One of the consequences of returning to work is that I never have the house to myself. It is no longer mine to roam around unhindered, moving from my desk to the sink, trailing and trialing my thoughts uninterrupted.

I have taken to getting up early. Earlier and earlier every day, greedy for every moment that I can spend alone. Knowing how deeply I love to sleep will give you some idea of just how much I value silence and solitude.

I sit at my desk, pen in hand, computer screen dimmed. I barely dare to write so fragile is the silence, so scared am I to lose it, so badly do I want the time to stop.

Even though I’m already awake, the sound of the first alarm still ruins my day.