I don't know about you dear reader, but I like to ease gently into the day. Not for me the bouncing out of bed, full of enthusiasm to tackle the day ahead routine, the minute one eye is open. I appreciate you may view the start of your day differently and I am very happy for you (and not a little envious) if you do. To be fair to myself I am usually very enthusiastic and full of plans and ideas for the day - but only after a gentle easing into the day propped up in bed, sipping a cup of tea bought to me by my dear spouse. We have covered have we not, spouse's journey through the morning tea-making routine? So I won't even go there on that one. Recently the journey for the coffee making has been outlined to me - picking the beans, transporting, grinding them - you get the picture no doubt. I am not giving him any air time over that one as yet.
Where was I? Oh yes, a gently awakening into the morning. I remember those halcyon days well. Remember, I hear you say? Indeed, dear reader and a very pleasant and distant memory it is too. For my morning routine has been scattered to the four winds. We are dog-sitting again. I love Raffles dearly - a 'lassie' dog, or rough-haired collie for those in the doggie-know. Although why they are called 'rough-haired' I do not know, as our Raffles has lovely soft hair, (is that because he is newly come from the dog groomers?) Anyway, as I said, I love Raffles dearly, but I do not love his idea of a morning routine.
He likes to be up nice and early - never mind that it is still winter-dark outside and I am still enjoying my slumbers. No, he is ready for the day and summons us to attend to his needs. Eagerly he steps outside to sniff the morning sniffs all around the garden and generally re-acquaint himself with Mother Nature in a leisurely fashion. I, meanwhile, stand watchfully and shivering at the garden door, waiting for the hound to make his way back up the garden. No amount of hissed commands, (it is the crack of dawn and I don't want to upset the neighbours by yelling like a banshee). So I hiss through gritted teeth - 'RAFFLES, COME IN.' Selective deafness always sets in the minute he is let loose and no way is he going to take the slightest notice of me, a mere human.
By now I am nearly an iceberg watching the wretched dog slowly make his way back up the garden. Reluctantly he deigns to re-enter the premises, staring up at me, slightly bemused, as I mutter various imprecations to him under my breath. Now I am ready to sit down and defrost over a hot cup of tea by. But no such luck for me, dear reader as Raffles has other ideas. He has two teddies, a big one and a small one with a squeak in it. Why, oh why did I ever buy him that? He absolutely adores it and never more so than at the crack of dawn. Refreshed from his zonked-out night's sleep and a gentle garden stroll, he returns to Chez Comb full of energy and ready to kill squeaky Ted again and again and again .....
Only he won't kill him on his own. We have to be involved too. Just as I am about to imbibe the amazing brew that spouse has lovingly prepared, a wet, slobbery teddy is thrust into my face by a growling waggy-tailed dog, a present he is sure I am delighted to have. 'Come on, play the game,' he is saying and growls and prances before me. This is a dog that wouldn't say 'boo' to a goose when really challenged, but give him squeaky Ted and he becomes a lion-dog.
And so we play the game, growling along with Raffles and squeaking with Ted. No, please, do not try to imagine this scene, it's all too embarrassing. But at heart we are big softies and love our guest-dog and know how much he enjoys his morning play. And to end on a positive note, I can look forward to the day when I am standing on the doorstep watching the car tail-lights disappearing down the road, bearing Raffles back to his own domain and ponder lovingly the thought of waking up the next morning to Radio 4 and the dulcet Welsh tones of John Humphrys, ushering me into a new day and no killing Ted in sight.