I had to make my own cup of tea first thing this morning... OK, so it wasn’t actually first thing. Usually, the husband brings me a cup of tea before I am fully conscious, because he’s the early riser in our house, and I’m the night owl, so he gets a couple of hours of peace and quiet first thing in the morning and I get a couple last thing at night. We also work in different rooms, but, other than that, we share the same spaces; we move in each other’s orbits all day, every day.
Except, this week, the husband is doing a tour of schools to promote Dragon Frontier for Puffin, so, this week, not only is the husband out for five long days, he’s also away for two long nights, and that means I have to make my own cups of tea on those mornings. It’s weird.
Of course, most of you who have a live-in partner, whether you’re married to him (or her), or not, would balk at the idea of living and working with him, at being in the same environment, at making two cups of tea whenever the kettle goes on, at sharing every meal, at having intimate knowledge of each other’s projects, working practices, foibles. Most of you would think it very odd, and, perhaps it is.
I do not know whether we have achieved a greater intimacy because of this strange connection or whether our private life is somehow compromised because of it. I do not know whether it is healthy. I do not know whether those who know us, who see us together or who monitor the work we collaborate on have an opinion on any of this, but if they do, they’re wise enough not to offer it.
I do know that life is still full of surprises, professional and personal, and I know that things grow and change between us. I know what I have known for a very long time: I know that, for whatever strange reasons, this works for us.
This week will be strange, but I will work, and I will eat and sleep, although probably not terribly well. I will have supper with family, and I will do the things I need to do. The differences will be small. I will make my own cup of tea in the morning, and when I put the kettle on it will be for one cuppa instead of two, and I will eat most of my meals alone. I won’t pine, though, and I won’t be on the phone to the husband every five minutes. I won’t weep into my solitary cups of tea. I will simply go about my business, and hope that he goes about his, and has a happy productive week.
On the other hand, I am rather looking for to next week and a return to normality and my regular early morning cuppa. Did I mention that I make dreadful tea?