I was away from the tartlets for a week, the first time in ten years, and at the start I kept searching for them: "Where are they? Oh yes, I forgot, 5000 miles away, in the Middle East, with their father..."
My parents in Ireland said, "Stay with us! You'll be lonely in that old farmhouse by yourself..." But I wasn't lonely, not a bit. The silence was seductive. The first proper silence since Maud was born. No children's voices calling "Mummy Mummy." No air conditioning - it makes such a racket. No television, or wireless. I love the silence. I could get used to it.
I didn't realise I was missing the children until the descent into Bahrain. I thought I wasn't thinking about them. Then I pictured them standing with Nick in Arrivals and I suddenly burst into tears. Because I was going to see them again - noisy, attention seeking, opinionated little beasts that they are.
The man sitting beside me gave me his hanky. He thought I was crying because my holiday was over. He was right. I was crying because my holiday was over. But they were tears of joy.