Lessons From Liverpool

Apart from everything else, I admit I've been fretting.  Daughter has gone to Liverpool Uni.  Drove her up on 18th September, collected her key and located her room, expecting one of the modern study bedrooms we'd seen at other campuses.  It felt like a stake through the heart.  Looked at Daughter's face.  She unwillingly released a tear which struggled to a chin that was almost on the floor.  I smiled brightly, thinking I'd covered my shock but it didn't quite reach the eyes.  A breeze block wall painted


cream, a sink with hair in it and hair dye around it, an old single wooden wardrobe with a burn mark on the front and the desk.  I say 'desk' but it was actually a formica topped chipboard affair with black metal legs.  Such creative pieces generally redeem themselves, marginally, by having decorative beading around the edge.  It was missing.  Looks like it should be in a garage for jobs like mixing paint.  The blue woollen curtain hung depressingly from the curtain track, having parted company with the header tape.  Such decay at such an important new beginning.  Long story short, while D was out of the room, made bed, put stuff in strategic gloom-hiding places and hoped it looked like the Hilton!  Mental note to self: Investigate accommodation change asap. 

Next day, rang accommodation office to be told students are on camp beds in sports halls and sharing three to a room.  No requests for changes being taken until 31 Oct.  Make point that given lack of space, spare rooms unlikely.  Never known a year like it, apparently.  David Cameron, you reading this – fee increase from next year??

Inform D of progress.  Imagine her isolated (everyone else on her course is miles away on another campus), loney and despressed.  I have been over-texting, I know.  D says she doesn't want to move as she can't cope with another change.  WHAT?  I have it in hand.  Feel I'm at my persuasive best while extolling the benefits of moving.  I sense she's not receiving me, over.  Switched off.  I'm on a mission to move D to halls elsewhere.  Why won't she see it's for the best?  Try to back off while mentally dealing with mission-critical planning.

Being as supportive as humanly possible.  D stuns with the comment: "I thought you were going to let me go?"  Er, yes, haven't I?  Stubbornly yet steadfastly STILL refusing to move.  Says she's bought posters to brighten up (pock-marked, in my opinion) walls.  Why?  I'm working on a solution, I told you.  Report same to Husband.  He says I should let her make the decision and that I'm like Churchill moving pieces on a table in the War Room!  Am I?  Really?  Suddenly realise all this is actually about me.  The image isn't comfortable.  Decide I could risk relaxing a bit and seeing how things develop.

Fast forward to yesterday.  D coming home for weekend after morning lectures.  Offer to collect as trains unreliable and several changes needed.  Receive call en route from a happy sounding lass checking whether I've left yet.  Of course, of course, bringing you home, I think but don't say.  Arrived dead on time at 1.45pm.  Ring announcing arrival as can't enter gated compound.  Daughter appears, happy, animated and looking surprisingly well.  Talks about various friends and how absolutely everyone independently decided to go home this weekend.  We leave in search of luncheon venue.  Find Frankie and Benny's.  Stunned that she looks so well and happy.  Delighted all seems good.  Has texts from new friend wishing her a great weekend and saying she'll see her on Monday.  Why wasn't I made aware of these developments while I fretted and planned?

Now, I'd stocked up on washing powder and made sure the machine was good to go.  At dinner, she announces she has no washing, having done it all, including towels and bedding, in the week.

Blimey, how on earth is she managing without me?  Quite obviously, I hadn't thought it possible.  Must dash, off to dismantle the War Room . . .

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