Saturday, August 20, 2011

Packing up

Yes folks, we're packing up the Queenager for her big move to college next week. (Dabs eyes and stifles a howling great sob.)

The Ball & Chain is insisting on driving her the 800 or so miles, as Americans do. We had a bit of a disagreement over this as I think we could easily have taken her "stuff"on the plane and bought whatever she needed when we got to Washington DC. He insists that all the shops in DC will have run out of everything, and also that she has too much stuff. He clearly hasn't been through her closet recently. She wears the same boots all winter, the same sandals all summer and the same three of four jeans and t-shirts all year round no matter the temp. Obviously he's feeling the manly urge to take a road trip. The Q has other ideas, but since it's her stuff, she's the passenger.

Fortunately both boys have commitments till the Friday of next week so I'm flying there with them. (Tee hee).

It takes me back to when I left Tyneside for Bristol University in another lifetime. Since it's about 300 miles, and they had two younger kids in school, my parents put me on the train and waved me off. (I have to say that didn't bother me at all.) When I got to the other end, I hailed a taxi, the driver said something in his Brizzle accent, and I hadn't a clue what it was. It turned out to be "Are you going to the University my lover?" but at the time I just pretended I'd understood and jumped in. He could have been declaring himself a maniac on the loose for all I knew. Fortunately, once inside, he asked me which Hall (dorm) I was headed for and I understood that bit.

I remember having a lot of stuff to take, - in particular a rather large stereo. (No teeny I-pods and docks in them days,) I travelled with two suitcases of clothes and immediate essentials, and then shipped a humungous trunk by rail, which arrived about 10 days later. It had been my aunt's from when she emigrated to Canada (then came back) and it really was huge. The kind that is now used as a very large coffee table. When the British Rail man came to pick it up, he had to go back for a colleague because it was too heavy for one person. When it arrived at my Hall, I had to bat my eyelids at 4 male students to get it from the mail room to my bedroom. Lord knows what I had in it, but when I finally left uni, it stayed behind. Probably the center of attention in someone's living room now.

Anyway, we have a large pile of stuff on the dining room table and apparently it's going to take no time at all to get her all packed up. I have warned her that I'm not staying up till all hours the night before she leaves, and she says she'll sort her stuff out. Hmmm.

PS. Would-be burglars - the house is alarmed to the teeth, and a neighbo(u)r is staying here while we're gone. Don't even think about it.


  1. Oooh I wish her well on the next exciting stage of life. And you may want to pack a hankie or two! Safe travels.

  2. Sounds like me when I went off to boarding school... I took everything but the kitchen sink. It was ridiculous. They brought 150 boxes of stuff up to the hallway outside my dorm room and everyone teased me for ages. Still not sure how I fit all that crap in my room.

  3. Your old trunk sounds like mine when I went to University, a dark blue old thing; I have no idea where we got it from, though it could have been from the classifieds in the Evening Chronicle!

    Take plenty of tissues and send the Queenager all our love xx

  4. Oh that is going to be a wrench for you. 800 miles is a long way. I'm sure your Queenager will take it in her stride.

    There aren't many Brizzle bus drivers about these days but it doesn't mean that you can understand them any better!!!

    Hope all goes well.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  5. Each phase of a child's life brings memories of that phase of one's own life, doesn't it? I love the story of you going to the other end of the country, and not understanding the taxi driver.

  6. I never went away to college but moved to the States instead with two suitcases and lots of expectations. I don't recommend any 18 year old doing this. At least not to get married. I should have gone to college instead.

  7. I had a huge suitcase too because I was studying in a foreign country, so I only went back home for the holidays. I used to travel with it and two rucksacks - one on my belly and one on my back. Thinking about it now I should have travelled more lightly as well.

  8. Where in DC is she headed? I grew up in Baltimore! I drove to california and back to Baltimore every summer during college. It is a long trip, but definitely helped create a good college memory.
    I didn't realize you went to Bristol Uni, so did Jock!

    We must get together.

  9. I am so thankful that Son #1 does not leave for school until January, although at that point, he will be in the US and we will be in Seoul, and I do not want to think about that at all.
    My parents were living in Germany when I headed to Uni back in the US. I had awful culture shock in addition to everything else. I have no idea how I got everything back to the US; I think we may have bought a bunch when we got there. Of course, back then we had no microwaves, TVs or computers, so not as much to pack...well, some of us had TVs, but not many.

    You are wise to fly. I suggest you arrive just after your husband has finished carrying everything from the parking lot through the DC heat and humidity. He can rest while you and Q make up the bed and help hang posters...


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