Today was the first day in months that I had the kids all day without husband around to lend a hand (he had a job interview, hurrah!).
It was nice although the children missed daddy a lot.
“Mummy I love Daddy more betterer than you” my daughter said in the car on the way back from coffee morning.
A statement that was later changed to, “I didn’t want you to tell Daddy that. I love you both most of all.”
Makes all the tough stuff worthwhile.
We had fun today, getting my son’s hair cut finally (he has a double crown and had started to look like he had feathers in his hair like some tribal headdress). We baked chocolate cookies, built things with playdough, played with puzzles and cars and now they’re “wrapping” everything in the playroom and bringing it to me, singing “happy birthday to you”.
I love my kids.
Thankfully husband appeared at five o’clock, allowing me to walk the dog and make a start on Claire’s exploits for today, tapping away into my phone while walking in the snowy dark. It was beautiful outside with the moon lighting up the snow (it makes it much easier to walk the dog after dark. There has to be one good thing about the snow.)
So, understandably, Claire’s post today features snow. Writing seasonal is always easier if it’s outside the window. That’s why I tend to start novels in the season I’m in. Write what you know.
A soft glow shone through the window and across Claire’s face. Used to sleeping in the cave-like darkness of a room with blackout blinds Claire was pulled awake by the light. It took a while to work out where she was and why her blinds weren’t closed. Irritated as much by the memory of the last few days as by being woken, Claire rose on one elbow to figure out where the light was coming from. From her elevated position on the top bunk she could see through the gap in the curtains right down to the road.
The moon illuminated the street below like studio lighting, making it difficult to tell what time it was. The room was silent. Claire blessed the Gods that the Scandinavian women didn’t snore. She fumbled under her pillow to locate her phone, although she could nearly tell the time on her watch by the eerie light seeping through from outside.
Claire felt wide awake. If she’d been at home she would have got up and done some work, knowing it was the quickest way to feel sleepy again. With two strangers in the room with her she felt she couldn’t turn on the light or even make too much noise in case she woke them.
This is what that damn Maglite is for then. Shame it’s in the bottom of my rucksack. Not much good there. I don’t even have headphones to listen to music. Idiot.
Claire lay in the dark trying to distinguish the sound of Ola and Francis breathing. She wondered whether she should check if they were still alive. What responsibility did you have for your bedfellows if they were also complete strangers?
Claire heard a noise that made her heart thump in her ears. Someone was fumbling outside their door, scratching, as if trying to insert a key. I’m glad it’s locked. Imagine someone trying to get in the wrong bunk in the middle of the night. She shivered at the idea of having to fend off some sweaty oik and felt glad she’d had the forethought to buy a nightie.
The room filled with the sound of Claire’s shallow breathing as she strained to hear if the noise had gone away. It hadn’t. Utterly awake now, she tensed ready to defend herself as she heard voices outside the door. What if someone’s trying to break in, to steal our stuff? Claire wondered if she should wake the girls.
I’m surprised they’re not awake already with that racket. Maybe this is normal. Maybe you have to learn to sleep surrounded by noise, like you do when flying. A stab of pain shot through Claire’s head as she contemplated weeks of broken sleep. I really don’t do well on less than six hours.
At last the fumbling stopped. Claire took a deep breath which stuck in her throat as the door opened and a light pierced the darkness, followed by another. Flashlight beams shone overhead like search lights as two very drunk girls staggered into the room. One of them tripped over and fell heavily against Claire’s bunk; the other pulled her friend upright with a snigger. They shushed each other and giggled as they headed into the en-suite. Claire could hear them talking in loud whispers that they obviously thought was them being quite. She couldn’t decide what was more annoying: Being woken up by a couple of drunks or being awake already and discovering she’d been trying hard to be silent and considerate in an empty room.
Where the hell have they been until this time anyway? Even with 24 hour licensing who wants to stay up late in this provincial backwater? And they say we Brits drink too much.
Claire lay in her bunk not speaking. She was tempted to admit to being awake but she couldn’t face a scene. Besides, what was there to say? Excuse me but some of us like to go to bed early? That was rubbish anyway. Back in Manchester her night would still be young at 2am.
What is happening to me? Oh my god, I’m turning into my mother. Next I’ll be admonishing people not to talk and eat or advising them that man-made fibres make you sweat in an unladylike fashion. Right, that’s it. I’m ringing Carl first thing in the morning. Roughing it is one thing but I’ll be damned if I’m going to become a boring old cow before I’m thirty.