I have no idea what it is with parents and leaving home.
Kensington, London is about three hours away from our village. A really simple drive up the 303 past Stonehenge and onto the M3. Mum, however, is preparing for the journey as if we are driving to Rome and I will never be back again. Instead I am going to the big city to work as a nanny.
We have drinks and snacks galore. In the boot, along with my various suitcases and boxes, there are reflective jackets, a warning triangle, emergency water, tool kit, blanket, a flashlight, emergency sewing kit (seriously Mum, why?) and goodness knows what else.
My oldest best friend, Abbie, comes to wave me off, even though we leave at 8 am. As we pull out the drive I look back at the house, my home. My childhood home of 27 years.
Dad asks “Are you going to get soppy?”
I’d like to write here that a tear comes to my eye, but it doesn’t. I’ll be back in a month or so no doubt.
So we all pile in. Everything but the kitchen sink and off we set. It’s a miserable start to the day. It’s grey and drizzly and doesn’t really let up the whole drive.
I’ll admit to getting a little nervous as we approach Kensington. I met India and Tristan Daley-Todd at the nanny interview three weeks ago but coming to live in their house is another kettle of fish.
We pull up outside the five-storey townhouse on a smart West London street. The front door is right on the pavement and we manage to pull up directly outside. India must have been waiting for me because we are barely out of the car when she flings open the front door and beams a wide smile.
“Penny, daaahling. It’s so good to see you. Mini and Freddie are beside themselves, they can’t wait to meet you.” She blasts out in a terribly posh accent.
Dad stares at her. She’s around 5 foot 10. She’s slim. She’s blonde. She’s got big boobs (look fake to me). She has a face full of expensive make-up. And she’s over confident.
Dad is a rosy-cheeked countryman at the best of times but the suggestive smile India gives him makes him blush and he looks down nervously at his feet.
Mum notices and gives me a knowing smile that says it looks like I’m in for an interesting ride.
A peek down the hallway at Tristan lumbering towards me in what can only be described as a lime green kaftan (because that’s exactly what it is) tells me I most likely am indeed in for an interesting ride.