Friday, 21 September 2012

It's oh so quiet....

A lot has happened in the last month.

My new lodger Virginia has arrived from Canada and has settled in well. She is studying Scottish History and I am ashamed to say that she knows more about her subject matter than I do!

Two weeks after she arrived, I took Holly to University. We had spent the week before, running around like crazy, doing last minute errands and finally the Friday morning arrived and I heard Holly bring all her stuff downstairs into the kitchen.

I was in the living room, rooted to the sofa cos I totally didn't want to face it. Finally after half an hour of listening to her being ever so industrious, I wandered into the kitchen to see so much stuff that I couldn't see the kitchen floor!!!

I had a moment of panic, wondering how the hell I was going to get it all into my car and squeeze Jack in as well but then my organisational skills kicked in and I started rearranging things and taking new things out of their boxes to make more room. Within half an hour, the car was stuffed to bursting and everything was held in place with bungee clips in the hope that none of it would come crashing down on top of poor wee Jack!

We picked Jack up from school and off we set. Jack was most impressed with all this stuff that he could get his hands on and most of the journey he spent kneading Holly's pillows through their wrapping and he even coughed and spluttered all over them, just for good measure. He really made us laugh.

We arrived at Rachel House where they took over the care of Jack allowing Holly and I some chill time. Once Jack was in bed, we went to our room, broke out the munchies and watched a movie.

It was a lovely night with my girlie but we were both aware that this would be the last night for a while and there were tears and hugs and tears again. Holly didn't sleep well that night. I think fear of the unknown was kicking in and so she looked exhausted the next day.

We set off around 10.15 as we were going to pick up Jacqui as she would be helping us. After a coffee and much discussion between Jacqui and Angela as to the best route to take to Queen Margaret's University, we set off to arrive in time for our moving in slot which was from 1-2.30pm.

After collecting the keys to Holly's flat and room, we had a frantic 10 mins emptying the car and lining her stuff up against the wall as there was a queue of cars behind us and we had been instructed to empty the car quickly and take it back to the car park.

Within an hour, everything was in her room and by 3pm we had set up her TV and printer, internet connection, unpacked, made her bed, rearranged the room to her liking and done all we could without taking over. Then we went to the supermarket to stock up on all she would need and carried it all back to her flat where Holly found space in a cupboard in the kitchen for most of her stuff and made room in the fridge too.

view from her window...door on the left is her en-suite shower
view from the door

Her desk...looks like she means business!

My girlie, trying to be brave
Throughout all this, she was popping in and out introducing herself to the other girls who were also moving in and generally getting to know her flat mates. In the middle of it all I had a phone call from Rachel House telling me that Jack wasn't well, had a chest infection and that they had started him on antibiotics. Around 6pm, we took her for something to eat and then we went back to her flat. As soon as we got back the tears started again and the two of us were inconsolable.

It was the hardest thing to turn away and leave her when all I wanted to do was wrap her in my arms and take her away with me. I felt like my heart was going to break but I knew that she would have the opportunity to really get to know her flat mates if I wasn't there.

I spent the night at Jacqui and Angela's partaking of some well needed wine and the next day, I headed back to Rachel House to see Jack and to pick up Granny Mac from the bus. I hadn't made arrangements to go back and see Holly as I didn't want to get in the way of any plans she may have had so had told her to text me if she wanted me to come back. I got the text at 2.20pm so Granny Mac and I headed off.

She was much happier when we went back. Granny Mac got the guided tour of her flat and university buildings. We went for a long walk and discovered more of the surrounding area of Mussleburgh, enjoying a meal in one of the local hotels before walking back and having a cup of tea in the Student Union.

I was able to leave Holly this time without tears and she seemed much more settled.

Two weeks have gone by and the house is very very quiet. I miss her so much, so I am trying to be busy so that time will pass quickly. I had no inkling that it was going to be so difficult but having Virginia in the house does help as she is good company and we get on well.

Just to add to the fun, Jack became unwell on Friday night and went into hospital around 10.30pm. Virginia helped me take his stuff up and stayed with me while he was settled in. See I told you she was lovely.

