The morning after the night before

Saturday January 1st, 2000

I imagine an awful lot of people stayed a’bed a mite longer this morning. It was quite a party.

I didn’t get the option. First real glimmer of light and there was Dolly the Mega Cat standing up by the bed, urging me up and about. Not too cruel a treatment — first light is at about 7:30, more than late enough for an old grey poet. And just about right for a young grey cat.

So I slid out, donned robe, and went through to open the kitchen door so’s she could go and taste the air. I sniffed. Mmmm… sweet! Mild, dry and exceptionally pleasant. I left the door open wide while coffee brewed and took my first cup out on the catio, sitting in the early morning for the first time in weeks. Harry Cat came wandering along to join us, still half asleep, and we three early morning beings sat companionably for a while, enjoying the day.

It was an unusually quiet morning, too. Next to no traffic, no sounds from neighbours or from the farms, no smoke from chimneys.

And it’s stayed that way all day. Some of those slug-a-beds woke with thick heads, I reckon. Enough, anyway, to keep things quiet.

Somewhere along the line I turned on the TV, to catch the last of the celebrations in Honolulu, and the first of an endless series of action replays of the highlights of the parties from around the world. London looks to have been a lot of fun last night. It’s times like this when I almost miss the big city. It used to fit me, like a worn and slightly grubby glove, supporting and sustaining me through my younger years, and still does when I take a trip up for this reason or for that. If the call of field, moor and hedgerow hadn’t been so strong I’d still be a Londoner, I’m sure of it.

But they do call. They do keep me restless. I thought in all honesty that the move here from the lonely Welsh valley would be a good one, forming an ideal compromise between town and country. And Somerset is close to perfect for most country lovers. For me, it’s too full. Too many houses. Too many people.

All being well the next New Year’s Day will be spent in a new place, quiet not only the morning after a big party but all year through. There’s work to be done here before the move is financially practical. Some new windows. A new roof. I’m hoping it’ll be possible to get it all done by the start of the Summer. Properties sell best here in the warm weather.

Being honest again though, and it pays to be honest as one year turns and a new one begins, this place isn’t exactly a punishment zone. Another year here, if that’s the way things go, wouldn’t be a calamity.



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