Tag Archives: comfort

What I think of during the night watches

(or, Chinese howling torture).

I am caring for my two delightful eldest grandchildren. So last night Ted was tortured by his teeth, obdurately boring a hole in his gums to escape the closeted encushioned burial in the jaw into the rooted freedom of his mouth. And Ted, generous soul that he is, shared the torture around. He half-woke, and howled for a few moments. Then he dropped back to sleep. After two am, every twenty minutes or so, he would once again stir, howl, and sleep. This gave one unaccustomed to his sufferings plenty of time to ponder the things one does ponder in the night. Some happy, some sad, some just pondering.

I spent a little time considering my prospective hat for my son’s wedding this summer (to go with the fabric you have seen). I think squares, and the top one buckled by an explosion of corn and leaves from beneath. Would abstract shapes add to or take from this? And what length and style should I make the suit jacket?

I pondered, a little melancholy, why this blog does not manage the kind of heavy weight topics which have made Pluralist and Mad Priest such influential blogs. One reason is that my creativity, such as it is, is reactive – I actually do a heap better commenting on the blogs of others than writing my own.

I pondered what attracts readers to this blog (because modest as it is, it does have readers, as you yourself know.) I never know how many prefer the religious stuff, and how many the domestic. I suppose I never shall know.

I refused point blank to start doing sums calculating the various expenditures needed to restore my house, because that way insomnia lies, if not actual madness.

And I wondered how long it would take me to fall off to sleep when Ted finally shut up, and when that would be. It turned to be (respectively) half an hour and about four a.m.

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Age Appropriate

As you see, I have a great weakness for hooded tops. Most of mine were passed on to me by male family members. However, recently I fell into temptation and bought a much-reduced one. It is quite fabulous. The body is lined with acrylic fur. The arms are thickly padded. It has a zip, so can be taken on and off without other clothes attempting to follow it. It is very warm and extremely comfortable. As I hoped, it is respectable and new enough to be worn in public.

The other night I was wearing it and driving home when a bunch of lads, skylarking caused me to purse my lips old lady style as I took action to avoid running them over. Then the horrid truth dawned. The chief lad was wearing an ‘Outrage’ hoodie. We were identically dressed.

Jig saw

I do not sleep alone.   This is not a confession that I have acquired a bidie-in.  Each night a small procession goes up the stairs.  Senior dog, junior dog, and me.   In this order it is quite a quiet procession.  On the odd occasion that it goes junior dog, senior dog, me, then it is much noisier, since a sense of danger and achievement spurs junior dog on to an awful lot of noise, and a sense of being displaced spurs senior dog on to even more.

Then we get to the bedroom and I get into bed.  Probably, senior dog, blessed with a thick pelt, gets on the bed, and junior dog who feels the cold, also gets into bed, and out, and in, and out, and in and turns round and round and, yes, finally settles and I can take up a book for the few paragraphs before my eyelids start to sag.

And then, and then, we all re arrange ourselves into a jig saw, jockeying for space.  Dogs press back, stretch out, I shove back, even kick a little, or subtly encroach a limb, nudge a knee. They are not small dogs, and indeed junior dog is often greeted by cries of ‘My goodness, he’s BIG.’

And this sounds most uncomfortable.  But it is not, it is the opposite.  It is comforting.  In the end, a warm companionable huddle is reached.  The pack leader in the centre, safe, and the members all in touch.  For a few moments we enjoy the gentle free fall of utter safety.  Then we wake up to the dawn in totally different positions to those in which we drifted off.  Refreshed.  Undisturbed.