It’s been almost a year now since I moved into Blonde Towers, my own little slice of the Home Counties property market, the place I call home. And thus, it’s been almost a year since I’ve been living alone. In that time, being on my own has allowed the bad habits I’ve always been aware of have been allowed to breed and multiply. And, as I assumed was always the case, living on one's own affords a freedom to indulge in all kinds of behaviours that are impossible when one has flatmates…
The first is my tendency to peel off clothing as soon as I get inside at the end of a day. It starts with shoes kicked off in the hall; a jacket dumped on the table at the foot of the stairs; a top whipped off and thrown over the banister. By the time I’m in my room, I’m in my underwear, jeans in hand, ready to dive into an old school hoody or jogging bottoms (and it’s something I really should stop doing, given Mr No. 7’s fondness for sitting in the garden of an evening. Hmm).
There’s no one to judge my supper habits. Much as I adore cooking, there are times when one lives alone when one Just Can’t Be Fagged, and cheese on toast - again - really does suffice.
I can have a pet. And I can call him Colin. What of it?
I can leave shoes everywhere. Currently, there are eight pairs in the spare room, lined up neatly by the cleaner; six in the hall; four under the stairs (freebies from the client, waiting to go to friends and family); three under the kitchen table; and a pair of wellies by the back door (I don’t count the ones I’ve actually put away in the bottom of the wardrobe).
There are mugs scattered, equally liberally, around the house (it doesn’t fuss me at all, but it used to drive Curable Romantic up the wall).
The ban on all forms of reality television (apart from Come Dine, obv) remains intact. Ditto that on Twilight posters on the walls. Am I a snob? Yes. Do I care? No.
I’m not a terribly noisy person at home, but there are some instances that call for it. And now, I can rant as loudly as I like without waking anyone up when the Today programme insists on giving Ed Balls airtime. There’s no one for me to wake up when I crash in late on a Monday night, and drunkenly construct my favourite snack (potato waffles, cooked in the toaster, if anyone's keeping score). And I’m able to have sex as noisily as I like (which, sadly, is pretty much totally theoretical at the moment. But it’s a nice theory).
It doesn’t matter that I have a laissez-faire attitude to cleaning: I have a cleaner.
There’s no one to judge if I pull something deeply indulgent off the wine rack and pour myself a decadently large glass, simply because it’s Tuesday.
And, when I’m running late to leave the house (best I don’t admit to just how often that is) and it’s nearing the, I’ve been known to drink juice straight from the carton. Not big, not clever, not pleasant. But also: not anyone else’s problem.
And yes - I could move someone else in, and have them cover the mortgage. But somehow, all things considered, that doesn’t seem a price worth paying.