After much effort, the Land Rover is full to bursting point and we are off to London. No room for anything else, despite not having any of Emma's academic stuff (as we would have had on the corresponding trip to Cambridge)
Some confusion about where Emma is going to get the keys from, but this is partly solved by the house being open as a builder does some work. So Emma can go off and get the key off a friend and I can start unpacking. The house is a sort of 1970s, modernist council block, not very nice from the outside, but actually very good inside. It has been completely refurbished and should be fine for them. While unpacking, I meet some of the neighbours, who all seem ok. Emma is soon getting organise. She is a little stressed about some aspects of it all, but she still has two weeks before work to get herself completely sorted out and the various house things done (utility bills, internet, tv, phone, etc)
One of her flat mates - Katherine - arrived early afternoon, then someone else (a friend visiting). We go for a walk and attempt to find a street with a few restaurants on it that Emma had passed when she was down last week. Tate Modern is less than 10 minutes walk away, not that Emma is very interested in art - but it does show that they are in a really nice location. We have a late lunch in a Greek restaurant, then go in search of the nearest supermarket - the local Costcutter - and finally back to the house. Another flat mate arrives soon after, at which point Linda and I make our exit.
We have our fingers crossed that it will all work out ok. Emma has only shared accommodation once before and some aspects of this might still be difficult for her.
So our daughter has left home, probably for good. Linda is going to see her next week for some clothes shopping and I might go down the following week, if Emma wants me to. Otherwise, it might be some time before I see her.
I can't help feeling gut-wrenchingly sad - another small step in which our contact gradually slips away