I have just been watching, with a slight tinge of envy, a TV programme documenting a restoration of a very dilapidated lodge house from a long since vanished Country Estate in Surrey.
After an evening which started with a mad dash out to buy a present for Middles friend who has invited middle over this weekend to celebrate his birthday, punctuated with the postman returning the children s Christmas present to their father marked "unknown at this address" raising the inevitable question of well if he doesn't live where he says he lives where does he live, and then culminating in a bout of unadulterated grumps from youngest who is trying on the demeanor of teenage truculence and finding he likes it, I found myself sitting alone on the sofa, sighing enviously as the courageous owners battled their way through numerous years of mud,, frozen pipes, snow and seemingly insurmountable DIY tasks to recapture, using traditional techniques, the beauty of their tiny house and turn it back into the minuscule magical beauty it once was.
I think the thing that surprised me most was not my wistfulness at the rebuilding work , nor the final finished fairie cottage (although I love doing up houses and wish I had the energy still to tackle a project like that, I do not seem to have enough umph to clear up the kitchen let alone an entire building project these days!) no, what caught me off guard was to discover myself wishing that I had someone to share things with. Not necessarily a grand design but just life's little ups and downs . Perhaps someone to take a turn at handling kids questions and taxi services, someone to make me a cup of tea at the end of the day and tell me to relax put my feet up , even someone to turn off the lights check the doors are locked and turn on the washing machine before going to bed.
Whether this was brought on by an unhealthy surfeit of happy ever after movies on Christmas television giving me a bad case of emotional indigestion, or just simply having had a week dealing with various hiatus ranging from foxes killing youngest's pet goose, several hospital runs for anxious neighbours, and helping distressed friends talk through their dilemmas ending in my doing too much for everyone else and needing to take a pause once in a while to give myself time out, I do not know .
In truth I know I am happier being me even on a bad day than I have been for a long long time. but whatever it is , it only goes to prove that whoever said you can't miss what you never had did not know what they were talking about.