Thursday November 10, 2005
Looking out across the field from my study window the horizon is bounded by a double row of hedges with a further field between them, out of view. As the days shorten, the sun rises not just later but also, day by day, a little more to the right. I mark the year, then, by the progress of the rising sun from left to right and back again.
It’s a little like being at the centre of a sundial. As the morning sky lightens, I keep glancing out, waiting for the skyline to turn rosy gold, the edge of the sun to rise above the hedge and then to continue through the morning, moving steadily upwards and to the right, around the house until it finishes at the front. All day long, if there is any sun visible at all, it falls through one or more of the windows.
Dolly the Mega-Cat has worked it all out. She moves into the study first thing in the morning, gazing east until the sun rises and casts a patch on the carpet in front of the study window. As the patch moves, she moves. Later, she shifts to the dining room and, later still, to the kitchen, finishing up in the living room, where, at the end of the day, she watches the sun go down. Last of all she sits on the window sill, behind the curtains, watching the world turn from day into night.
We must appear, Dolly and I, to be sun worshippers, governing our day by the movement of the sun.
It follows then that, on days like this, when the sun is hidden behind heavy cloud, we are cast adrift on a grey, timeless sea. We wander listless about the house, sighing and moaning by turns.
“What will you do with yourself over the weekend?” Graham asked.
“It’s forecast to be wet and windy Saturday and Sunday, so I’ll probably stay home. If I get an energy burst I shall start pulling the garden book together. Otherwise I suspect I’ll end up snuggling with Dolly and sleep the weekend away. Between meals, that is.”
“Sounds awfully good to me. Wish I could stay and join in.”
“So do we. So do we.”