I realised this week that I’ve never lived alone.
I moved from home and boarding school to university halls and flat sharing. Flat sharing merged seamlessly into co-habiting followed some years later by marriage and children.
The longest I’ve been alone is about five weeks. Twice, both times when travelling.
This is a fact that really surprised me. I realise that I have known it all along, but it’s clearly not something I’ve ever thought much about. I am bucking the trend. Twice as many people live alone now than when I was a child and the graph is rising ever higher.
It makes me wonder how I’d cope. I like my own company, but in small doses. I don’t like sleeping alone, with no one to nag me about going to bed I stay up far too late. Rubbish TV is somehow less appealing when there’s no one next to me on the sofa rustling a newspaper in disapproval. And if I ate everything I baked, I’d be the size of a very considerable house. Besides, if I lived alone, I’d have to get out of bed and make my own coffee in the mornings.
It’s a good thing I’m not likely to be living alone in the near future. But I might one day. It does happen. A significant proportion of Britain’s single dwellers are widows and widowers.
For now however, I’ll be grateful for the time I get to myself when the children are at school and make the most of cuddles and coffee in bed while I have them.