My poor boy, ill again.

During the two and a half hours we were at the hospital, Virginia asked "do you get funnier, the more stressed you get?" I had never really thought about it but I do use humour a lot to cope when in crisis mode so I guess the answer was yes. Her reply "mmm well let's set fire to your house and see how funny you are then!".

Funny funny girl!

On the plus side, the house is much tidier without Holly Dolz and I am spending less time clearing up. The washing had reduced in size and I now have time to myself when the carers are in or Jack is in respite. I just have to find ways to fill the time without exhausting myself.

Virginia and I went to the Food and Drink Festival that was held in Elgin at the weekend. We had a great time wandering around tasting lots of yummy stuff and coming away with lots of goodies. There were also quite a lot of craft stalls there and Virginia had her first Aberdeen Angus beef burger. I think she was very impressed at how tasty it was.

Pipe Band playing at the Food and Drink Festival

Next week I am taking her to Ballindalloch Castle and at some point we are also going hiking and cave exploring. Should be interesting.

Watch this space.


  1. Oh, Lynne - Parting is such sweet sorrow.
    But that doesn't make it any easier to do, does it?
    I'm sure Holly is doing great and just think of the stories she can tell you to add to the blog.

    Tell Virginia that the humour comes with the job - black and twisted. OMG - what would she be like if the 2 of us got together - she;d either join in or run for the hills!!!

  2. Oh, I remember seeing my first one off a couple of years ago- thought my heart was ripping in two! I"m glad you got through it, and if it's any consolation, it did get a little easier with time. It sounds like she's in a great place-

  3. It was kind of like when my Karen back in 1991 went off to Germany for a year as an exchange student. We felt so helpless and scared that she would get sick and need us but all went well and she had a blast. Enjoy your time with Virginia and take good pictures.

  4. Holly's flat looks ginormous compared to my sons!! Is that a dorm room or actual apartment off campus?

    I had no idea it would be so hard have my son go off to college.

    Glad your new lodger is friendly and willing to lead a hand when you need it. That has got to make having a lodger so much easier.

    Hope Jack is feeling better :)

  5. I don't want to think about my baby leaving home yet (or ever) :) I know it's something they must do, but still! I hope Jack is feeling better and remember to breath :) Hang in there!

  6. I hope Jack is on the mend. I remember when my baby girl left home after she graduated from high school. But, she didn't leave for college - she went into the Navy instead. That was so rough because I couldn't talk to her at all until they gave the recruits permission to do so. The first phone call was 2 minutes. That was rough so I feel your pain!

    You are so brave and inspire me to be so much better than I am on my own.

  7. Thank goodness that you have Virginia to keep you company at the moment, as I am sure you must miss Holly so much. I know how well you both get on together. I hope she is settling in at Uni and making new friends. I also hope very much that your gorgeous boy is much better again now. Take care.

  8. When we took Favorite Young Man to college I started crying when we were only two blocks away from home and we had another 90 minutes to drive. He was sitting in the front, and he reached back to hold my hand. Change . . . always change going on. I hope Jack is better soon.


  9. Holly's flat looks absolutely fab, which is great :) I know you're feeling heart broken, but you do learn to get along without them - as I did when my girl was in Tanzania. And 2 weeks have gone by already, it can't be that long till Christmas xx

  10. Hon, it's hard for me to believe that Holly is old enough to be going to University. She has been so loving, caring, and helpful to you and Jack and now she will be away.

    But knowing you, you will find a way to care for Jack even when Holly isn't there with you.

    I wish the best for you, Jack, and Holly.

    I trust that you will enjoy your new lodger, Virginia, keeping you company in Holly's absence. From what you wrote about her she seems like a lovely person to be sharing your home with.

  11. Wow, you've been busy! Upsetting to let your girl go but she's ready to spread her wings! Looks like she settled in real well. I hope you get to find new interests too but get some down time too! Hope your Jack is better too :-)

    xx Jazzy

  12. I cant imagine how hard it must be for you to have your beautiful girl so far away. At least you have good friends to help distract you.

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