Some years ago a friend explained to me the difference between loneliness and solitude. It occurred to me then that the two other languages I use for mental activity, Russian and Swedish, do not make the distinction. Talk about how language affects mentality.
I have never enjoyed being alone, but I have eventually learned to appreciate solitude. Staffan has gone to the old country, and I am going to make the most of it. Small things I just never get around to, not because he is against them, but simply because there are so many other things.
But first of all I must mow the lawn. This was Staffan's farewell message to me. And here is the first benefit of solitude: I can mow the lawn exactly as I wish. So I do it in neat boustophedon. (If you don't know what boustrophedon is, look it up, so that you at least will have learned something totally useless from my blog. I learned it at school, and it has obviously stuck, but it isn't a word that gives you scores at a cocktail party).
Then I tidy up the greenhouse. I probably won't have time for the greenhouse until spring, but this is the luxury of solitude: do something completely unnecessary. Then I realise that I have missed lunch by three hours. I am not sure whether it is a benefit or a disadvantage of solitude.