"It's so good to have you home again, we've missed you so much."
"I've missed you too mum, and by the way I'm going up to Scotland next week for four days."
It seems that having my boy home for more than two days at a time is going to be one of those rare occurrences from now on.
This week he signed the lease on a flat in Edinburgh and he will be moving up there while his girlfriend studies for her Masters degree at Edinburgh University. It's long way from home ... 360 miles; that's six hours of driving, five hours of train journey or 40 minutes of flying depending on how you choose to get there. I know which one gets my vote.
I've only been there once but remember that it is a lovely city, with so much to see and do and I know that as long as he is with his girlfriend he doesn't mind where in the world he is. But this is the end of an era and it feels very strange to know that when he packs up his bedroom this time, it isn't going to just be for a few months at uni or five weeks in Africa, this time it's for real.
I'll leave you with a photo that he took in one of the villages he visited in Tanzania. It was on the wall of a small local business which employed disabled people to recycle glass and plastics to make original items of jewellery or household items such as pots and mirrors. I think it's a great quote!