Perhaps as a symptom of being born last in a noisy family whose natural order seems to be shouting, my son has taken to saying: ‘ I just want peace of quiet.’
I haven’t corrected him because a) I seriously get where he’s coming from and b) it sort of makes sense.
I want a piece of quiet too. This weekend my husband has taken the three children away so that I can have some writing time. The fact that I requested this as a birthday present – (how could he refuse?) - over and above the handbag, boots and ring I’d had my eye on probably speaks volumes about my state of mind. And it’s got me thinking about guilty pleasures.
As I sit surrounded by mugs at my laptop, in a house that is freakily quiet, I realise solitude is my number one guilty pleasure. A couple of years ago my husband took the kids down to Cornwall for four days so I could write (same book, still not finished but that’s another – yawn – story).
I wrote ferociously with barely a break, rising at six and finishing at eleven and after a couple of days I remember having the strongest connection with myself, almost like ‘oh, so that’s what you think and feel. Weird.’
It was a bit like bumping into my teenage self unexpectedly. Oh yeah, I remember you, the self-obssessed thinker, the person whose buzzwords were ‘ME ME ME.’
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to have the new generation of ‘ME ME MEs’ in my life and, generally speaking, I’d much rather do a trolley dash round the supermarket than peer into my own soul.
But, just once in a while, peace and quiet, proper space for contemplation, my God there’s nothing like it.
My husband’s last words, as he shoehorned three squabbling children into the car, were: ‘wish I was you.’