Next time round, I want to be a dormouse

Friday December 3, 2004


Stickford, Dec,'04
This is not a dormouse


To Boston, for the post office and for a couple of items of last-minute birthday shopping. For reasons connected with the latter, Graham stayed home, doing energetic things to the walls, woodwork and ceiling in the living room.

It was cold but the sun shone brightly, as though determined to dim the already feeble Christmas lights to complete extinction. Even though there were masses of people, laden with bulky plastic carriers, jostling and pushing in that half-cheerful, mostly resentful way that Christmas shoppers do, I failed to connect. It ain’t Christmas for me, not until the fifth. Then it’s Chrismas. And, so far as I’m concerned, continuous big-time Christmas right up to the big day.

Today, though, it was just an ordinary-ish shopping day, starting out sunny but fading so fast it felt like late evening when I pulled onto the road home at two forty-five.

The days are dreadfully short now. It feels as if the interval between first and last light is getting to be so minimal that the two are about to overlap.

“Almost makes me wish it was the twenty-first already, so the days would start lengthening again,” I said when I got home.

“Don’t say that,” said Graham. “We’ve got a lot to do before then.”

“I know that. Just thinking about it makes me tired.”

“Perhaps you should have been a dormouse. They hibernate right through, snug in their little nests, dreaming of summer.”

I thought for a bit. “That settles it,” I said, firmly.

“Settles what?”

“I’m hereby filing a formal request that, next time, I come back as a dormouse.”

 

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