From the archive…
Evening… and it is cold outside. The prospect of a long wallow in a hot bath is irresistible… My daily ablutions are generally rapid and efficient rather than luxuriant, but the bathtub and the little scented luxuries gifted by a friend were calling my name.
Water, steamy and fragrant fills the tub, perfumes fill the house, creeping softly down the stairs…the dog takes up a defensive position on the landing with access to an escape route… just in case… I strip, the clothes go in the washing machine and it is switched on…
Half an hour… at least… of bliss with a book awaits….
Until the phone rings.
It is, I have to say, a bit of a pain being keyholder for an alarm system with a sense of humour…
Abandon bath, attempt to coax dog into living room… Not an easy task as she now suspiciously assumes the bath is for her… so is unwilling to come anywhere I ask her to be… Dress the unbathed body in clean clothes… and a ten mile round trip to sort the recalcitrant technology later I return to the now cold bath and hasty, minimal ablutions.
I decide, having a lot of driving to do this week, and a heck of a lot of writing to get through before I go, on an early night. With a book.
The bed is cosy and warm… I drift into sleep…
The phone rings…. And I drag my shivering carcass back to the car, clothing now minimal too, for another ten mile trip….It is freezing out there in the wee small hours. I return and do the housework to warm up.The dog is confused, thinking it must be time to get up. Realising it is not she locks her teeth firmly into the sleeve of the dressing gown I don to warm through. This is the cuddle ploy. If she holds the sleeve, I can’t go anywhere and she gets cuddles on demand.
I leave the phone downstairs.
In the pre-dawn quiet I still hear the damned thing ringing.
I was in the middle of the most beautiful dream too, meeting with a brother and sister of the soul I have yet to meet in the flesh.
I drag the protesting body out of bed… the clock says five thirty… the heating has died completely overnight… the house is freezing and my neck aches with clenching my teeth against the cold while it reboots. The damnable alarm can wait till I’ve had a coffee and explained my aberrations to the dog. The look she gives me says it all…
Once more into the cold darkness… this time I have given in. The dratted alarm is consigned to perdition. Control temporarily assigned to my younger son’s care.The car gets its tank filled and tyres checked, I brave the supermarket, not giving the slightest thought to the unruly wildness of the hair or the inevitable black circles. I do not care.
By 7.05 I am back at the computer in a warm house filled with the aroma of coffee, realising that somehow I now have a full day to actually write….
Which reminds me of a conversation I’d had a couple of days earlier with my son. We had been discussing photography and, as usual, the analogies of life had come to the fore. We had been speaking of contrast, and how you would not see a black cloud on a black sky… but you would see a white one, reflecting the moonlight.
We digressed to wonder about that… the blackness of night is used so often as a metaphor for the dark periods and bad things that happen… white and light are seen as good and even sacred… yet that white cloud in the moonlight might be carrying a snowstorm or a deluge…so which of the two is really the ‘goodie’ in that scenario? And how can we know… or predict the outcome?
It was, admittedly a dreadful night… yet somehow I found myself with all the time I needed and all jobs done. It just shows how the rotten side of life can lead to unexpected good, doesn’t it?