Tuesday, 27 September 2016

September Blues.

I've been feeling rather 'empty nesty' for the past week. The weekend before last we headed west along the M4, with a car packed to the gunwales, to take my baby to university. I was brave all the way there in the car. I was brave as we helped her to unpack her things. I was brave hanging her pictures on the walls. I was even brave making her bed for her to sleep in that night, far away from home. I tried hard to be brave as we said goodbye and watched her walk away ................ and then I sobbed all the way home in the car! We did stop for lunch at Wahaca, a Mexican street food restaurant, where I tried to drown my sorrows with tequila ............. but then I sobbed there too. I'm even teary now writing this. It's so hard. Those of you who've gone through it will understand. Those of you who haven't yet - go hug your children now! It all goes so terribly quickly. One minute you're fetching this little thing back from hospital, supporting that wobbly head and wondering how on Earth you are going to cope, and five minutes later (or so it seems), they're heading off into the big, wide world without you. 
I find that I get twitchy at 3:15 in the afternoon. That's the time when I used to set off on the school run and the time when I now miss her the most. I know it's the way it's meant to be and I am so proud of her and all she has achieved. I also know that she has struck gold with her accommodation this year. Her room is in a beautiful building with fantastic grounds. I had told her not to expect too much as they always put the nicest looking rooms on the website. I prepared her thoroughly for dark and poky with a view of the bins. What she actually got was light, spacious and beautiful, with lovely oak furniture, a fireplace and a view to die for. I also know that when she has settled down and is used to the routines, she will have a fantastic time, in an amazing city, making friends to last a lifetime. I hope so anyway. In the meantime, the tidy rooms, the lack of towels slowly going rancid on the bedroom floor and the lack of an overflowing laundry bin are no compensation; I miss her - as does Hamish, her house rabbit, who seems to want more ear rubs than usual.

We tried to make the most of her last few weeks at home and here are a few photos from that time:

A walk and a picnic to nearby Beacon Hill, ostensibly to pick blackberries:

 Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey) in the distance:
 The resultant crumble:

A trip to Warwick. We paid for L and E to stay in a beautiful Tudor B&B for a couple of nights. I dropped them off and collected them in the car and we treated ourselves to afternoon tea in the Lord Leycester Hospital before the journey home: 

 The girls bought me a present of delicious gingerbread rooibos tea:
E and I then went to Bournemouth for the day. We were very lucky with the weather, it being the day after the storm that flooded our little town. The sun shone and we sat on the beach, walked in the gardens and visited the oceanarium: 

 We also fed sneaky chips to the extremely tame squirrels!
 ....... and went on the merry-go-round. We were the only 2 on it and I embarrassed E by waving to the passers by. To be fair, they did wave back!
 The otters that we watched for ages at the oceanarium. This one would pick up a pebble off the bottom of the stream and then lie on its back, playing with it. I tell you, this otter could juggle!
I forgot to post a photo of the blankie that L and I made for E.  Apologies, I didn't manage to lie it straight and it looks a bit wrinkled here:
The tequila that I sobbed into at Wahaca:
There have been a few happies to cheer me up this week:

I spent a day in Oxford with L, where we walked round the market, had a trip to the Yarn Store for 'cheer me up' supplies and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

There was a lovely dog walk with a friend: 

A lot of knitting on my Hitchhiker shawl using this yarn:
A visit to the lovely Watermill Theatre with R to see this:
It is a true story, set in WW1, about some soldiers who come across a printing press and start to produce their own newspaper. 'Wipers' was what the men called Ypres, where they were stationed. It's always a treat to go to the Watermill and we thoroughly enjoyed our evening out. The honey and ginger ice cream in the interval was very nice too!

