I hang up, reluctantly, after another long conversation with my absent lover, and feel around on the bed for my glasses.
Odd. I thought I had put them down on the pillow beside me.
I scrabble around pointlessly on the bedside table, then the computer desk, narrowly avoiding a calamity involving a large glass of tonic water and some vital electronic equipment, not reputed for its fondness for fizzy drinks.
I slide off the bed and try the bookcase, the fireplace, the chest of drawers.
Patience is not a virtue I possess in large quantities, so I begin cursing under my breath, not exactly seeing the funny side of the ridiculous catch 22 situation in which I find myself: need glasses, in order to find glasses.
I feel something yield under my bare foot.
First rule of living alone: if you have soft-focus eyes, never place your dark brown Gucci glasses on a dark brown hardwood floor.
Tadpole and I bundle ourselves into the lift. We are late. Again. She is carrying her Miffy bag, which accompanies her to the childminder’s every day, and I am carrying a weekend bag, a handbag and two bags of rubbish. It’s a tight squeeze in our minute lift, and I can’t even see Tadplole, as she is below the bag horizon.
“Mind your fingers!” I caution, as the lift doors strain closed around our luggage.
I empty the recycling rubbish into the yellow bin, wondering who will have the job of separating papers from cans and plastic. I suspect no-one does. I have a rather pessimistic theory that all the rubbish all gets taken to the same place, and that the yellow bin is just there to lull us into feeling like we have done our environmental duty. The bin in question is almost empty, and comes up to my chest.
Rubbish bag duly emptied, I grope for keys in my handbag.
I try the front pocket.
A long, thin icicle slides down my spine as I realise that no-one in Paris has a spare set of keys to my flat, the letter box or the pushchair room. Taking a deep breath, I mentally retrace my steps and can almost feel the cold keyring dangling loosely from my index finger, just seconds before I started to empty the rubbish into the bin. I peer downwards, gloomily, looking for a glint of metal and the hair bobble attached to the keyring.
“What has mummy done now?” I wail at Tadpole, who looks rather puzzled as the top half of mummy disappears into a stinking dustbin.
Arms flailing, I stir the junk mail and packaging around a bit, straining to hear the muffled jangle of keys. My hair is falling unhelpfully across my eyes and my glasses have slid to the very end of my nose, where they threaten to fall off – a fact not unrelated to the earlier incident which saw them bent rather out of shape.
I withdraw my head for a moment, surfacing for air, only to see the sun glinting off something metallic in Tadpole’s tiny palm.
I have no recollection whatsoever of giving them to her. Sometimes I fear for my sanity.
Second rule of living alone: give spare set of keys to nearby friend (Mr Frog) to avoid repeated coronary incidents.