Tuesday, August 23, 2005


On the days I travel to Paris my alarm is set for 6:30am. If there's to be any chance of me making the train I have a devised a little ritual to be completed the night before: bath and hairwash, select the morning's outfit laying it out at the end of the bed, read a couple of chapters and then fall sleep as early as possible.

Last night it looked like everything was on target. A lovely hot bubble bath in our huge cream Victorian tub, hairwashed and dried, outfit laid out and 10:30pm saw me curled up in bed.

From that point on it started to go slightly wrong. Having collapsed asleep on the sofa at 7pm, after working the afternoon in the vines, the Frog suddenly decided he was now wide awake and wanted to play word games. Yes, word games. I humoured him once and then drifted in and out of sleep as he continued muttering to me.

At 3am I woke up, the windows were open due to the humidity of the night and any loud or noisy vehicle that could, seemed to pass outside the window. I couldn't get comfortable and I couldn't sleep. My back hurt. I fell into a light sleep only to dream that I was getting married but my face was covered in pus filled spots and Frog wanted to take the ferry across to Dover to deliver champagne in the transit van. I drifted awake again and stayed in that horrible grey backaching zone until the alarm went off and I finally went into groggy autopilot, stumbling to the bathroom for a quick brush of hair, splash of face, scrub of teeth and slick of mascara.

Mission accomplished, I peered round the corner of the living room and realised the selected light summer outfit wasn't going to make it through a grey, rainy morning with ankle deep puddles in view of the window. So, I had to make do with quickly grabbing the nearest jeans, converse boots and black jumper. I can't do any kind of co-ordination, let alone the outfit type, before the grimy cup of coffee I buy at the station.

Before I left, I poked my head around the bedroom door to see Frog beginning to stir. His immediate reaction to hearing it was rainy was to be heartened, as that might mean he was excused from going back out in the vines. But rain is nobody's real friend at the moment - it does nothing for the grapes at this stage of their growth. If it's cold it doesn't do too much harm but when it's warm the now mature fruit starts to rot. After a walk to the station this morning I know the feeling!

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