So what did you do on St. David’s Day?
We had a fun-filled, action-packed day. I woke full of enthusiasm for the day ahead. Actually, that’s not true – I never feel like that in the mornings. I’m not a morning person. Annoyingly, Barry is. He’s very chipper from the moment he wakes and still, after four decades, attempts to engage me in conversation first thing. Two of the daughters are larks like him. Gillian is ready to talk as soon as she gets out of bed. Susannah gets up ridiculously early – half-way through the night, really – and is busy and bright all day until she’s exhausted and ready for bed by
six o’clock eight o’clock nine o’clock. The
son and the other daughter are more like me. Gareth’s approachable but quiet.
Bethan has warning signs all over her. She’s polite but don’t push your luck.
As for me I’ve learnt that if I chatter and smile too early in the day I’ll end up in a bad mood. I’m an owl. That’s to say, I used to be an owl, able and happy to stay up half the night. Things changed when the babies came along. What a silly expression that is – ‘when the babies came along.’ It sounds as though they had free will in the matter and trotted into my life as and when the mood took them. What’s that? Gooseberry bushes and storks? Really? You believe all that? Tsk!
These days I’m more of a half-past-two-in-the-afternoon sort of person. I build up to that pinnacle which lasts about an hour and then experience a rapid decline. Then I sleep. At least, I try to sleep. I’m a light sleeper and the smallest sound wakes me. My theory is that I’m alert all night because of the training I received at the hands of the crying babies who became comfort-seeking infants and then trying teenagers. Some days one teenager would be getting up in the morning as another came through the door to go to bed. Barry slept through all of that. I don’t mean he was Rip Van Winkle, just that as a young officer he acquired the knack of sleeping through anything. Army training, eh? Bit worrying, though - if these army types can ignore disturbances how do they know when it would be advisable to wake up and do something? Does part of the brain listen out for stealthy footsteps or differentiate between the insistent cry of a toddler and the approach of a rioting crowd?
Anyway, last night the dogs were restless. Bertie’s tummy was gurgling and whistling and the last time that happened, a couple of weeks ago, he made a hasty and unsuccessful attempt to vacate the house. Instead he vacated himself on the stairs, poor boy, at two thirty in the morning. So, while I was cleaning and disinfecting the stairs Barry and the other animals – no, let me rephrase that, the rest of the animals and Barry - snored through it. That night I didn’t get back to sleep until dawn.
As it turned out Bertie was fine. Frodo was bumbling round and somehow got tangled up in the chair that serves as my bedside table (!! that’s another story!!) and knocked it over. Barry snored!
It was foggy in the morning but gradually the sun burnt through and it was a lovely day, perfect for a bracing walk with the dogs. I intended to go in the gym and also have a swim. At one o’clock the washing machine and tumble dryer switched on. At the same time the pond pumps came on. A couple of minutes later the internet went down and half the electricity in the house cut out. That’s when we discovered the meaning behind ‘emergency cover’ and that our insurance didn’t cover us because we still had some electricity. We also discovered that the main switch for the electricity was locked on and we could no longer shut off the power.
The electrician who came admitted that he came into the house full of optimism that a solution to the problem would soon be found. An hour later he was less hopeful. Two hours on he was wishing he was a plumber! He checked all the sockets in the house – oh, the shame of it! If I’d known every nook and cranny was going to be investigated I’d have vacuumed every corner and washed all the paintwork and put away all the piles of (Barry’s) stuff.
Eventually, Dave-the-Electrician located the problem in a forgotten and unused socket in the dining room. Sawing noises ensued as the floor was opened to reveal sixty-year-old wiring that had seen better days. By the time he left, around six o’clock, the dogs were tired from the unusual activity and we called it a day and had supper early.
It was an interesting start to the month. In the summer we’ll have the wiring replaced in the old part of the house. That will be fun!