Sitting here at the computer – writing, retouching photographs, emailing, or whatever – I have my constant companions curled up on the couch beside me, and consider myself really lucky to have their company.
During the day, Bo and Cher – both around six years old – never leave my side (although I do draw the line when it comes to the bathroom). Since starting to work at home earlier this year, we’ve fallen into a new routine. Walks that used to happen at about six in the morning, now usually happen around lunchtime on cooler days. This gives me a chance to go to the gym after dropping Meg at the station, at least a couple of times each week, and is a nice way to break a day of solitary pursuits.
Being naturally gregarious, I found working at home really hard to start with. When it happened, it wasn’t from choice, but was necessary none the less. Now I find I am better able to cope with silence during the day – often not even having music playing while I work. I love the company of others, and I miss the badinage and camaraderie of working in an office, but sometimes that comes at a price that you just can’t keep paying.
These days, I’m happier, healthier, far less emotional, and I sleep better. My friends tell me that my colour has returned (not even I realised I had lost it) – my voice, which deserted me once for eight months – is strong and healthy, and I am very relaxed. Best of all, I am doing what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: writing and taking photographs. And I get to work with my dogs at my feet (almost)!