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They are gone, up , up and away. I am just back from the airport after a morning spent making pancakes as a parting breakfast treat and making sure their little carry-ons were packed. The plane has left Dublin and flown into a glorious autumn sky, and as I drove home orange, yellow and brown leaves danced across the road.

Now the house is suddenly very quite. No more random outbursts of giggles, screams, yelps, chatter and running up and down the stairs. No more peeping, buzzing and plongging as mobile phones announce the arrival of all important new information from friends via facebook. Although I must say I found it very annoying that the pods and phones never left their hands, their eyes always distracted by the tiny blue shimmering monitors and messages pingingly interrupting the visit.

And now I sit and type, surrounded by mounds of bedclothes and towels in the need of a wash (how can teenagers so slight of figure need so many to dry themselves with?), but I have to admit I am quite happy with the silence. As much as I loved having my niece here and enjoyed spoiling her  a little, I am glad things will be back to normal once I’ve straightened out the house.

So I’ll turn up the music, the kind I like to hear, and shimmy and shake my home back into shape, move my bits and bobs back into my bedroom, put on a wash or twenty, and later, to complete my parting party, I will sit in front of the fire with a glass of red in hand and wait for the phone to tell me my two traveling teenagers are back home safe and sound.

colours of the season