This morning was stunning. I don’t care where you live, what you do, who you are, all of you would have wanted to be me at breakfast time. Blue skies, warm sunshine, gentle rocking of the water, birdsong, swans, geese, leaping fish and Cat. Also, a perfectly soft-boiled egg, lovely buttered toast and filtered coffee. And no one else about. I enjoyed.
It didn’t feel so good when I woke up. Or rather when I was woken up. Cat, who likes to sleep as close to me as possible when we are afloat, usually on my head, which he never does at home, decided to have a wash. So I was kicked repeatedly in the face as he carried out his ablutions. When I objected I got a very steely stare. Then he continued. I got up.
Breakfast over, I needed to get over to Mother’s. Cat recognised the routine. He curled up in a tight lonely ball in the sunniest spot in the fore cabin and let me get on with it.
Mother was looking lovely. Co-ordinated outfit, hair uncombed but nicely styled. Unmatching shoes. Very pleased to see me. ‘Do you know Isobel?’ ‘I am Isobel!’ It was one of those days when relationships were fluid for her. I kept calling her Mum but it didn’t always work. ‘You’re my mother?’ ‘No, I’m your daughter. You’re my mother’ ‘How did that happen?’.
Slightly at a loss, I showed her pictures of my father. ‘Did you know him?’ she asked.
Lunch was safer ground. I was also defrosting two inches of ice from the freezer. The river Cam is probably slightly higher tonight. Lots of cups of tea for mother, and glasses of water for me, later, I had cleaned the bathroom, all traces of faeces removed from everywhere; done four loads of washing; got her out of unmatching shoes into matching raspberry slippers; washed the kitchen cupboards; reclaimed two of her mugs from the staffroom; rehung a picture; kissed and cuddled her to the nth degree; washed out the cutlery drawer and all the cutlery; discovered a broken egg in a cup in a cupboard, disposed of it; soaked and then washed the cup; found the clothes stuffed into the medicine cabinet and washed them too; filed and cleaned her nails, read her a story, ‘The Cow who laid an egg’; and had a bath.
The drive back to das Boot made me think of Pseu’s poem about playing Billy Joel at motorway loudness. I had Cyndi Lauper. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
Cat was soooo pleased to see me. Lots of headrubbing and purring, climbing all over me and telling me he’d missed me. I would have been happy for him to have shore leave but he wanted to sit on me instead.
I had a delicious supper, cooking as I watched a magical sunset. Tomorrow I’ll see Aunt and do Mother’s shopping. Then I hope to spend more time afloat, do some work and give Cat his fair share of attention.
Not a bad life.