to be homesick, that home was wherever you laid your hat (remember Paul thingy?) and then I did a toast and said “homesick is where your heart is”….and was disappointed that I’d messed it up. We went to our favourite steak restaurant on the river – DELIGHTFUL for people my age – SO DARK you can barely see your table let alone who you are having dinner with and then she took a photo and put it on snap chat – “dinner with the bae”….I had no idea what she meant, turns out it means “Before Anything Else”. Cute and glad she appreciates how true that is…and what is more owing to very dim lighting, I don’t mind it myself! (except it looks like I have got antennae, but frankly I can’t afford to be picky these days):-
More packing adventures to follow….