HUSBAND-AL has gone away.

Miles away. Thousands of miles away. I’m pleased for him.

It’ll be lovely for him. It was my suggestion he should go.

And, he’s not on his own. He’s in Portugal with his Ma and Pa. It’s nice for him. So why am I feeling so sad?

Ma and Pa love Portugal, and always have a break there at this time of year.

They know all the restaurants and all the restaurateurs know them by name.

They have their special tables kept, their favourite drinks remembered and are showered with alcoholic treats at the end of their meals.

I know this because I have been there with them and seen this wonderful place they have discovered.

And, no, sorry, I am not naming this little hidden gem.

I will just say it is a little fishing village in the Algarve, in a sheltered cove where you share the sandy beach with the little fishing boats, and buy the fish from them that you then take to the local restaurant to have cooked for you. Bliss.

No, I’m not jealous at all.

I’m all alone in the cold. Warming my car every morning – Husband-Al usually does it for me – making my own cup of tea in the morning – Husband-Al again – and sleeping on our new, ridiculously hard, mattress on my own. Mmmm.

I even packed for Husband-Al, well, so would you if you ever saw him pack a bag.

As an actor he has been on countless tours and I’ve watched him get his things together. He literally grabs his socks, pants, a few old T-shirts, a couple of crumpled shirts, drags a jumper out of the back of the wardrobe and slings them all in a holdall.

“Packed” he declares, and that’s that.

Now, that’s fine when he’s off on tour, as I know the other actors will all be looking like scarecrows as well. But, that is not a good look when he’s there as “son-of” Ma and Pa. His Ma won’t be able to stop herself ironing his shirts, or, they’ll just eat in the apartment all the time to avoid the embarrassment of Husband-Al being given a few Euros by some kindly passers-by.

But, me pontificating over what Husband-Al is, and isn’t, taking, does not go down well.

I carefully iron – yes I iron – T-shirts, casual shirts, nicer shirt, jeans and I even run the iron over his jumper! One thin and one thick in case it’s cold.

Husband-Al has never travelled with a case before – it’s always been a rucksack, but I’ve talked him into taking a little cabin case so he can take all his DVDs and books.

He was happy with that, and I was happy that his clothes will look less like Wurzel Gummidge’s wardrobe when he gets there.

Now, what jacket should he take?

His waterproof would be good and light but maybe not warm enough if it’s windy.

He should take his puffa jacket as well, and a nice jacket for the evenings. Uh oh! I’ve pushed it too far. He’s had enough.

I fully expect him to empty the carefully packed case on the bed, shove three Tshirts in his rucksack and say that’ll do. So I shut up, and he doesn’t.

As he leaves I tuck just one extra jumper in the bag – just in case – and slip in a ‘Missing you already’ card. I always do when he goes away.

I know I’ll miss him but it makes me realise how much he is part of me, and, even though I drive him crazy, I know he feels the same.

But this trip isn’t about me or him. It isn’t about his clothes.

Whether he’s hot or cold. It’s about him making lovely memories with his Ma and Pa. Memories of happy times that they’ll look back on and laugh and remember forever.

And, I’m smiling now, because I know that by the time you are reading this – I’ll have my Husband-Al back. Mmmmm.