Saturday, 25 May 2013


What is this weather?
I suppose an awful lot of people are saying this as they look out at horizontal rain, hail, and birds trying to build nests in trees bent over from gale-force winds.
We have a garden: I know this, but I haven't actually stepped foot in it for days. The thought of struggling rose heads and flattened lavender is too much. I have cleared the in-tray, investigated the top of the kitchen cupboard and cleaned out a cupboard, made phone calls and got round to jobs that are well at the bottom of any list I have ever written. We have also napped.

Here is our cat, Bronzino, king of napping, hugger of his own legs. The total bliss a cat radiates while asleep: you can prod him and he will stretch out purring, a smile on his face then curl up again into a fury snail shape.
Napping is only a speeded up version of hibernation. I know this as when coming out of a particularly good siesta, the sleep pulls you back: look out there, it's pissing down, the wind is knife-like, why would anyone go out there unless they had to? Why don't you just close your eyes again, pull the covers up, call out for another hot water bottle from anyone left in the house who is not already under the influence of warm sleep waves.
The best naps are after physical work outside: mowing someone's lawn, cutting wood, a long, vile, worthy walk in screaming wind. The fire must be lit so that one does not sink into depression at the thought of cover removal and stepping into a frigid room.
Take a dog: preferably a small hot water bottle-size, non-smelly one; lie on sofa, put dog in crook of knees or close to chest and drift off, preferably to the sounds of someone making a delicious cake for you when you wake up.
Almost there - into the sleep world . . . the wind is now howling; God it must be nasty out there . . . not on this sofa though, even though it's full of crumbs and cat hair; it must be the most comfortable place on this planet just now: me and dog on red sofa, in house, on tiny patch of earth in small French town, South of France, European land mass, world, universe . . .

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