Sunday began as usual with black coffee and poached eggs on toast. Island eggs from tartan hens and sold from a roadside box. Then I drive the switchback into town (too big a word for it) to meet visiting friends for coffee and a load of chuckles. En route, I meet nobody, but my return loop-the-loop is halted many times by oncoming tourists with big smiles, because it isn’t raining and the air is soft #almost sunkissed, and because neither of us fancy falling into that pothole to our left. It’s a sort of nervous smile to be honest, on their part, that morphs into a new moon of relief when neither of us do. Home again and a short while till we need to leave for a lunch date with old mates, in a high hill house overlooking a bay – a wide curve of glitterwhite sand, that tongues out into the Great Atlantic. She is in good humour today. Little laps of salty clear flop onto the beach, no loud crashing, and as pin people wander, dogs bound after balls, frisbees and seagulls.
Lunch is a full roast dinner and when it’s finally demolished my belly expands like Christmas. We tease and laugh and admire each other across the big pine table, upon which there isn’t even room for so much as a walnut between the plates of delicious food. The warm fuzzy follows us home again, whereupon I lasso the small dog and waddle out for a short walk, giving her enough time to bark at everything; a blackbird, two sheep, the estate gardener felling a diseased horse chestnut and other things I cannot see and doubt she can either. It’s a small dog thing, this barking, infuriating during a roadside conversation but quite intriguing too. Perhaps she is allocated a certain number of barks per day, and, what with us being heavily lunched for 2 hours whilst she remains at home, she hasn’t quite fulfilled her bark quota. By 7pm I am barely able to stay awake and retire to bed at 8. Tonight, I think, I will sleep the whole night through, unless that nice lady from Edinburgh gets the red light flash and makes contact. I wake, ready for the new day at 11pm. Hallo God, I say, as I float back into the room. I always say that on waking, just to let him know that I know he’s there. It’s reassuring. I lie down again but sleep is a fickle friend this night. Waking a second time at 1am (hallo God) and then at 2am (ditto) I decide to get up and do something – quietly, needless to say. So here I am. A nice mug of tea steams beside me, although I laugh at the unnecessity of that adjective (quietly). Who on earth would make a nasty mug of tea? My thoughts are all about the lovely day with friends and pothole avoidance and smiles and roast pork with all the trimmings; of soft air and little waves and the Lowry folk on the glittersand.
Tomorrow……no, today……will bring whatever it brings. I know that I am always given no more than I can manage, never too much, although I may consider it way too much when it marches through my door. I have extraordinary stamina, some of it bequeathed from my mum, some of it learned during the days of Island Wife when the days were many miles long and mine were the feet for the running of them. Not being asleep is really just being awake and being awake is an exciting thing. I can always snatch a mid-day doze if needs be. The truth is, Life bubbles through my veins and I never was very good at being a grown up. ‘ Over enthusiastic, with too vivid an imagination’ was written on my school report, not once, but many times, as something requiring immediate attention, preceding a subsequent course of action. It smiles me now, but back then, well below the age of consent, I agonised about it. Did I need surgery, or locking up, perhaps? When such nonsense was laid down on a report of one of my children, it made me laugh. Good! I told the downcast youngster. Ignore it. the teacher is just jealous.
Soon, I will wander back to bed and give sleep another chance, but, if it won’t come, I will read the beautifully written words of another with far too vivid an imagination and move into their story. With a bit of luck, it will be dawn the next time I surface to greet God and another marvellous day.