Yesterday, we saw off the Youngest Daughter, who's done her 4 years at uni and has now packed up her room at our house and gone off to the big world of work, living in London and becoming a cabin crew member for BA.
Being an Empty Nester is exhausting. I am wearing myself out missing her saying, 'Hey, Mum, you HAVE to watch this Youtube clip'.
But at least I had something to distract me from the emotion after she'd gone yesterday. We had a big event at church this morning (a couple's wedding 'blessing' after their registry wedding yesterday) and I'd offered to make a shedload of apple and blackberry crumble for the meal. We were expecting about 70 people.
I spent 4 hours in the kitchen yesterday making the crumbles. With the radio on and a glass of wine to sip I was very happy chopping apples from 17 trees and making so much crumble mixture that if a beach in southern Spain had needed re-covering, I would have had the materials for it.
So, there I am, lunchtime today, standing behind a big table at church after the service with my crumbles, saying to people, 'This is apple and blackberry - would you like some?' Next to me is a lady who's made an equal amount of pavlova.
'Apple and blackbe ....?'
'No, I'll have pavlova, please.' (Moves on.)
'Would you like some app ...?'
'Sorry - the pavlova looks nice, though.' (Moves on.)
'This is ap ...'
'Looks lovely. But I prefer the pavlova.' (Moves on.)
'Can I help you to some ...?'
'Pavlova, please.' (Moves on.)
'Ooh, no, pavlova for me, please.' (Moves on.)
I made 6 crumbles. Two got eaten (people tend to give in if you cry). The rest came home with me.
So, not only has my youngest child abandoned me, but in a cruel irony, I have enough crumble in the house to feed thirty daughters.
Any of you who live in Warwickshire are very welcome to drop in.
Afterwards - 4th and final part
1 day ago