So it was back to work yesterday - four hours amidst the bins of South Oxfordshire. A place where strangely, I feel very much at home. It was lovely to see my friends again, and to see that my mug had been hidden in my drawer by the boys I work with, so that it wouldn't go astray while I was in Devon. They know what's important in the sales office of Binland.
It was a fairly stressful day yesterday what with son number two getting ready to leave the building on Saturday. The two of us headed off in the rain yesterday afternoon to buy all the things we hadn't thought of before the last big shop of stuff. He offered to drive, as he knows I am a soft touch at the petrol pump and by the time we had been away from my front door for two hours, I was around £150 lighter in pocket.
Boys are strange creatures. When daughter number two headed off to university, it was all fairy lights, scatter cushions and matching throws. There were pretty towels and bath mats, flowery shaded lamps and fake candles. All son number two was concerned about yesterday were the curtains (they had to be the grey chevron patterned ones for some reason only known to him). I can't begin to tell you how hacked off he was when the illiterate youth on the counter at Argos told us, through a gum chewing set of gnashers, that they weren't in stock.
Throwing his hands up in the air, he said to me, 'Nothing's ever easy, is it mum'. I thought about coming out with some parental platitude about it not being worth having if it was easy, but decided to simply agree with him. He's right. Nothing is easy at the moment. There have been a lot of times over the last two weeks when things haven't gone to plan but in the end it has all worked out. He has been very organised with house hunting and sorting out the finances with no help from me at all. This from the boy who doesn't seem able to get his dirty clothes from his body to the linen basket without leaving them on the floor for two days.
You see, I'm used to him coming up to me with that daft look on his face asking, 'Can you help me mum?' Well, those days seem to be over for the time being, but I'm not naïve. There'll be a time when he needs help again some time in the future - probably when the money runs out in the first week, and he can't afford to buy hair wax. So I am suffering from Stress By Proxy - worrying on his behalf in this next stage of his life. I'm worrying that he hasn't bought any folders or pens for his university work and that he won't have enough space for his thirty six t-shirts and boat-like shoes in his bedroom. I just want it to be easy for him, but as a parent, I suppose we all want that for our children. But now's the time for him to sort out the problems, and not me.
Changing the subject, I headed out this evening to a talk by a local lass about the effects that hormones can have on your body. This was fascinating (a word I don't use often in my daily routine) and I found it really informative (again, rarely used). There were many ladies there of a certain age and we were asked to complete a questionnaire to find out which hormone effected us most. The lovely lass then gave us scores which would point us in the right direction depending on which hormone was giving us a bad time.
And mine? Well it was the stress hormone.