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Two days ago, on a work trip, I forgot the key to my bedroom hundreds of kilometres and too long a bus ride away. I was able to retrieve it today (thank God!), but it’s been a nightmare. Friends had all sorts of advice, from pragmatic to downright hilarious: hit the couch; find the difference between the rock and the hard place, the results are the same; to the idea that I must have enjoyed sharing someone’s bed in my predicament. Ha ha, I wish! Were that to be the case I would have had absolutely no complaints.

Well, here’s how to survive being a prisoner in your own house (which is what I was), without ending up in a psyche ward for a day or two. 

1) Have more clothes than can fit in your wardrobe. That way, you’ll have an extra suitcase-full stashed away somewhere other than in your bedroom. This will be your back-up wardrobe.

2) Have a non-empty laundry basket. This will act as back-up number 2, and even provide you with items of cloth that don’t smell of mildew. (A likely risk of No. 1 above). Back-up 2 is of course only useful after you’ve done your laundry. OTW all you have is a basketful of non-wearables.

3) Have comfortable sofas. Then you may not miss your bed as much.

4) Be lucky enough (as I was) to have very thick, big woolen sweaters in your back-up wardrobe (the suitcase). These will ward off the cold. Unless you’re luckier than I was and have blankets lying around in the living room.

4) It would help a mighty bunch if your boyfriend (or girlfriend) was available on this particular night, to provide some much needed comfort. Or better still some company. Now that would be a cherry on the cake. If you’re to call the whole debacle a cake.

5) Order some fast food. Or your comfort food of choice.

6) God. He’ll see you through the most frustrating, loneliest, coldest times.

7) Always, ALWAYS, have your spare key handy. That will save you so many migraines.