I got up early this morning and spent an hour and a half slicing the remains of the party ham and beef, boxing them up (and the remains of cake) and putting them in the freezer then clearing everything up. So we will have enough to eat for a while – I’m really not great at catering for the number coming to a party: that is, I have to cook far too much or else I worry that people will have to be polite and not eat quite as much as they’d like to.
By this time, it was still only 8 o’clock, so I got on with other chores around the house, ready for a business appointment here at 11. Later again, I was ambling round the garden and I thought how spacious it all looked without cars here. Roses was out, Boy was at work, LT is away and I’ve lent my car to Weeza, so the place was empty apart from me – and cats and chickens, of course, but Eloise cat was asleep on the sofa and none of the others were about.
Weeza’s father-in-law has been ill for over a year, with a brain tumour. And it’s been pretty grim for the last six months, but he died yesterday and, sad as we are, we cannot wish he’d lingered longer. Luckily, Phil went to visit at the weekend and his brother arrived on Sunday, so they were both able to visit and he knew that they did, and his mother wasn’t alone at the hospice when David died. Of course, Phil wanted to go back straight away, so Weeza left work early to come over here, took my car and left theirs, Phil cycled here from work and picked it up to drive over to Staffordshire. I cancelled one thing last night and can use my bike otherwise until LT is home.
It’s a funny thing, being alone when one isn’t used to it any more, though it was formerly a normal situation. I’ve always been quite comfortable with my own company. That is, I remember being very lonely after Weeza was born. I didn’t really have friends at the time – I did, of course, but few of my age and none in my circumstances and I was quite isolated, at home with a baby. I trained myself not to be lonely and, a couple of years later when Al was born, I was too busy to miss adult company during the day. Russell was always a bachelor at heart and never thought twice about disappearing for hours at a time – though he would have worried awfully if I did, he genuinely never thought that I would mind. I have a feeling that he thought I was in a bubble here, that things only came to life when he was home. If he were not part if it, it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t at all that he was thoughtless, nor was he self-absorbed (and he was a kind and considerate man) but there was an ‘out of sight, out of mind” element in our relationship, which 41 years of marriage didn’t affect in the least. There is no complaint in this, just a clumsy attempt at an explanation – I was mostly as comfortable with this as he was.
But you enter a new relationship with a different attitude, and it’s perfectly easy to adapt to different circumstances. And, mostly. Tim and I do things together, because we want to. And after he went yesterday morning, I was quite busy, because I was going to a Nadfas lecture and I was in phone contact with Weeza, as explained above – I wasn’t actually much alone until after 7.30 and, by the time I’d had dinner and cleared away, I was so tired that I went to bed early. And then this morning I was busy too, and quite enjoyed being quiet and just pottering about. But then, this afternoon, when I’d finished appreciating the tranquillity, I started to feel lonely. I’ve rather embraced that, in fact, because it is specific. I miss Tim. I miss lovely Tim and, having expected and wanted to live alone, I’m so glad that I don’t, and that this situation will only last for a couple of days.