After our holiday I needed a break, so as soon as we arrived back home I booked both kids in for an impromptu day at pre-school. This was Dolly's first time going for a full day (and my first day on my own for several years), and so when I dropped them off, I was apprehensive; but by the time I had reached my car, having left them stabbing some play dough with scissors, I was over it.
I sat at the wheel, engine revving, MY music playing, and my mind racing. Desperate not to lose a single minute, I frantically went through all the exciting things I could do for the next six hours - it felt like the sky was my limit. Some time later, realisiung that I was still sitting in the pre-school car park, I aimlessly drove away.
I ended up at Sainsburys, half an hour away. I glided into the parking space, turned the engine off and sat in my own thoughts, for about twenty minutes. I then simply got out of the car, locked it, and effortlessly walked to the shop entrance, with my tiny bag over my shoulder, my arms swinging freely by my sides, and the Postman Pat ride not even getting a sideways glance.
Once inside, I slowly ambled up and down the aisles, with the trolley so light and undemanding, it practically pushed itself. I saw things on the shelves I had never noticed before - lovely grown-up treaty things, all of which seemed to jump onto the conveyor belt at the till, and I casually browsed through a magazine while I waited my turn to pay.
I got back to my car, and with just one door to open, in I got, as quickly and as easy as that, and popped my little bag of shopping next to me on the passenger seat. I sat for another twenty minutes in silence, just because I could, and then drove away calmly.
This time I ended up back at home. I wandered freely round the house for a bit, and then I had chocolate for lunch. It was all very liberating. I wrote a few tweets, sent a few emails, and then sat on the sofa and read a magazine. Then I did a bit of hoovering.