It’s a little after 7.30am on a Sunday, a time of day I don’t usually see on a weekend. I hop out of bed to let the dog out at 6am usually, and then return to my slumber and let Ralphie find his way back to the bedroom where he lies in with us. Not today.
Today he swipes me round the head with a black furry poor and catches my ear with a claw, a claw too long because we walk him more in fields than we do on pavements. And now I’m awake, so awake I’ve chosen not to roll over like my husband, call the dog “a knob” and go back to sleep.
Now I’m downstairs in the living room, sitting in the pool of light flooding in through the bay window, the day’s way of telling me “I’m here!”. The house I lived in a month ago was old and dark and it’s nice to be able to enjoy what’s starting as a sunny day from indoors.
What else have I noticed this morning? For one, that Ralphie has very white teeth considering what he eats – dog and horse poo included – although he doesn’t drink tea or coffee which maybe explains why he has a whiter set than I do. After jumping on me in excitement as I climbed out of bed I got a clear view of the inside of his mouth, his doggy smile. He’s now enjoying the day with me, perched on the single armchair looking out the bay window, watching the trees blow in the wind and on guard for cats, dog walkers or any sign of life which dares to pass our house. He’s not quite at ease, expectant. Waiting for some movement outside so he can leap at the windowsill, nudge the photo frames that show off wedding photos and commence his warning song which goes a bit like this: woof, bark, bark, woof, wag tail, bark some more.
I also notice that my lungs are not a fan of the morning air. I’m sleeping with the window open as the bedroom gets stuffy but my asthma-stricken self can’t cope with fresh air and pollen and I’ve woken up wheezy. While I love the summer my lungs sometimes don’t and a puff of my inhaler sorts me out. Hayfever’s hit me hard this summer and this past month has seen me pull out the inhaler and nose spray for the first time in several years.
And there we go, something’s moved outside and Ralphie’s barking, running between me and the window to tell me “Mummy, quick, something’s out there!” Only I’m not bothered like he is, not so protective of our boundary. He shuffles uneasily, woofing, until I tell him to stop and he resumes his position as watchdog on the sofa’s arm.
I can hear a garage door close so at least one of my neighbours is awake too, no surprise as many of them have young children. But I can’t hear children playing just yet, it’s eerily quiet out there apart from the wind lightly blowing through the trees, the leaves shimmying like a bellydancer’s hips.
Gah, I just caught sight of my hands working the keyboard. I painted my nails a bright yellow last night and made a really bad job, the varnish is all over the place and my finger tips shine like yellow beacons as I type this. Am I too old at 31 to get away with fluorescent nail varnish?
I rub my eyes. My eyes are always the last thing to wake up; my body’s up and about, my brain is functioning but my eyes are struggling to embrace the day in the same way. It happens on early morning weekday walkies. I pull myself out of bed and head out, body and head co-operating but eyes blurry and full of sleep. It’s like I need morning eye drops or something, to flash some clarity into them so they can enjoy the morning at the same pace as the rest of me, instead of lagging behind and catching up eventually.
The sky outside is blue but if yesterday is anything to go by it won’t stay blue for long. It’ll swap between blue and grey, dry and wet, light and dark, all day long and we’ll be grateful for the intermittent bursts of sunshine – especially if I get chance to weed the garden today. That’s another observation – the back lawn is littered with weeds, growing like they’re in a competition with the grass, the winner the first to touch the sky. The weeds are in the lead, stretching upwards and outwards, demanding more room, and the mower’s only going to hold them back a little. “Off with their heads” the Queen of Hearts would say but their heads aren’t the problem. It’s the roots, doing the damage from below, digging their claws into the earth and hanging onto existence – and nothing’s going to threaten that existence like some elbow grease on my part. Will I be able to muster it later today?
Oh, I’ve just spotted something else. My ability to type is hampered in the mornings. I’ve just reread this post so far and it’s like I’ve tripped and fell into a puddle of typos, splashing them all over my sentences and paragraphs. I’m not so sharp in the mornings, in fact, I’m not so sharp at all. There were defo less spelling and typos when I was in my 20s!
So, to summarise, there’s something nice about taking in a morning that no one else can see. It’s feels productive to be up at this hour on a Sunday and extending my weekend. They go so quick, Mondays roll around in no time and my Sunday’s been extended thanks to Ralphie’s playful swipe and my inability to roll over and ignore it this time. Typically though, Ralphie’s chosen to curl up at my feet and go back to sleep so I’ll have to enjoy the quiet on my own.