I can hear the clock ticking, the boiler firing into action as it heats the radiators and Harry turning the pages of his newspaper, but that is all.
Earlier this morning the house was a cacophony, heaving with all the family noises, shrieks of laughter, little squabbles and noisy games, breakfast sounds while eating in a rush. There were last minute checks .... passports, coach tickets and rummaging in the attic, as Sam and family got ready for their holiday. Debbie, our daughter, up early to say goodbye to them and Dean, her youngest son, managing to come down in time to join in with the farewells. Rick, the eleven year old, somehow managing to sleep through it all!
Now, they, too, have gone back to their own town, miles away and Harry & I are in complete silence!
Family reunions are a blessing which we enjoy, but how is it that when we are all together, the bustle of family life can seem too much? We are sometimes longing for peace, time, space and a quiet place to do a crossword puzzle or read a book without interruption.
Now, the silence does not seem perfect at all! It engulfs us in a threatening, lonely, even boring way.
Within a few days, Harry and I shall be quite used to it and by the end of the week, when the Japanese contingency arrives home from their holiday, it will be like a riot going on - a blast, shattering our peace!
Why does life have to be so extreme?