Dot writes: Ken and the boys come back tomorrow, so I thought I’d review my unusual week of solitude.
– lots of work. Maybe not everything on my mental list, but it was a very long list. I did the following: marking, a good effort on a 3000-word book review I’m writing, next year’s budget for the MPhil, a chunk of research, various pastoral bits and pieces for students, a revision class for the first-years, and publicising a workshop I’m running in July
– I hoovered the stairs, emptied the boxes of stuff that have been cluttering up our bedroom, did laundry, cleaned the inside of the bin with bleach and remembered to put the recycling out
– I remembered to water the plants
– I didn’t get takeaway once.
– I still haven’t made bread, but so long as it’s done by the time my family return it’s ok
– I haven’t mopped the kitchen floor yet
– I haven’t actually finished the book review or the marking, and though the research is progressing I decided to change the topic of the paper I’m giving in May to something that I’ve spoken about before
– I went to see my colleague Helen but I forgot to take the big pot along that we’ve been meaning to give her since before Christmas
– the dinner I cooked on Wednesday was really awful.
I missed my boys a lot and I’m looking forward very much to getting them back. There were some advantages to being on my own: although I didn’t do as much more work as I thought I might, I did do more than normal, and it was particularly useful to be able to wake up and go straight to the computer. First thing in the morning is a naturally productive time for me, but normally I spend it fetching milk, making tea, reading stories etc etc. Which is lovely in its way, of course. Another pleasure of the week was the two occasions on which I took a bit of time off in the afternoon, knowing I could make up for it in the evening, and went on walks by myself. I did a walk on Bull Island from the (closed, manky) interpretive centre down to the Bull Wall and back, and I did the cliff walk at Howth, which is unfenced and faintly scary. But I was a bit lonely. And I also found that I was constantly ever-so-slightly tense. Not that I expected anything to go wrong – I wasn’t looking for murderers behind the bins or burglars in the bathroom – but I just don’t feel very relaxed without Ken. I also feel cold without him. The first couple of nights I slept in woolly socks.