A moment that changed me: becoming single at 62 | Michele Hanson

For years, terror of spinsterhood had kept me mouldering along in disharmony with a man who upset my family and repelled my friends. But now I have a gang

On 1 April, 11 years ago, I looked into my spare room to check that it really was empty. Yes, it was. My partner of 12 years had finally gone, and taken all his belongings with him: the floor-to-ceiling shelves and everything on them; the squillion books; papers; monster collection of photos and other bits and scraps – twigs, stones, “arrangements” and assorted waste material. Not a trace of him was left. The vacuum cleaner stood all by itself in the middle of the room. I was single again, at 62.

Related: A moment that changed me: opening a letter I wrote myself in 1994 | John Wilson

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