FOR some, collaboration proves fruitful and great films, comedies, songs and indeed novels, have been drafted in cahoots with another.

Indeed fabulously successful people as individuals have, for all sorts of reasons, teamed up with another to create, think Terry Pratchett and Jodi Picoult to name but two. But I love that feeling of just my story, myself and my, sometimes vivid, imagination.

That is not to say that I am not a sociable soul. One of my favourite things to do is to have a group of friends around my large and much-loved dining table. It was the first ‘proper’ grown up piece of furniture that I ever bought and to this day, probably the most expensive piece of furniture that I have ever bought. I fell in love with it in a shop in Nottingham and kept popping in to smooth my hand over the wood and sit on one of the chairs. It was such a happy purchase in spite of the, ‘Eek, crikey, that’s a lot of money to hand over,’ moment that flashed through my mind.

Fitting perhaps that my expensive purchase was a dining table as I love to cook, feed and entertain and so much joy, so many secrets, so much gossip, so many tears have all been shed and shared around that table in the last however many years. I stretch an open invite to friends to come visit and stay as long as they’d like; it fills me with delight to have a friend over for a cuppa and catch up; I love a garden brimming with people I care about sipping bubbles in the sunshine and have spent many (many) happy nights in amongst crowds in pubs, clubs and theatres over the years.

But there is a side of me that craves the quiet, needs the space, the solitude of sitting alone to write and to think, wholly engrossed in my made-up world, but equally, I like to be alone in a crowd on occasion. Recently I was busying about Penarth, running errands and following a hectic morning, took a moment to listen to my rumbling stomach and remembered I had missed breakfast. Being Hobbit-like in my habits, I hate to miss a meal and so ducked in to ‘Coffee No. 1’ for a de-caff cappuccino and sausage sandwich.

I sat munching, slurping and looking around. I made up back stories for the couple sat not talking; the mums with the dried fruit eating toddlers; the old man reading a newspaper and lifting a large mug of tea with a shaky hand; the bright young thing peering at a MacBook wearing a Bluetooth earpiece, likely too busy to even hold their phone much less pick up a coffee cup.

If I caught their eye, I smiled, because I think most of us want and sometimes need, that human connection, but I think we all need time and space to ponder and wonder too, at least, on occasion, I certainly do.