8 am. Wakes. Lies very relaxed warm and comfortable. Gradually memory of today's TO DO list seeps in.
8.05 am. Granny opens one eye. Promptly shuts it. TO DO list runs ever more busily through head. Ease, relaxation decline.
8.10 am. With much effort Granny reaches out hand to bedside table. Ouch. Hand cold. She grabs contact lens case and draws it back under covers.
8.11 am. Raises herself up, unscrews green lid of case and extracts right lens from soaking liquid. Places it on middle finger of right hand - should be index finger but it lost all sensation after unfortunate encounter with blades of hand-held mixer two years ago. Raises finger to eye. Lens settles into place on cornea. Good.
8.12 am Granny unscrews white cap from case, extracts left lens, places it on OK left index finger. Lens promptly folds onto finger like little cap. Granny rolls it up replaces it back on finger, raises it to eye. Lens sticks to finger. She withdraws it, refits lens, tries again. Lens still sticks to finger. Further adjustment. Granny tries again. This time lens remains on eye. She blinks; vision blurred. Lens is wrong way up.
8.14. She removes lens from eye, puts it back on finger the right way up, reapplies it to left eye. And again. AND AGAIN. Groan. Third time lucky. The whole of Granny's upper body is now freezing.
8.16 am. She retreats back under covers. TO DO list rampant.
(1.) Alter website. 2.) Write disclaimer form to be given to shortly arriving members of Natural History course, so that if they break legs, arms, teeth, etc Granny and Beloved will not be held responsible. 3.)Wash dressing-gowns, towels etc for guests. 4.) Give dogs morning run on land. 5.) Fetch Saturday Guardian from newsagent and find shop open to buy sweetcorn, tinned or frozen for cornbread she proposes to make later. 6.) Discuss change of menu for guests with Beloved, following revelation that one guest eats neither pork nor shellfish (guest Jewish?) -meals, some already partly prepared and frozen, contain pork, prawns, squid, octopus, of course. Memo, check on internet to see if squid, octopus too are considered non-Kosher. If so adjust menus. Guest cannot live on Granny's cake, ice cream and corn bread alone. 7). Order Beloved Daughter's birthday present via Internet. 8.) Hang out washing. 9.) Take Attic Woman out to lunch. So on and so forth. Not forgetting to annoint herself all over with anti-insect cream. Feline Houdini, despite applications of expensive antidotes, is harbouring more little friends. Granny is again covered in flea-bites.)
8.18 am. Now seeing Granny notices her book on bedside table (Justin Cartwright's latest.) Remembers she left chapter unfinished last night. Reaches out hand, opens book, finishes chapter, checks out next.
8.25 am. Puts book back on bedside table. Lies down. TO DO LIST now screaming. With monumental effort Granny throws back covers, leaps out of bed, runs shivering into bathroom; slightly warmer - there's a heater- she peers out of window. Sky grey. Shrub under window, gauge of windspeed blowing madly; wind in North-East. Granny contemplates heading back to bed. Resists the temptation.
8.27 am she approaches bath, contemplates filling it up, leaping in and staying there. She resists this temptation too. Instead virtuously, she adjusts taps to spray mode, picks up hose and washes her hair with what she hopes is ecologically friendly Aloe Vera shampoo.
8.35-8.40.am dries hair, more or less, with not so ecological hairdryer.
8.41 am. applies ever more expensive and ever less effective cream to ageing skin in vain attempt to halt even reverse process of ageing (hope springs etc..)
8.44 am contemplates getting dressed, decides that's altogether pushing it, throws on toweling dressing-gown - she ought to be washing this too for guests - too bad -puts in hearing aid (sans eyes sans ears, increasingly sans everything: Granny feels increasingly as if she's some mythological ancient, sharing spare parts) heads out of door into outside courtyard (freezing) down stairs, into house, into kitchen.
8.50 am Beloved has coffee waiting. Bless him. Granny takes reviving coffee-addict's swig, then heads to gather up laundry - finds unwashed towels lurking in a guest-room, again, dumps them in machine plus one towelling gown - hers can wait- sets it going.
9. am. She feeds Feline Houdini to stop him yowling at her feet, refills bowl of coffee and settles at computer. Connects to Internet. Orders Beloved Daughter's Birthday present. (?. That would be telling. Beloved Daughter too reads this.) Gets up Google: octopus and squid definitely non-kosher. Ouch. Gets up website; finds it offering wholly erroneous advice to punters that weather will be 'warm.' Beloved's idea of warmth not hers or most likely theirs, she adjusts this, but at such a late hour suspects she will have to ring each and every one of them to warn them to bring fleeces, etc. After various vicissitudes, she succeeds in saving and publishing this information on website.
9.35 am With slight sense of triumph (Beloved's usually deals with website) she then writes disclaimer, but fails to get friendly lawyer on telephone to advise if satisfactory. (Granny's memo to self; remember to try later.)
9.55 am. Virtue is to be rewarded with brief interval between jobs while Granny writes new post for blog.
10. 35. Blog has taken longer than expected/intended. It's a good one, Granny thinks. She tries to select it all, and save to copy, in case Blogger is playing up. Post rolls up and disappears entirely.
At least the sun is coming out. But the wind is blowing harder than ever. And, oh god, the dogs...