The ten tell-tale signs that you now have an empty nest

Looking forward to the holidays: son Rory, Trish and husband Dougie.
Looking forward to the holidays: son Rory, Trish and husband Dougie.
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TRISH TAKES FIVE: By blogger Trish Burgess

It’s been nearly six months since my son left for university and I think I should share some observations about what occurs when your chicks leave the nest.

1. The amount of laundry is significantly reduced and sometimes you get to see the bottom of the basket.

2. Utility bills will come down, particularly the water bill because the shower is no longer being used as a warm place to continue dozing.

3. Food stays in the fridge and cupboards for ages: crisps in particular can sometimes last longer than their ‘best before’ date.

4. You will start to appreciate the wonders of technology. Remember how we all laughed when Tomorrow’s World featured a video phone? Skype is now your best friend, once you’ve adjusted your position so the scary, saggy chin doesn’t appear in the corner.

5. Texting is the best way to communicate with your kids. Don’t expect an instant reply to your texts: that way madness lies as you imagine all manner of catastrophes. Your son or daughter is probably in a lecture, or asleep, but they will eventually reply with a short message and an array of unintelligible emoticons sometime after midnight.

6. You find yourself walking around their rooms, lovingly touching childhood toys. Woe betide your husband if he suggests a clear­out.

7. It takes a long time before you stop setting that extra place at the table.

8. You have to learn the offside rule and other sporting technicalities so you can have a meaningful conversation with your husband who has lost his telly buddy.

9. You keep an eye on the weather forecast for the city in which they now live so you can give your offspring prior warning of a cold snap.

10. The sadness you feel when they leave home does become easier. Try and stay cheerful as it will soon be the end of term and they will be back home to fill up the laundry basket, linger in the shower and empty your fridge again.

You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at