20 September 2010

All's well that ends well (I think)

I'm back from the North having deposited daughter there for the start of her second year at uni. After all the problems relayed in my last post, we did manage to move in to the house (the German girls true to their word let us in) and we met up with my sister-in-law and her partner who had come up from Lincolnshire in a van with Kay's belongings which they had collected earlier in the week from us. We plodded up and down stairs taking said stuff up to Kay's room which is three floors up in an attic room. The house is in an area of town which is predominantly inhabited by students or immigrants. Streets and streets of back to back terraced houses. The housing is all right although hardly the luxury end of the market. I think once upon time the house may have been built for millworkers and their families. But by gum they must have had small feet in those days. The staircases are little more than glorified ladders! They are very very steep, very narrow and won't take a foot-tread front on. You sort of have to go up or down sideways like a crab, or risk falling down head over heels. Carrying heavy boxes and suitcases up the two steep flights was an acquired art. Afterwards, we were all in need of a stiff lunchtime drink and a sit-down in a local pub to recover.



Once my sister-in-law and her family had gone home, Kay unpacked her things and we started to make the room a little more like home, taking note of what little extras still needed to be bought. The three German girls (staying on for yet another week) were very friendly, apologised for the state of the kitchen, as they had been working hard to get their dissertation finished and had therefore had scant time to worry about washing up. I reckoned there must have been at least five days of washing-up in the sink alone, not to mention the piles of plates attracting flies on the work surfaces. True to typical German behaviour, instead of leaving towels on deckchairs, they had left jackets on backs of dining chairs and all their china/pans and food in the cupboards, so Kay could not put any of her food or china/pans away, but we managed to eat out a lot or bring sandwiches home, so that was no great problem.



Kay and I had a great last few days together, buying more household items for the room, doing a bit of sightseeing and having some nice meals out. The week was only marred by the not altogether unexpected news that the fifth girl (Danielle in my last post) had pulled out altogether. It meant that a fifth housemate needed to be found urgently or else the four other girls would need to cover the outstanding rent. Abigail, now back from Thailand, felt partially responsible for choosing Danielle in the first place and took it up herself to advertise the room in all the appropriate places. It paid off as about 8 people have responded to the ad, mainly Americans, Australians and a Spaniard, all of whom have just arrived in the UK this week as international freshers. Kay, as the only housemate to have arrived, had to show them the room and common areas of the house, while I made myself scarce. Hopefully one of them will be suitable.

With heavy heart, I hugged Kay goodbye on Friday evening and made the long train journey back to London, arriving home to an empty house (except for a very relieved Snoopy and cat). I am really happy Kay is settled with nice friends in a nice house. It'll be a long time until I see her at Christmas and a bit daunting on my own, if I am honest, but I have lots of decorating to do, new double-glazing arriving in a week and the same at my mother's house, so I am sure the time will go quickly. I might even sneak in another visit north, if I get the chance! A new chapter begins in both our lives.

20 comments:

parlezvousmoo.com said...

Glad you got Kay all settled in - I'm sure she will have really appreciated all your help. Even now, 10 years since I started Uni, I loved having my mother over to help me settle into the new place (I didn't at the time, of course but now, looking back...!)

Kit Courteney said...

That sounds like a right palaver. A shame the German girls weren't a little more thoughtful.

Glad your daughter is settled.

Now you can concentrate on you!

Furtheron said...

Just dropped my son off - it gets easier every year... well a little bit :-)

Nota Bene said...

I loved reading this...those Germans will claim anything they can! Bet she has a brilliant time - hope you enjoy the decorating :-( and pretty sure the time will pass quickly

Elaine said...

I'm about to put a post up...which I know I really shouldn't....but have a read! I feel for you, I really do. x

Spencer Park said...

This has made me wonder what my kids will be doing in 10-15 years time. I hope that they are half as successful as Kay.

Kelloggsville said...

I'll be really interested to know what nationality wins :0) Note to oneself about sharing cupboards with Germans. Did you get your own back by loudly whispering "Don't mention the war" !!! Happy Painting :/

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

So pleased to hear Kay is all settled in now:) Hopefully you maybe able to sneak another visit in♥

Eliza said...

OMG I have memories of a kitchen like that when I was house sharing :-(
I'm glad Kay has settled in and you had a nice week together. Have fun decorating :-)

DogLover said...

Great account of a great event! Thanks for sharing with us!

dulwich divorcee said...

Kay sounds as though she is really well settled, so I hope you get a chance to enjoy your freedom a little bit. So difficult letting go, hope you can keep yourself nice and busy - start writing a novel maybe?!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I do hope Kay will be happy; and I also hope you will be able to find happiness too as the new phase begins in your life.

CJ xx

Nechtan said...

Hi Addy,

I am sure Kay appreciates all you have done for her as that must have really helped her settle in and good too that you both enjoyed the time together. I hope all goes well for her, and you. That time will fly by. Mayb not to begin with but before you know it Christmas will be here- scary.

All the best

Nechtan

sensibilia said...

This brings back a lot of memories, especially the struggles with the utility bills. I remember sitting on the sofa for an hour and a half, with one phone clamped to my right ear and a different one clamped to my left, in the vain hope that at least one of my calls would reach the top of the British Gas call-centre queue. What a waste of time! Young people are so very careless of practicalities, re the arrangements with the German girls, but generally amazingly honest, so I am sure it will all work out.
Re the dirt and all, I kept on telling my daughter that if she didn't clear up her mess in the kitchen, it would attract vermin. After mice in Bath, and cockroaches in London, she has finally learnt her lesson. Now she cleans up after her flatmate constantly, and tells me: "I now understand what it must have been like for you, mum, wiping surfaces all day long!"

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I can imagine how you felt on leaving Kay, Addy. I always have a heavy heart whenever I leave my "girl", now 41 years old! Hope you get stuck into your decorating and enjoy it. The time will definitely fly by then. A

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Not sure my last comment will show up Blogger has defeated me again.

I said that I wished you and Kay well. I echo DD and wonder whether we will see your novel? Hugs Hadriana x

Gill - That British Woman said...

your last two posts brings back such memories of the begininng of September for four years in a row of me cleaning/painting/fumigating various student houses for our two kids.

With me leaving said children in these places, with me in tears at how people could live in such places, with me being actually frightened at leaving said children in these places, and withme begging them not to move next year and if they did, they could do their own cleaning, painting or fumigating in future!!!

I am so glad those days are over with!!

Gill in Canada

Flowerpot said...

Hope you enjoy the next chapter Addy - you have a lot going on anyway.

Retiredandcrazy said...

My life is starting a new chapter too Addy. After Davy died at Christmas my grandaughter, her husband and 4 children move in with me to keep me company. They have now moved out again and I'm rattling around this house on my own. It's so strange but it does have it's upside. I'm getting things into order too, busying myself to keep off the boredom. What I will do when the house is fixed worries me, but no doubt the next phase of my life will reveal itself, I just have to be patient.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Come on over Addy, I have a little something for you to collect.