There are people I know who love being alone.
In fact, I think I used to be one of them.
But far from wanting more solitude as I grow older, I find that I cannot abide being alone.
And, right now, that's how I am.
Charlotte and her mother have gone off to the Canaries for the week.
Seven women of whom Charlotte is the youngest and Connie the second youngest!
The child wasn't well last week. "Creche-itis" the doctor said.
She picked up a bug and developed a cough and the result was that everything that went down came back up for a few days.
To top it all, the flight to the Canaries was at 8 am so the check in was at 6 am and the wake-up call was at 4.30 am. Try explaining that to a 23 month old.
We, the grown-ups, were hoping for four-and-a-half hours sleep.
Charlotte didn't agree.
And so she roared from midnight until after two.
Then she had the nerve not to be pleased when we woke her at 5 am and brought her, in her jim-jams to a crowded airport.
Anyway, off they went.
I went to the match.
And now, I'm at home, fed up.
Yes, I can lie on in the morning, not having a pretty little alarm clock that goes off any time between 6 am and 8 am and demands to get into the bed beside us.
No, I don't have to listen to Iggle Piggle all day.
No, I don't have to read the same bit of the same book 47 times in a row.
No, I don't have to change dirty nappies.
No, I don't have to dream up ways of entertaining an almost two-year-old.
But I wish I had to.
The house is completely empty without them.
Going out isn't the answer. Because it involves coming back in when there's nobody there.
How hard is life for people who have nobody? How cruel are we all for not doing anything for the lonely.
Because lonliness is as bad as any disease and worse than most.
And the thing is, it can be cured easily in just a few minutes with just a few words and, mainly, a bit of listening.
At least I have mutty, Eric the dog.
He misses them too. He's a bit mopey. But he still enjoys going for a walk and making me use the Pooper Scooper.
For me, though, going to bed is the worst.
No little angel to look in on before going to sleep.
No little cries in the middle of the night.
No pure joy in the morning when she wakes up.
Can't wait for them to come home.
I'm counting the days.
Tell the truth.
OK. I'm counting the minutes.