For seven-eighths of the year, I live on my own (well I suppose not exactly alone if you include the cat and the dog). I have a set routine, getting up at 7am on weekdays to walk the dog in the park before the mothers and their small children arrive (Snoopy likes to chase squirrels which is not always a good idea when young children are around). At weekends I treat myself to a lie-in until the giddy time of 9 am. I always ring my mother every morning to see how she is and give her some quality time, then I do my various house projects, tackling a room or tidying the garden, or spend some time in the study reading blogs, doing household accounts, opening post. I watch a bit of television in the evenings. I'm usually in bed by about 11 pm and either read a novel for a while or do the cryptic crossword.
When Kay is home from uni for the remaining eighth of the year, my routine sails completely out of the window. Like her father and unlike me, she comes alive at night and is more like a dormouse in the morning. Consequently at 10 pm, when I am flagging and looking forward to crashing out in my bed, she wants to stay up and watch a DVD with me there beside her. There is no way I can jump out of bed the next morning at 7am, so Snoopy's walks are all over the place, which in turn confuses him. Kay will on a whim fancy a trip into the nearest shopping centre and I will offer to run her in or collect her in the car. I have also noticed that this summer she is getting together much more with her old school friends, so I am never certain whether she will be home for lunch or supper on any given day. As I buy the food in for a week at a time, I buy two of everything but may end up only using one. She also has a part-time waitressing job (with unsociable hours) and is taking driving lessons. I look forward to her being home with me for the company, but lately I feel as if I am spinning in a revolving door as she whizzes in and out past me.