Well, the better news is I started the gardening today (I had to stop for other business) and I actually enjoyed it! It's a pretty big garden, unlike most on this estate, and the last owners planted loads of bushes that are impossible to keep up with. The biggest was cut down, but the trunk produces shoots that still need cutting every month, and the rest just spread everywhere given a chance.
I also started the long process of turning the junk room back into a bedroom. People insist on seeing me as a charity case and give me stuff that should have gone to a charity shop. Some could be used one day, so I keep it, and it just piles up more crap that I rarely use. So I've made a start now and will hopefully carry on till it's done, and the same with the garden.
Otherwise, it's one of those times when though there are no problems and freedom, there's also a space with little to fill it. Living alone allows all the faults in life to come into perfect focus and stand out as soon as things get a bit too quiet and display themselves. The main concern is at this relatively early stage in life this situation could remain permanent. Technically there's nothing to stop it, I'm not going to join a commune or an institution, marry a Filipino, or any other of the desperate measures middle aged men take when they find themselves in a similar position. But the alternative is just to carry on doing what I am, as having tried already to check, the alternatives are no better and usually worse. It's a permanent change I need, not a temporary distraction where I return to the identical situation once it's over.
The comment box is particularly useful here as I'd be interested to know if this is a problem faced or solved by others. I've said before I'm pretty practical, and believe me, the combined brains of the North London intelligentsia have been stumped by this one, and we believe there's no answer. Am I right?