This week was Wizzers' turn to try her hand at pastures new and nose-to-the-grindstone studying. She took up residence yesterday in Southampton to begin her Freshers fortnight (yep - they get two weeks these days) before getting down to study for a BA in Illustration.
On Friday night Mrs The Millbrooker and I chucked a couple of wee giftettes at the young canvas botherer (identical to those we'd thrown at the Depitty a few days before), including the most important tome in anyone's leaving home library: Yes, indeed, a copy of The Complete Cookery Course by Saint Delia of Sainsbury's.
Yesterday morning saw an early start; the car was too full of Wizzers' stuff for me to get a seat so I took the iron horse from Plymouth via Reading and Basingstoke (don't try this at home, folks - it's a very expensive route, but I've got passes). Mrs The Millbrooker and Wizzers set off about an hour after me in the little pinkish motor. Mrs The Millbrooker was under strict instructions to get a shot of Wizzers by the door as they set off: Without undue mishap we managed to meet up at the halls where Wizzers will be living for the next year. Some very kind young people with tee-shirts proclaiming themselves to be "angels" helped us to get the mass of boxes up six floors to the room she'll be occupying. Nigel and Elin joined us to make a merry throng crowding out the living space (compare and contrast to the Depitty's room in which one-at-a-time is not only encouraged, but is the only possible number of occupants at any time).
I did try to get a nice photo of Mrs The Millbrooker and Nigel as proud parents of the new occupant of the pristine and bijoux residence, but Wizzers, who was putting stuff onto a shelf at the time, chose just that split second to intrude into shot. We got to sneak a look at the communal kitchen, which has dual aspect floor-to-ceiling windows and is not for the vertigo sufferers amongst us.
The kitchen window can be seen jutting out from the rest of the building in this shot:
The five of us adjourned to a nearby well-known purveyor of cheap ales and reasonably priced meals (ok, I admit it, we went to another Wetherspoon's) where burgers, steaks and puddings were consumed, except by Wizzers who got very excited by yet another salad in her unending dietary quest for smaller buttocks (see photo above to make judgements on the necessity of this for yourselves).All too soon we had to go up to Wizzers pad to (unsuccessfully) help set up an interweb connection on her brand new and highly impressive laptop AppleMac jobby (courtesy of a generous Dad) and say our goodbyes.
Millbrooker Towers is strangely empty now. Mrs The Millbrooker and I are wandering around looking a bit lost and bewildered (no change there in my case, then).
S'funny, you plan for the little beggars leaving and making their own ways in the world; equipping them to do so is what the job's all about. You (ok, I) make jokes about putting up razor wire and watch towers to stop them coming back. But it doesn't really work like that, as I'm sure the countless parents and step-parents who've helped their charges move on will testify. Some lifestyle and emotional readjustment is coming up in Millbrooker Towers, then.
During the meanwhilst, however, as with the Depitty, I'm sure everyone will join Mrs The Millbrooker and me in wishing Wizzers every good fortune during her time at university; and indeed to all the youngsters who are starting out at the same time.
Right that's quite enough soppy stuff. It's film club tonight; hope the usual suspects are coming, I think I might open a bottle of something especially decent to toast the new students of this world.