A quiet morning

It’s not often that I wake up first, but last night the large sleeping companion was out until 3am saving someone’s life. That happens when one is a doctor – though it hasn’t for many, many years because we’ve made the necessary adjustments to avoid it as age and weariness have increased.  But last night it was ‘Prof to the rescue’, bless him. So at 7am  I snuck out quietly, so as not to disturb him…

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Link and Scamp

…and nearly tripped over the cats! One lying and the other sitting right outside our bedroom door – even though it was slightly open. Ha – I’ve trained them at last! No more swiping at his face at 4am! 😉 Ah – they’re so sweet… manipulative carnivores that know where their food is coming from.

I stumble to the kettle first – obviously I have to make my own tea this morning.  We have an upstairs kitchen left from the days when this house was 2 flats, so at least I don’t risk falling downstairs in my sleepy state. But there are no large cups – all in the dishwasher downstairs. I’m not going there. I find a largish medium-sized one on the bottom of the rack and stick a teabag in it.

The cat-feeding routine starts with their tablets. We’re fairly well-automated now: open this bottle, cut in half with knife, save half til this evening – (Link’s steroid for anaemia). Open this bottle, half each. Press out this pill, half each (both have heart weakness). Take rolling pin and grind up (there is a Scamp and Link labelled end so the steroids don’t cross over) and mix with creamy salmon paste. They lap that up and if there’s a delay replacing those bowls with their food ones they come to find out why!

All this is achieved without glasses and I can’t see at all clearly without these days. But it’s a case of ‘I could do this with my eyes closed’ (as well as half asleep) so not to worry 😉 My brother who is coming up to 60, continues to squint at small print – you know, the ‘my arms are not long enough’ scenario that creeps up on us at around 40 years old? He refuses to get specs because they make the eyes lazy, the lens hardens and stops adjusting and then we lose what long vision we did have.  I had perfect eyesight until I started with reading glasses – now I pay Specsavers vast sums to keep me in eyewear that matches all my outfits.

It is an image issue.  Obviously short-sighted kids have to wear glasses from early on and that’s who they are (plus getting old improves their vision!) but it still makes me nostalgic to look back at photos of red hair and no glasses now I’m grey and bespectacled. I’ve tried contact lenses – the existence of which is proof that we generally prefer our faces without something stuck on the front – but dry eyes make them uncomfortable and they’re nothing if not a faff.  I’ll put them in for special evenings, to look my best, but I can’t see very well with them, need extra reading glasses for menus and can’t see at all to drive – it’s hardly worth it.  I have had to accept I am a different person – less beautiful in some ways, perhaps more beautiful in others – hmmm.

So I do my morning cat duty – usually done before I am up – in a daze, screwing up my eyes and making my cup of tea in between grinding and scraping out slimy fishy packets.

and it’s wet outside and quiet and all is well and the cars moving though spray sound like the waves of the sea and even though there’s no sunshine today it’s OK, I’m rested and I don’t have any pain anywhere. The cats’ noses are buried in their bowls and I can hear soft snoring and the first sip is the sweetest

Negotiating the stairs, I now empty the dishwasher, carrying all the mugs, plates, cutlery, glasses that we use for breakfast back up to put away, tidying both kitchens, emptying bins and recycling, putting clean laundry and discarded coats away, bending to stroke a passing cat who is following me around looking for second breakfast please! I’m like one of them, stalking round my territory, marking the area as I move things about, making my home how I want it to be, ready for another day

and I feed the cats again and make more tea and sit down in my swinging chair in my own special room. Putting my bare feet on the table, looking out at my garden that we worked so hard in yesterday in the rain and the always stunning view of the Museum with a few morning people walking past,  I find a nearby spectacle case and open the computer.  I check messages and notifications and having done everything,  open up a new blog post to let my thoughts run free

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I am grateful and at peace. Happy (bank holiday weekend) Friday.

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