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The Original Entry:

Driving Home For Christmas

Tue 19th Jul 2005 23:04 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

Today the weather was decidedly autumnal ? more September chill than July bake. Now, combined with the final stages of packing for my move to Frome, this chill weather has made me recall the feelings I'd have each September between 1995 and 1999 when I'd be returning to St. Andrews for another academic year.

Then, as now, a good chunk of my stuff would be packed up, loaded into a rented vehicle, driven between 200 and 300 miles, dropped off at a strange house in different surroundings and then I'd be left to get on with it. It's all happening again and those memories, and particularly the memory of what it felt like then, are coming back to me ? something I realise I'd forgotten about until now.

Somehow moving to Bath in 2002 didn't feel like this, but then that was more manic and rushed than the move to Frome has turned out to be, and OK the Bath move was in March and not Summer like the return University trips were.

Of course the direction this time is south-west and not north but the distance is about the same ? if not the view (going north looks nicer). When I moved to Bath I took most of my stuff, but not all of it as I left my old junk with the parents. This time, although my flat is much smaller in Frome to that of the one I had in Bath, I'm taking all of my junk: written and typed notes from 2 University courses, 6th form college folders, secondary school workbooks and the odd primary school jotter with drawings in them from age 7 or so ? yes, I'm hysterically sentimental.

Quite where it's all going to go I don't know but since the new flat is unfurnished there's a chance I'll be able to assemble them into a table ? as the only furniture I have for my main room is a desk and an office chair!

Getting back to the point: Nope, this time there's is no going back. Since age 18 I've been ping-ponging between living at my parents home and somewhere else be it St. Andrews, Newcastle or most recently Bath.

The cost of living to income ratio in Bath was too even for me get a car and become fully independent, but this time it will be different because my flat is ?125 less a month than Bath and I won't have certain monthly bills to pay either. More money in my pocket means that by the start of September I will be taking driving lessons. I'm not sure I'll be driving myself around before Christmas but it's a goal ? I want to drive to visit the parents for Christmas.

Right, see you on the other side ? Somerset that is.

Bugger, now I'll have even less furniture than planned ? I ordered and paid for a 3-piece bedroom furniture set from Durham Pine on Monday so I could simply collect it today. Turns out they've gone and sold my reserved set to someone else and it was the only one in stock, so now apart from a bed, bedside cabinet, desk and office chair I have no other solid furniture for my unfurnished flat. Durham Pine are a set of c-nuts ? they weren't particularly apologetic about it either, rather they were more concerned at the hassle of having to give me a refund. My advice: Don't buy from Durham Pine.

[ modified 20th July 2005 18:44 BST ]
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