This is going to sound a bit mad, however I put it, so I may as well just get on with it. I have a perfectly good clock radio with an alarm, but because I like to listen to the radio when I work, I have donated it to the stables.
This means I usually use my mobile phone as an alarm clock, and I have a complicated ritual when it goes off in the morning:
Alarm goes off at 7am. Take lid off thermal cup of tea thoughtfully provided by husband, in order to let contents cool down. Press snooze button.
Alarm goes off at 7.10. Possibly grab huge cushion and sit up and drink tea. If not - press snooze button again.
Alarm goes off at 7.20. Panic, sit up, drink tea, get dressed and rush downstairs, not forgetting to trip over dog first, and feed horses.
But some nights I have got into bed and realised I haven't brought my phone up with me and can't be bothered to go downstairs and search for it. So then I have to resort to Plan B.
Do you remember Missis bought Mr O and I an alarm clock each for Christmas? Mr O's has a horse on it, and it neighs when the alarm goes off. He has taken it to work, and when people come into his office to moan or complain, he sets the alarm. When it neighs he tells them their time is up and would they please leave? Obviously they think he has completely lost his marbles. He is like Alan Sugar - "You're fired!"
Anyway, my clock has a chicken on it. Here is the offending article:
Why is it an offending article? One, because the ticking drives me crazy, so I have to leave it in my sock drawer, otherwise it's like Chinese water torture all night. So when it goes off in the mornings, crowing loudly, I have to leap out of bed, open the drawer, search around for a black clock in the dark, (it's always face down in the drawer) locate the little button on the back, and try and work out which way to push it to stop the dreadful racket. After that I slump back into bed, traumatized, but this is when the second, possibly more serious flaw in its workings becomes apparent. It has no snooze button. I could cry. I have to wake up and drink my hot tea and try desperately not to slide back under the covers, because if I do I won't wake up again until 8am, but it's extremely difficult when a: it's freezing cold outside and b: I have a medium sized dog slumbering on the bed. You feel my pain, I know.
- O -
I have read the riot act to the chickens this morning. In fact I gave them a disciplinary and read their job description to them again. "We feed you - you lay eggs. Nobody said anything about mucking out." They feel disgruntled that they are mucking out for free. Penny shook her Liberty print feathers at me. But who asked them to do it? Certainly not me. They walk behind me, gleaning enthusiastically, but I am hindered in my job as I am worried about stepping backwards and treading on them. Last week I accidentally donked Betty on the beak with my mucking out fork, but it's her own fault. They have a huge muck heap they can glean with impunity, what's so fascinating about stables?
They all left the stable I was working on in a huff, but unbeknown to me, Peggy must have taken my words to heart, as I looked round, and there she was, crouching in the corner, her body rippling with convulsions. She stood up, and there, behind her, nestling in the straw, was a pale blue egg. It was a beautiful moment, a moment to savour. Her eyes were jewel bright, and the pride in her expression was plainly evident. I had a moment of guilt, knowing that as soon as her back was turned I was going to have to pick up this precious item, that she would want to nurture and follow nature's instinct. She looked at me with one beady eye, as if to say, "Blow that for a game of soldiers!" and ran off to the other girls for some corn and a natter, never to return. I picked up the egg and held it against my cheek to feel the warmth, before placing it in the dish with the others. I am proud of it, anyway, even if she isn't.
(Ladies who Lunch, feeling the benefits of the sun, a good chinwag and some sleep.
It's a hard old life!)