"I'll go down to the supermarket again," I offered at 8am on Sunday morning, and The Doctor accepted in slight surprise. My going to do a huge weekly shop first thing on Sunday morning seems to have become part of our routine recently, and I think he is wondering why exactly I am so keen.
First of all, there is no question of me going food shopping with the Littleboys during the week any more unless it is an absolute emergency. We have had, shall we say, incidents. The puddle of wee on the floor in Whole Foods. The eating of food on display. The chasing of small boys around the aisles, terrified that they will knock over displays of fruit and vegetables. The culmination was Littleboy 2's catatonic tantrum in the checkout of Stop N Shop (or Shop 'N' Strop as I now think of it). He was in front of me, prostrate on the floor and wailing, blocking the trolley so I was powerless either to get to him, or check out my stuff, and had to watch as supermarket staff tried unsuccessfully to coax him away. All because he didn't get to put something on the conveyor belt.
So one of us now has to go alone, and although The Doctor has offered on occasion, I prefer it to be me.
Why? It's not just the fact that I now know the layout of our vast local hypermarket, and I've got it down to forty five minutes to go round it instead of an hour and a half. That I have now found the elusive aisle that sells Heinz Baked Beans, have discovered a cereal that looks remarkably like Shreddies (Cascadian Farm multi-grain squares, if you're curious), and have identified which of the thousand different types of Tropicana (added vitamins, added calcium, no pulp, some pulp, lots of pulp, slight-suggestion-of -pulp- but- not-too-much) to put in the trolley.
It's not just that it's blissfully airconditioned in there (although that is definitely a plus), that they play soothing music, that it sells pretty much everything under the sun, so I can browse anything from toiletries, makeup, books and DVDs to picnic baskets, snorkels and coathangers.
And it's not just that coming out of this supermarket into the enormous carpark, there is the most beautiful view of the harbour, dotted with yachts, that can lift the spirits on even the most dank of days. You can also smell the sea. A little different from the view on exiting Waitrose on Balham High Street, it has to be be said.
No, the true reason I like doing the Sunday shop is that it is the only daylight hour of the entire week that I am completely alone. With no one to tug at my sleeve, ask for another cup of juice, want me to help with a jigsaw, fix their Lego tower. No-one to whinge that they're hot, tired, need the loo or have fallen over for the millionth time that day.
So my little trip to the supermarket on a Sunday morning is, at the moment, pure child-free heaven.
I think I need some time off.