I have been deserted. In a nice way. Hayley and the kids are visiting friends and family in Wiltshire, so I’m home alone. So how am I coping?
Well, despite my confidence that I would maximise use of my available time, both to do jobs around the house and to enjoy a little “me time”, I have thus far performed like the archetypally inept bloke.
I started my solitary sojourn by spending about 90 minutes finishing my working day (even though I was at home on my sofa by this point). This continued until I got a text from a friend reminding me I should be at a comedy club. Bugger.
So resigning myself to an unfunny evening in front of the TV, I got an early night with the intention of getting to work bright and early the next day… so that I could leave at 12.30pm and start to make better use of my time. My usual alarm clock is Oliver coming in to the bedroom no later than 7am. As he wasn’t available, I set my radio to come on at 6.30am and turned in for the night.
My next conscious moment was when I looked at the clock, wondering how close to 6.30am it was, only to find it was 8.58am. Bugger.
Thereafter things did improve. I escaped work mid-afternoon, mowed and strimmed the garden, then rewarded myself with a trip to the pub for a dinner of cheese ‘n’ onion pie and a pint of Marco Pierre White’s “The Governor” ale. I have justified this to myself by equating the calories expended in the garden with those consumed in the pub. (No need to check my figures folks, trust me.)
But how am I coping without the constant hustle and bustle of my family around me. I kid you not when I say that I already miss that. Sure, it’s nice to have some peace. And the infrequency of my blogging is testament to its rarity. But the silence is eerie at times.
No matter. I have a constant companion: the radio. Mostly tuned to BBC Radio 4. Already this week it has educated me in the arguments about how to fix the economy; entertained me this afternoon with a play about someone who applies the duodecimal system a little too enthusiastically; intrigued me with an account of how Mikael Gorbachev lost his grip on power thanks to his own democratic initiatives; and this evening rekindled memories of my youth as I listened to Simon Day interview Pete Hook.
That interview was particularly resonant. Hook described how after 30 years he is playing music he wrote as a 21-year old bassist in a band. And when he performs this music now, his own 21-year old son plays bass in his band. “Spooky”, was his assessment.
I would love my own son – or my daughter for that matter – to one day play music with me. Of course they already do. For example, singing and playing percussion to my rendition of Daydream Believer on the guitar the other evening at bedtime. A priceless experience. So I hope their love of music – and tolerance of their Dad’s playing – will continue for many years.
Tomorrow I’ll get busy, decluttering the house of some of the old and broken toys the kids would no doubt claim are indispensable were they here. And then I may set up the PC to record some music. But whatever I get up to tomorrow, you can be pretty sure my usual background soundtrack of two cacophonous kids will be replaced by my trusty radio.