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So it’s been a week since I put the Philosophe on a plane that took him far far away. It’s funny how easily you forget to be alone – in fact I remember I used to take some pride in how good I was at being alone. I was adamantly not lonely – just alone, proud and strong. But that was because I had to be, and I’m generally quite good at buckling down and dealing with what needs to be done.

Which is also why the week has mostly been fine, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to be reminded that time marches on, even when days feel impossibly long.

I am not good at being alone anymore, because I know how much better life is when I’m not. But I’m also glad to be reminded of that (I’ll be even happier next week when  it’s over), and I’ve caught myself doing a few weird and wonderful things in between. One day I ironed for two hours.

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That was strangely soothing, and pleasantly wifely.

I also discovered how to hypnotize Mogwai. I lit a candle and poof! She fell asleep:

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I now keep as many candles on as possible to distract her from her infuriatingly perpetual greediness (I timed my last bowl of popcorn to coincide with her dinner, but she still came and scoffed half the bowl).

The other day I made coq au vin – or should I call it chicken in wine, for it was no old rooster, just a plain packet of chicken from Pick ‘n Pay. But I browned that chicken in duck fat and for a few blissful moments the kitchen teased me with the smells of duck confit. Unexpected things intervened so I haven’t yet had the pleasure of eating it, but it awaits in the freezer for a cold day (today is one, but another unexpected invitation has intervened).

Last night a well-known chef in this city gave me a secret recipe for “perfect” brownies which I will have to humour one of these days. I’ll need my calculator again – the recipe calls for 16 eggs!

I also have a rack of smoked pork ribs in the fridge. They whispered to me in my sleep that they want to meet the jar of sauerkraut that the Sailor neglected to eat while he was here, so Mogwai and I are thinking of spicing things up by borrowing some of Elise Bauer’s ideas about ribs and sauerkraut.

Ours will of course be so delicious that the Philosophe’s absence might become even more acute. But to paraphrase a sage tweet I sent out the other day, absence makes the heart grow fatter.

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