All Quiet on the Western Front



It was the middle of the night as I steeled the grit from my eyes and got behind the wheel of the car - to drive the sleepy-headed teenager and his classmate to the airport for a much awaited school trip. 

And I thought to myself, well it's far from the airport I was brought - even though in actuality I lived very close -  for any school trip I was ever able to go on.  But that was back in the dinosaur age, as my son himself might have you believe.

There was a school trip to France once - by boat. Airplanes didn't take off with as much regularity back in the Mesozoic Era you see, and flight costs were of Titanosaur-ic proportions.  Even though going by sea was cheaper I still couldn't go as it was still too costly and besides, I was a very bad traveler. 

However I do have some wonderful memories of a trip on a barge and a visit to the Japenese Gardens, as myself and an 'old' school pal recently reminisced.

The point is, the power of a good school trip is such that we still remember it - and from all those eons ago too ;)

This present day school trip takes in the World War 1 museums, cemeteries and battlefields of Belgium and France. The sights and sounds of this by-gone era - to be seen in reality as opposed to on an onscreen battlefield - is well-suited to any teenage boy with any amount of street-cred coursing through his veins. 

The relief of getting him 'out of that bed ... NOW' and out the door on time, for the final time this week, was palpable. And I was practically flooded with glee - when I reminded myself that for the next three mornings that particular 'pleasure' will be someone else's problem! 

Oh, yes.


The battlefields of morning routines and school studies have moved to a completely different country.

For three whole days.

I shall enjoy.

Wallow in my relative non-commitments.


Drink wine with my lunch, if I'm so inclined.

Stroll down to the local pub for an evening with the husband, and stay for as long as we damn well please.

Get up whenever I want and have whatever I want, whenever I want it.

Go for a simple walk at my total leisure.

Ramble aimlessly through the house, sighing with ease.

Feeling the emptiness.

Wondering what he's doing and where he is? Right now? As I glimpse through the itinerary, for the umpteenth time. 

Considering for a brief moment of breaking the 'do not text or call me' rule, before wisely deciding against it.

Missing him already.

Looking forward to his safe return.

Wishing him Safe travels, sweet dreams and the makings of fond memories. And heaping virtual appreciation and patience upon the teachers accompanying them all.


Oh, yes.

It is indeed all very quiet on the Western Front. 

On this Western Front that is.

As for the Western Front of World War 1 Battlefields, restaurants, teenage boys, hotels and flights?

Well, of that I would not be too sure! 








8 comments:

  1. Haha, you are like me... reveling in the silence and relishing the *me time*, yet missing him. Wish mine was coming back in three days! :) xx

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    1. @Bright Side of Life: It's exactly what it's like isn't it?! Yes, I'm very lucky that he's coming back so soon and and praying that whatever college course he chooses in 3 years time is close to home! xx

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  2. I never went abraod with the school. All I remember about school trips was the long coach rides there andback listening to Radio 1 and singing along. When we go to London my sister lways has DD to sty over for a few days while I stay at my parents'. I love the space and the freedom but, as you say, I'm constantly aware that something is missing.

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    1. @Midlife Singlemum: Then your DD is going to have wonderful memories of those times too! It's great for their independence also. And yes, the coach trips were interminable alright!

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  3. My two are going on school trips very soon, and as much as I will miss them, I also can't wait! :D

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    1. @BavarianSojourn: That's exactly it! Mixed emotions of excitement, peace, worry and missing them!! You know, I reckon the more trips they go on the easier it will get? ;-)

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  4. I love the way that we were writing about an empty house at the same time! Great memories of the trip to the Japanese Gardens too :) xx

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    1. @Looking for Blue Sky: It was very much mixed emotions!! Thanks :) xx

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