Sunday, 30 May 2010

In the early mornings, I belong to old men.  I leave the house at 6.30 (must remember to bring my insulated mug home), to walk to the station.  The first person I talk to, most days, is the elderly gentleman round the corner who's just taking his dachsunds for a walk.  They are beautiful dogs: miniature, long-haired.  The older one is black, with a delicate curl to her fur and limpid eyes which blend into her coat.  The younger, more excitable one is brown, with black tips.  She's inquisitive and bright, and always thinks she'd like to say hello to me.  After a sniff or two, she remembers I'm a stranger and barks.  Between the impulse and the memory, her owner and I share How Are Yous.

Then, two corners later, there's the singing alarm clock man.  I overtake him and his wife on the final stretch, these days, but they both Good Morning and smile.

Some days, there's an Asian lady, scurrying over the road with a mug of tea, chatting and giggling for a few moments.

Weekends are altogether different.  There's no imperative to get up, but the puppy sneaking onto the bed makes it unpleasant to stay there, and disruptive to fight him off.  So mostly I'm up by 8 at the latest.  Which does constitute a lie in, admittedly.

This morning, coffee and poached eggs and a snuggle on the sofa with my young son.  And here I am, be-dressing gowned, waiting for the bathroom and wondering what to do.  In fact, there's nothing *to* do.  Well, there's a quilt in the making, and a bit of work to finish, but neither of those are speaking to me at the moment.  I suspect I shall browse T K Maxx for a ball dress I don't need until next month, and go to Boots, to find the wherewithal to remove my moustache.  I harbour fantasies of weekends spent in shared endeavour; children and partner and I all wrapped up in mutual delights, and so I can't help feeling a sharp sense of anti-climax at the prospect of shallow, solipsistic mooching.  But the children are of an age where they don't want to be with their parents in public, and the partner doesn't mind sharing the bed with the dog. 

So in the early mornings, I belong to old men, and at weekends I belong to myself.  It's a strange discipline!

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