Six a.m. Small dog stands by my feet at the open door assessing the situation, her head on one side. You can feel the wheels of reason turning as she looks up and meets my eyes before reversing carefully away from the door and retreating stubbornly under the table, presumably with her legs crossed. I can almost hear the internal dialogue as her head drops between her paws and it sounds none too polite. No, I wouldn’t fancy going out there either, I have to say. The wind is howling, the rain driving hard and even though it is approaching dawn the sky is still lightless. Unfortunately, as she is going to be alone for the next few hours without recourse to the open door, she is not going to have much choice. She has half an hour left in which to screw up her courage or else it is going to be a long morning for her.
Outside the branches of the shrubs in the garden wave like mad tentacles across the growing screen of morning. It is not a tempting prospect and I am tired. A succession of sleepless nights is now taking its toll and not even trying to watch a film sent me to sleep… and that normally works, particularly if it is something I really want to watch. So convinced was I that it would work that I played an old favourite, expecting to be curled up with the dog snoring within half an hour. I’m not saying to which of us that refers. No, she enjoyed the snuggle, and so did I… but I stayed awake yet again.
The noise from the wind sounds like a train in the garden. The fence is flapping and needs some major repair work that I really can’t afford but something will have to be done with it. I don’t fancy the job, but the small dog’s avowed intent of catching next door’s cat will make it a necessity.
Turning to email for the time being, before starting the morning at my son’s, I find the browser has died. All my settings are lost and the download speed here is appalling… slower than dial up. I can almost hear a number of my friends nodding wisely and saying, Mercury Retrograde. There is a process of mental growling. While I am happily convinced that the planetary bodies do indeed influence conditions in ways greater than we may realise… even science admits the relationship between moon and tides after all… simply shrugging and blaming the stars solves nothing and smacks of an abrogation of responsibility. Whatever the outside influences, my here and now is up to me.
I begin the tortuous process of trying to reinstate the browser, thankful I have everything saved and synchronised… if I can get the thing to download. Meanwhile time is ticking away and I have to leave shortly. The dog is still refusing point blank to go outside and the window of the car hadn’t shut properly last night… the motor is dodgy and in the dark you can’t always tell. You can this morning though and I mop up the water on the seat as best I can and set off with a soggy behind.
The drive to my son’s is accomplished in spite of roadworks, cones and early morning mayhem; in spite of small braches and drifts of leaves on the roads and schoolchildren on bikes who pay no heed to the lines of traffic.
Mr Motivated is already working out and blaring Hardcore music from the speakers… I am fairly sure this constitutes cruelty to hobbits…
I manage, in the hope it will heal itself back together, to reassemble the knuckle I slice off preparing his food for the day, with a few strips of judiciously applied sticking plaster, then clean up the bloody mess and start again. It is amazing how much you use that right thumb.
Back at the computer a couple of hours later the thing is still attempting to re-download the browser on a connection so archaic it barely deserves to be called broadband. Even a simple Word document, it informs me, will take 30 minutes to download from email on the other, unstable browser I am now obliged to use.
Eventually I sort the whole thing out… apart from all the lost passwords, bookmarks and favourites that refuse to load in spite of the synch set up for just this eventuality… and in spite of every page taking minutes to get up and running… The internet connection crawling… you couldn’t call it running… slower than a geriatric sloth heading uphill.
Mercury retograde? No, there is a much simpler explanation.
It is Monday morning.