For the 24 years I've known Peter he's travelled with work. Whether it's been a night or two in the UK or a week somewhere in Europe he was away almost every week.
His job then took us to South Africa, where he'd be away a couple of weeks at a time, back to Europe, in Africa or just in Cape Town, his travels never stopped.
Then we moved to Dubai and he'd be off to Saudi and Pakistan, Europe and back into Africa. His travels became more frequent and for longer periods of time.
While he was away I'd be looking after the kids, the house and going to work, however when he was in South Africa I would spend a lot of time on my own, 1000s of miles from family and often completely on my own, no family near by if I was ill, had car troubles or just needed a hand, but thankfully I had an excellent network of friends around me.
In Dubai I was working for a while, no kids, but I found it difficult to plan things as the travel now became 'I have to go away tomorrow for a week'. As time went on I started to spend a lot of time in the UK without Peter in our flat, but with family and friends near by to spend time with.
Then covid hit and we were apart from almost 2 years, with me travelling to Dubai when permitted and Peter and I decided he would take retirement 2 years earlier than originally planned, arriving back in the UK, 2 years ago this month.
Since then it is rare I get any time on my own, I'm back working, we're busy with jobs around the house and garden and of course time with our grandchildren and doing as much travelling together as we can.
Peter is away this week staying with a friend in Turkey. It's the first time he's gone away since I've known him and I haven't registered a single complaint, in fact I've actively encouraged him to go so I can just spend some time on my own, in the home without any responsibility.
We've got 2 TVs, 2 lounges and fab outdoor space, I have my own craft room and Peter has a music room. We can spend all day on a weekend in our own space, but there's something different about being home alone that I'm enjoying and realised I've missed, although at the time I never realised I'd miss being home on my own.
Eating when I want, not having to think about planning meals or knowing what I want to eat for dinner before I go to work to allow Peter to shop and prepare it.
I can put my bag down in the kitchen and it won't be in anyones way. I can call in somewhere on the way home from work and not worry about Peter having been stuck at home all day as I've had the car, or having to call home first to pick him up.
I can have a bath at 4pm without worrying about turning the heater back on. I can sit with the doors open and not have anyone complain about the flies coming in. I can walk the dog when I'm ready without negotiating what time we go out with dinner etc.
I've treated myself to 2 visits to the theatre and 1 to the cinema. I've gone to bed early and read my book and fallen asleep and I don't have the TV on to keep me awake.
It's only been 4 days since Peter went away and I've had enough of my alone time. I just need a day here and there, not a week. I think I need to encourage him to get back out on the golf course.