Saturday, 13 September 2014

And they’re off

As I write this, we’re driving down the M4 with a boot stuffed full of I’m-not-sure-what.  
Actually Nigel is driving, not me.  Typing on a laptop while coasting at seventy would probably be frowned upon by the traffic police.
Every so often, we pass a car where the back window is stuffed with duvets and cheap saucepans and a bike hangs off the back.
“There’s another one,” we chorus.
Another student going to university for the first time.  This is a big weekend for freshers.
Just a year ago, that was us.
Next year, we thought, we won’t have to take Perran quite so early because he’ll be a second year.
In fact, however, we’re travelling on the same weekend again.  I glance into the back of the car and catch sight of a brightly-coloured throw from Marrakesh, an earthernware plate from Spain.  Perran has had a good summer.
But although the car is very full of Perran’s belongings, Perran is not with us. 
He couldn’t wait to get back, and took the train earlier this week.  We’re just making sure his gear catches up with him today.

I guess you’d call that a successful launch.