The security gate swung open on its creaking hinges to let them in. A steady stream entered empty-handed and staggered out carrying boxes, family-sized bags of untouched dried pasta and trailing bedding. The parents were back for the great migration. The weekend when university students leave the secure confines of their halls of residence for the mean streets of shared housing.
The academic year had ended on something of a whimper after a fellow student in my daughter’s flat pinged for Covid which required all the occupants to self-isolate for ten days. Quarantine was over when we parked outside and began lugging boxes on a muggy Saturday morning.
We packed the car and drove not very far to our daughter’s new home. Like many student areas it is a little rough around the edges but does have the advantage of being close to Aldi. I was tasked with cutting back some of the ivy that was patiently working its way into the door frame. There’s a point where cottagecore has to take a back seat to basic security measures.
Alan will spend the summer in the new digs where a housemate will care for him. I won’t lie, I’m a little worried. I hope he doesn’t get burgled.
As if moving my daughter wasn’t enough, I’ve moved this newsletter. Things began to go downhill when the new neighbour moved in. The piercing stare and eccentric clothing should have tipped me off that I was living next door to a ‘career psychopath’. The rambling monologues and perpetual squeaking of markers on white board meant it was time for me to leave.
I packed up my archive and folded my treasured unpublished drafts, Fruit Picture, B2 and Untitled Post into my suitcase. I locked the door of what had been my home for little more than a year, posted the keys through the letter box and hurried out of the back door.
I imagine the bigwigs at Substack are now regretting not handing me one of their sweetheart deals. Too late, tech bros. I have taken my small but carefully curated subscriber list to buttondown.
You, dear reader, don’t have to do anything. Sit back and enjoy the newslettering. I have entrusted a seamless transition to Justin who has kindly held my hand (done everything) throughout the move. The archives are here. Alan, Wolf Watson, all the old favourites. Chuckle your way down memory lane. I urged Justin to be careful with the frog boiling one. It’s a family heirloom! If it was dropped en route there is no sign of any damage. I did use an awful lot of bubble wrap.
It might take me a little while to get used to the new place. I’ll be unrolling my sleeping bag on the bare floor for the time being. At some point I will figure out how to post pictures.
For now I will sit and stare at the bare walls. I will smile to myself. I can’t hear the squeak of markers on whiteboard.