|I couldn't stop fidgeting, I just couldn't! I may be twenty, fresh from university, but that doesn't mean I wasn't as excited as the small fry.|
I couldn't settle to packing, and it would be ages before the removal men came to take our furniture away. So, I grabbed my coat, the one I was to wear on the journey, and had therefore not been packed, and left our house, our lovely Freudesheim, to go for a walk on the Görnetz Platz for the last time.
We were crossing the border. After the School's coming-of-age trip to the Tyrol, Mamma had done a bit of detective work, found that the Water Board were moving out of our old school buildings, Die Blumen, Papa's old house was still vacant, and the man in Die Rosen had accepted another job in Pakistan. Lots of them were going, and Mamma had written three letters. One was to the Abbess. One was to Papa. One was to Auntie Madge and Uncle Jem.
It had taken time and money, of course. But at last, everything was ready, we had three more days to leave Freudesheim, and about half the Swiss branch, half the Welsh branch and some new girls would be starting up a Tyrolean branch, and they were to have the old brown uniform. Mamma said it would be quite like old times. We had argued that there would be different people. She had responded that it wasn't like everyone just left and forgot all about the Chalet School - most of them at least write from time to time.
I wove a more complicated route than usual, wanting to cram in everything, say goodbye to all the old landmarks, the Auberge, the dangerous old mountain path close to the San., but there'd be new landmarks now, the dripping rock, Geisalm, all kinds of walks and trips, Salzburg, for instance. And Mamma says we have to go to Spartz, to see the memorials dedicated to Herr Goldmann (what an appropriate name for a jeweller!) and Vater Johann. Then, of course, there'll be the Tiernsee, gleaming like a sapphire, bluer than Lake Thun.
I had mixed feelings about going. On the one hand, it would be new, and exciting. I wanted to see everything, and know the stories that go with each one. The Robin's cave, where Mamma and Papa and some schoolgirls had defied the Nazis, and hidden the Peace League Document. I always get the feeling that we get the edited version of the story, I always get the impression that that incident had a lot to do with their marriage, but they won't tell. The lake, where Mamma rescued a drowning girl from the ice. Many, many more. And it would make Mamma and Papa happy.
On the other hand, it wasn't ours, I was leaving everything I called home, everything I had grown to know and love. I wondered if I would ever settle down in the Tyrol.
I turned round and trudged back to the house. I had packing to finish.