Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Flaming Ballerinas and Flying the Nest

We moved our gorgeous girl down to London at the weekend ready to start university.  I knew it would be emotional, but I have to say that I was not at all prepared for quite how upset I would be.  There was a moment on Sunday when I thought I might never surface from my pile of soggy tissues.  It sounds rather dramatic, but I felt grief stricken and rather lost, even though I am not completely "empty nested" yet.  It is a very strange feeling indeed and I don't like it but, as my husband (who is always very level headed about these sorts of things) keeps saying, we're just moving on to the next phase of our lives.  I'm not sure whether that's a comfort or not when you think that it also means we're getting older!

Dorothy's room at the Hampstead residence is much bigger than we had expected and it was instantly transformed by the addition of the blanket that she has been crocheting over the summer.


It was her 19th birthday on Monday so we had "fake" birthday celebrations last week with cards, presents, a family dinner, silly games and home made chocolate birthday cake.

Hubby went off into the kitchen to make some coffee and do the honours with the birthday cake.  As he came around the corner into the dining room, cake in hand with candles lit, and we began singing "Happy Birthday to you...", he said "those ballerinas are candles, aren't they?"

Well...we could hardly draw breath for laughing...the ballerinas were plastic cake decorations that Dorothy had spotted in my candle box as I was making the cake earlier that day.  She recalled how she had had them on a cake that our very kind neighbour had brought round to us the year that I was laid out in bed with an injured back following the collapse of our ceiling.  That was in 2002, her 9th birthday!

Ten years on, the two ballerinas with their gold and silver headdresses and tutus were a perfect match for the gold and silver candles that I had already put on the cake.  Unfortunately, they are now a little worse for suffered a burnt scalp, the other lost her head and most of her left arm in the incident!  I shall keep them in my candle box though and they will bring a smile to my face with each birthday cake that I make!

Dorothy seems to be making lots of new friends, finding her way around and partying well during freshers' week so all is good so far!  I miss her so much, but I don't have a tissue in my hand as I write this so I am seeing that as progress!  I know she will be feeling a little up and down for a while too and there will be things that trigger a tear or two for both of us, but we will be fine!

...and we have plenty!
I am so excited for Dorothy as she begins university life at King's and starts to enjoy all the delights of living in London.  When Dorothy started school here in Yorkshire one of the other children told her "you talk funny you do". Dorothy replied "Well, I was born in London you know!" so it's as if things have come full circle really.

Meanwhile, back up north, I am throwing myself into my work and keeping myself busy (to avoid falling into the tissue box!) by spending most days at my lovely new studio, which is a great place to be. I love the light here, I love having so much space to spread my things out as I work and I love having an internet connection which means that I can try to keep up to date with things like blogging!  I am very much looking forward to welcoming people to workshops at my new place and you can see what's coming up here.  

Bye for now,


1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! Poor ballerinas!! Hahahaha! That made me laugh though. :)
    I hope your daughter have a fantastic time at Uni. I still have lots of years to come when Joey starts Uni, but I think I will need dozens of boxes of tissue when the time comes. Hang in there. She will always be back home for holidays and all. xx