The day I moved from my much loved home in Shropshire to start a new life in Sussex, it rained. Not just drizzle, or showers.... torrential rain. Knowing that there was a deadline by which we had to return our rented removal vehicle, we did not have the luxury of waiting for the storm to pass. We battled on. Makeshift covered walkways fashioned from tarpaulins did not stop my new front garden turning into a quagmire and did little to actually shelter anything or anyone. They did serve to emphasise how ferocious the gusts of wind were at times as flapping, billowing sheets of plastic threw collected rainwater in random directions by the bucket load. Miraculously (and by 'miracle' I really mean foresight, care and diligence), my brand new carpets survived completely unscathed and bar a few knocks and bangs and complete exhaustion, so did we.
We have been settling into our new life now for the past month and a half. We have come a long way in that time. Much has happened and the speed at which changes are occurring and days are being ticked off on the calendar show no sign of slowing down.
Yesterday, I drove my daughter and a car load of possessions including a bicycle and a life sized human skeleton to Oxford. Oxford University terms start later than most others so we have only just joined that group of parents who have packed up their children and deposited them in various locations to begin exciting new academic adventures.
We arrived at the college in good time despite having to negotiate the M25 at rush hour. I drank much appreciated coffee as my daughter registered before being shown to the room she will call home (during term time at least!). The room was bare but lovely. I didn't have time to help her settle in and add some home comforts because I needed to get back to Sussex for the school pick up, but I did help transport her possessions up the inevitable flights of stairs ready to be unpacked. And... it rained.
This rain could not compete with the rain I had contended with during my own move but it was not rain that could be easily ignored. In the short walk (or run where we could manage it) from car park to hall of residence, plastic storage crate lids filled with water like little swimming pools. My hair was plastered to my face and dripping wet. I was soaked through.
I had a two hour drive home to dry off, grateful that the car heating system worked well.
So, I have one daughter at University about to embark on the challenge of becoming a medic. Another daughter, having graduated from her University in Warwick is working in London on a graduate training scheme. My other two grown up daughters still live and work in Shropshire and one of them is now engaged to be married. The family dynamic has changed dramatically and it is taking a bit of getting used to.
As I look out of my window today, I can see the leaves beginning to show their autumnal hues and some are floating gently earthwards . I have loved the long summer days and the unexpected late sunshine that has held the promise of winter at bay but autumn has most definitely arrived and it is beautiful. Change is good.