One last happy - I ordered a Halloween Kit from Tracy at Thimble and Thread Makes. I was thrilled when it arrived today as Tracy had gone to such trouble putting it all together. The kit contained a project bag (the material was a surprise, you just had to say whether you wanted 'spooky' or 'cute' fabric - I went for spooky) a pumpkin DPN cosy, chocolates, stickers, stitch markers and a progress keeper, a sachet of drinking chocolate, a mini skein of wool, a pen shaped like a syringe and lots of other Hallowe'en treats. I'm looking forward to using it in October after I have cast on a hat for E.
Is it too early to mention the 'C' word? I was very happy to discover this week that these are back in the shops - well, a girl's got to cheer herself up somehow!
Anyway, that's all for this week. Its 3:15 and I am getting decidedly twitchy, so I'm off for a soothing cup of gingerbread Rooibos. 
Wishing you all a wonderful week.
Toodle pip for now. x


  1. I'm thinking of you. Been there three times, but the first one is the hardest. I used to get upset just going into their empty bedroom!. Sounds like you are keeping very busy with lots of crafty things. Before you know it she'll be back for a visit with all her dirty washing. We used to pick up our eldest from the airport and I'm sure we smelt the dirty washing before we saw him! At least you can FaceTime or Skype. That makes all the difference. B xxx ps. Love the patchwork blanket :)

  2. Our oldest went last year so I am sending you lots of commiserating. It's getting used to it that's hard I think. Xx

  3. I guess keeping busy is a distraction of sorts. I miss Sam terribly, but knowing that he is happy and settled helps. Of course I sill have the Alf and Olly to keep me busy. I'll be 58 when Olly is 18. I'm not sure I'll have the energy to be upset ;)))
    Take it easy.
    Leanne xx

  4. I do feel for you. I've done this twice now (one more to go in two years) and, my goodness, it does hurt. I cried for days when my middle one went, as the house seemed so quiet suddenly. I'm sure I'll be a mess when youngest goes, and next week when oldest heads off alone on an antipodean adventure for up to a year. Modern communications help enormously, but I've come to realise how very important it is for us and our grown-up children that we live a full, busy life so that they don't need to worry. It is hard and some days are better than others, but it's a chance to do the things we've put off for all those years and to have our own adventures. I'm glad you've found time to do the things you enjoy and look forward to seeing what you've been up to! With big hugs,
    Cathy x

  5. I really feel for you, I can imagine how much it hurts. I'm not looking forward to when it is my turn. It sounds like you had a lovely time together before the term started though. The gingerbread rooibos sounds scrumptious. I'm sending you a big hug. CJ xx

  6. Oh dear, it must feel terrible when the little people leave home. I have quite a wait until mine do (although the way the smallest one is behaving today, I'd gladly pack him off now!). Your daughter is so lucky to have great digs xx

  7. Oh, you have my heartfelt sympathy, I know exactly how you feel. I found the empty bedroom the hardest to deal with and the silence in the house....hopefully you'll feel better soon, not long until she's home.
    Glad the accommodation is good, that makes a huge difference. xxx

  8. All i can add is that, she'll be home before you know it, and my son said it was the best 3 years of his life, with more friendships made from a wide and varied field of life,with whom he catches up with often, and i personally feel that it kind of makes them grow up properly (although if you were to hear some of the antics that they get up to, you may wonder about the growing up bit) !! It's all part of uni life and you will cherish your daughter even more when she is home, even now I can't believe that our son has "done" uni, and graduated 3 years ago and has a job he loves. Apologies for the long comment !!
    Best Wishes
    Sue xx

  9. The hardest part for me was coming home and seeing my daughter's empty room. Then I cried! My daughters are both college grads and out in the world and every goodbye is still a little hard. But to compensate, grown up daughters really are so much fun :-)

  10. Crumble, castle and knitting. If I weren't already in heaven that high tea would surely take me there :-)

  11. Aw, what a sad post. I understand your feelings but try and enjoy the quiet and lack of dropped wet towels too! I love your days out. I always want to join you :)

  12. oh so sad. my eldest doesn't want to go to uni, I am thrilled, I get to keep her for longer....

  13. So sorry to hear that it's been a tough few days. I hope it gets easier for you. You'll have to start planning some lovely treats for the Christmas holidays when she'll be home. Hugs to you. xxx

  14. My daughter has just started at uni, but she's chosen to live at home because of the cost. We were worried she would miss out on all the friendship and fun that goes with living away from home, but she's having a great time and to be honest we rarely see her! When we do, it's so exciting to hear about the fantastic facilities at uni and all the new experiences she's having. We are living it vicariously! I'm sure your daughter will be home soon. I'm amazed how quick the terms seem to go. All the best, and thanks for sharing your lovely photos. Karen