Thursday, 22 November 2012

4am

I woke at silly o'clock today. I could have just laid there, warm and toasty, but my brain was awake too, listing things I could do quietly with the couple of hours before the household awoke: Read, make cheese scones ('oh, not enough cheese,') rewrite the white board diary in the kitchen, bake with the surplus eggs..... Write.

Downstairs the cats were surprised by me, they blinked in the light, stretching and rubbing up against me hoping it was time for an early breakfast. I busied myself trying to light the log burner, the only source of heat in the kitchen.

After several attempts at the fire I had to admit defeat. I just didn't have enough kindling. I listened and noted that the storms of yesterday had passed by so, donning my new, [well, hand-me-down, Jules Wellibobs donated by a lovely friend,] I firmly tied my dressing gown hitched up my thermals and went out gently into that good, dark night.



There was a stillness to the land, a pre-dawn calm. Even rooster, locked in his box, was quiet, most likely asleep. The stars littered the sky and the distant glow of the city, maybe 50 miles away, burnished the horizon.

It's not far to the log shed, out the front door and up the drive towards the stables. Pink was the first to hear me as she lay in the field over the hedge. I noted her soft needy tone. Alerted to my presence Snowy and Moon, bleated hellos too. I could picture them bedded down in the grass;. big sheep now, not the tiny lambs I raised by bottle.

'Morning girls' I whispered and they bleated again but I could tell they were still in their same positions, they knew it wasn't yet time to get up.

In the wood shed I shone my torch and selected a good box of kindling, prepared by hubby in early Autumn.

*

And now I'm by the crackling fire, talking to you. Tabby, the bigger cat has a cold and has crawled up to my lap for extra warmth. He sneezes occasionally and nips me on the hand as I type, just to remind me that he's here.

It's 5.10.

Last night the 10yo finished reading my children's book Nancy, Peggy and Susan. First Freedom. [Available at Amazon for Kindle Lulu for ebook download and Barnes and Nobel for Nook.] She'd asked me to read her the last chapter which was a privilege. There's a little twist in the ending and I'd wondered if it was obvious. It wasn't. As I began to build up to the secret she stopped me and excitedly described what she thought was going to happen. As I revealed the plot she squealed and demanded I hand over my Kindle, determined to read for herself. She was convinced I was making up words rather than reading them. She had been wrong and the twist had caught her out. It was exactly the reaction I was hoping for when I wrote the story some four years ago. Priceless. A moment I'll treasure.

Well I'm off to make tea and begin the process of re-reading my long abandoned novel.... a fictional version of The Archers at The Larches with the temporary title of The Perrys at The Berries. I think I put it aside in order to learn more about the land, animals and me as a writer, but now I suddenly feel compelled to finish.

Have a good day, I think I shall.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon