We have just seen my eldest niece for the final time before she goes off to a foreign country for University (Wales!).
a) How can she be old enough to leave home?
b) What excitement can we send her through the post?!
There is actually form for this where her family is concerned. When her Dad, my brother in law, was on tour (with the RAF – he wasn’t in a pop band, despite how good he is at karaoke!) we took great pleasure in sending him ‘interesting’ parcels. The first – which he was quite chuffed and possibly a little smug about (before he opened it) was a Cliff Richard calendar!! That stayed on the wall in the mess long after he came back home. We also sent a bucket and spade when he was in the desert (and some sensible stuff too I promise!)
Back when I was at uni – a quarter of a century ago – there was no social media or smart phones to stay in touch with family and friends at home. Your options were to queue up for the payphone (with your fancy pants card that meant you could phone home cheaper than using cash) or rely on Royal Mail. I remember being so excited whenever I got post. My Nan would send chocolate, Auntie Mavis would send stamps, and my sister (my niece’s Mum) once sent me a letter with a little plastic bag inside with her nail clippings and the weird bits she’d pulled off her verucca using whatever the 90s equivalent of Bazuka was. I am hoping her parcel sending will have improved since she was 13, or my poor niece is going to be very disturbed ………
So what to add to the first care package? I’m thinking multivitamins, ear plugs, alka seltzer, antibacterial handwash, Berocca, Pot Noodles, an ironic 90s indie poster to go on her wall, a pair of Doc Martens (all students still wear them, right?), sick bags, spare mobile phone for when she loses hers, name stickers for her contents in shared fridge, family photo, cuddly toy, sink unblocker (although she has a fancy pants en suite – none of the ‘sink in the corner of your room’ to vomit in and block), air freshener, Febreeze, can of Red Bull…….
and possibly a fake passport and a wad of cash in case my husband and one of her other Uncles do go down to fresher’s week like they’re ‘promising / threatening’ so she can leave the country very quickly…….