Every morning, when I wake and go downstairs, the poodles throw themselves against the kitchen door. It sounds like a mob of policemen trying to shoulder the door from its hinges. I open the door and they redirect their onslaught onto my legs. I manage to force my way to the back door which, when opened, is rushed by Day-z in search of her celebration toy (or, rather, whichever piece she finds first) and to relieve herself. Carmen stays with me as I put the kettle on, having the sort of cast iron bladder us lesser species can only dream of. How she leaps about, wiggles and generally shakes her entire body at me is a wonder to behold. I know I couldn’t do it.
This morning, however, things were slightly different. Instead of staying with me, Carmen joined Day-z in the rush for the garden. I made my coffee and retired to the long lounge to watch Breakfast.
Usually the poodles will join me, falling asleep so fast you’d think they hadn’t just slept through the night, but not today. After half an hour I went to see what they were up to.
On the lawn, beneath one of the birdfeeders, was a small collection of black and white feathers. Standing, staring intently at the hedge that separates us from next door, were the poodles.
Mirinda thinks Carmen is a bird killer. This is based on very little evidence apart from the fact that she once brought a dead bird to the back door. I still believe she found the dead bird and was showing us, in order for us to discover the real killer.
The poodles never bother the birds. In fact Day-z can sit for hours just watching them. Squirrels are another matter but they are way too fast and clever to be caught so it’s just a question of chasing them off when they get too bold – like coming within 10 feet of a poodle.
This morning was evidence of Carmen’s innocence. The bird that had once owned the feathers could not have been attacked by a poodle as they were inside all night. The culprit had to be a cat.
Later, once I’d woken up properly, I carried out a fingertip search for any further evidence of avian slaughter but couldn’t find any. Day-z eventually came inside and went to sleep but Carmen maintained her vigil, just staring at the undergrowth at the limit of the electric signal. I can only assume she has remained alert for the entire day.
After talking to Mirinda, I set off for the flat. There was a bag of rubbish waiting to be let out and the mail to retrieve. Also Mirinda wanted me to order some IKEA, wash the windows and measure some stuff.
Rain was threatened (becoming pretty regular this summer and quite unfair since I had it in Queensland as well) so I sweltered in my raincoat. The train ride was uneventful as was the Tube and I arrived at the flat by about 2:30.
I half expected to be greeted at the door by the rubbish, seeing as it had been hanging around long enough to evolve into a life form, and was surprised that the flat smelled fine. Mirinda wasn’t 100% sure what was actually in the rubbish and, after her stories of growing fruit trees in her schoolbag many years ago, I’m never entirely certain what I’ll find. But the rubbish was both life and harm less.
I set to my tasks, ordered a Billy bookcase in the correct colour, measured things – I was pleasantly surprised at how neat the flat was. After I ordered the bookcase, the delivery date returned to me was next Wednesday. Given it was getting on for 3:30, I decided to leave the window cleaning until then, as I’d be there anyway. I left and caught the DLR to Bank.
A while ago I purchased a new media centre but didn’t have the right cable for it. The one I did have needed something because the sound reproduction was rubbish. I needed to get to Maplins (Malpins for the purists) to sort out the right one. Not that I need an excuse to go to one of my favourite shops but it does help if I actually need to buy something.
They had a bewildering display of leads with an equally bewildering collection of connectors but I found the one I wanted and headed back to Waterloo in time to catch the 444 at 4:25. The rain started just outside Woking. My raincoat poked its tongue out at me.