Mister E has gone skiing with the eldest; the youngest remains in London; even my mother has gone to stay with my sister. I am alone!
I suppose I ought really to be describing the vast swathes of loneliness and isolation that have swept over me but to be honest the experience is something of a novelty.
I have taken heed of warnings that in retirement one can feel so cut off that there is a temptation to greet the shopkeeper and postman as long lost friends. Today, day one of this experience, I collected the newspaper from the shop in the usual manner and, when the Postman knocked on the door to deliver a parcel, I was courteous but did not delay him with chatter.
It is a weird sensation to be living alone with the prospect of no living company unless I go out to seek it or give someone a call. In fact I can understand how many people may feel unable to retire if they live alone and fear being cut off from society by giving up the day job.
For me the compensation has been being able to go to the gym at a time to suit only me (and yes I found more people to interact with there); eating when I have wanted to and selecting food for my taste and fancy alone; most importantly seizing control of the TV remote and even learning how to operate the HD recorder which up until now has been the sole preserve of Mister E.
Mind in this age of digital technology I have already seen photos of dinner in the ski resort and been in touch with the absentees by the medium known as What's App. Sometimes there really is nowhere to escape.