Saturday 8 September 2012

One week to go...

Again I'm here on my phone. How lazy of me but I have genuine excuses.

I cannot get to the laptop ( which needs to be permanently on charge ) as there is the European University Stuff She Needs To Take With Her Mountain* in front of the desk. It's alarming at how it's lava is spilling down the stairs too.

Every day it's like an episode of The Krpton Factor as I try to manoeuvre safely round the house.

Students really do need everything.

£98 a WEEK is what her accommodation costs.

This is the lowest budget option too!! More than my mortgage. She is in a four bedroom flat with her own tiny room, sharing a kitchen, lounge and bathroom with three other girls.

Modern technology means that the girls have already 'met' and chatted on Facebook. One has a microwave, mine has a slow cooker, hoping that one of the others has a toaster! But how fantastic is it that they can forge friendships from the beginning? This makes me less intensely stressed somehow!

So that £98 pays for her room, heating, electricity, security and insurance. Internet is included too.

She totally deserves to be treated and spoiled. I am told over and over at how lovely, generous and kind hearted she is. She worked hard for this. Her whole family are so very proud of her.

( Yes of course she drives me insane sometimes, and let's not forget the fact she has been tidying her room for 7 years - I'm hoping for miracles when she's on her own!) ( But equally I will not be there to see it, therefore cannot nag about it!)

She has been spoilt by her lovely Nanna ( my mum ) who bought her new bedding, kitchen utensils, pillows, an iron, matching sets of knives, pads of paper, cleaning up stuff, a colander, microwaveable bowls ..... And stuff I can't remember. It's like the Generation Game. Her lovely other Nanna,( Dad's mum ) who is just as indulgent, will buy her the Student Railcard and a journey or two home. The money she was lucky to receive in her congratulations cards has been spent on the Fresher's Week pass(£55) and Student Union Card (£12).

She is having a purple theme, she's told me! We took her to Dunhelm Mill and got the few bits - few bits !!!!!!! - she needed from there. Including a delightful little lamp for £7. Lovely purple shade. Her quilt and a bedding set were kindly donated from her other Nanna and Grandad with a large bath towel.

Calling in at Sainsburys, we picked up some fabulous new pens and pencils etc all with 80% off. She is also taking all the old stuff from sixth form with her. Plates etc are from us. Pans are either going to be a new cheap but decent set ( I hate false economy ) or the set we gave away to Nanna if she doesn't actually use them!!!

The biggest outlay so far ( excepting the Uni fees themselves ) has been the book list. But with careful sourcing and shopping around I'm confident we made some good buys.

I will furnish her with the basics; pasta, toothpaste, shower gel, loo rolls and porridge. After that, anyone going to see her will take food parcels. She is going to get a job over in the North East where she is headed. She will have to. Her maintenance loan grant thingy will almost be used up on her accommodation. We will help as much as we can, but our income has gone down. Losing her child benefit for one !!!!!! Sorry am laughing at myself there!

Today's mission is to try and get everything into one area of the house. Take stock and see what's missing. She will buy certain things there as and when she needs them. Like an airer, maybe a pop up wardrobe cupboard etc. Tupperware boxes and anything else she can think of. Although I did say not to buy too much as eventually it'll all have to come back again!!

If anyone out there has been through this, what is that ONE thing that was either the best thing they ever got/was essential that's not on my list/total waste of money that never got used?


Keeping myself busy with practical things means I shouldn't have too much empty head space to dwell on the fact that she is going. ( uh oh - my nose is doing that prickling feeling thing, when your eyes water and you are going to cry.) The nightmares I've been having are horrendous. I cannot really get my head round it. I don't want to. Yet I know she is ready. Even though she has only been eighteen for three short months, I know I have raised a smart, independent, confidant girl. She can cook a whole array of things. She CAN clean thoroughly. She can shop smartly, knowing what's a good buy.

The photograph I have chosen to go with this post is a Sunrise shot, from our Holiday appartment in Wales. I've chosen it because it symbolises a whole new world is opening up for my daughter.
(Wow, that's a bit deep from me!!)

Now I just have to set her free ( ish - I will be texting and writing and visiting and ringing etc ) and hope she continues to choose well and set her standards high and is successful and happy. What more could I wish?

Love from
A melancholic mama *wipes solitary tear rolling down cheek*

* photos of EUSSNTTWHM to follow!


  1. Don't forget her fave childhood teddy, they'll all have one. I smuggled Dog in for Ems 1st year, now he goes pride of place on top of her boxes. It's important to have something that smells familiar for those homesick moments. New stuff is great, but it doesn't smell comforting. Dog comes home every term for a top-up of home smells, and I'm not allowed to wash him, ever. Also, wash the new linen in your usual stuff before she goes. It never smells the same out of a uni washing machine!
    Other important stuff:
    Millions of photos and momentos for the notice board (+pins and whitetac)
    Fairy lights, feather boas and artificial flowers to make the room nice and girly
    And cushions to lol around on.

    Good luck x x x x

  2. Bin liners, rolls of em lol. A mini first aid box/medicine cabinet and oodles of surf boards!!!!
    She will use her nannas railcard to bring her washing back ha ha
    She will be fine, she can get the other 3 to pay her to do the cooking and what you can't see or know won't hurt you

  3. There are times when I am grateful not to have children...this is one of them.
    Chin will soon be Christmas holidays!
    Jane x

  4. I remember doing all this. Myself. I didn't have family who'd help me financially but I went to university in the days before those terrible tuition fees.
    I went to university with a bag of clothes and a bike. I bought everything I needed within two days of moving into shared accommodation. Microwave, plates, matching cutlery. I even bought a garlic press.
    The third morning I was in this new environment I woke up about 5ish. And sat there. Thinking this had better get good. I sat there for hours. I'd moved out, moved on, and cut those strings. Is this what life is like?
    At about 8-ish the door knocker knocked. Loudly. I was in a house with 3 other blokes and I was the only one awake. I went to the door and the postman gave me this big box. It had my name on it.
    I took it upstairs and opened it, and inside were 14 pairs of knitted socks from my gran. With a note. 'Two weeks worth. So you don't have to do a wash every week. Love Nanny'

    It sounds like you've done everything you can to give your daughter a great start at university. It's terrifying when you go, and to have some thought from the people at home helps you settle. Those things, from those you love at home, make the new things which are terrifying at times, so much easier to deal with.

  5. And I thought seeing my daughter into Year 7 was hard! Hope it goes well for all of you!


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