Down in the guest room. The woman in the flat above has a television on loud enough for it to be intrusive. I am noting this as this morning she asked me to make sure I close the door to the guest room quietly as she hears it in her flat. Fair enough, and I know that I let it shut behind me with a bang when I arrived yesterday afternoon. After which I made sure to hold onto it and control the closure.
However, she went on to tell me that I had disturbed her several times between nine and nine thirty last night. I frowned at her. She misunderstood. “You'll know now,” she said with a forgiving smile.
“I wasn't in the guest room at that time,” I explained. “I was still with my aunt.” Aunt, who was looking equally bemused by the accusation, corroborated that I had been with her. I don't mind being blamed for noise I am making, but it is a different thing if I am going to get a reputation for inconsideration when I have been nothing of the sort, especially by a woman who listens to her television at full volume, and claimed today that she goes to bed about eight.
On the other hand, I am very tired so my tolerance levels may not be as they should.
MasterB was not a restful room mate last night. If Television Woman had complained about hearing him wail in the wee small hours, I should have to put my hand up and say we were guilty as charged. I had hoped that having a walkabout the building before bed, the sheer novelty of being with Aunt, looking out of her windows at the various birds and beasts would have been sufficient to send him into a deep sleep until breakfast.
He did go to sleep pretty quickly. But at some time when it was still dark he got up and decided I should too. He miaowed; he cried softly at first then with increasing volume; he bounced on me; he stuck his face into mine; he leapt noisily onto the wardrobe; he wagged his tail back and forth across my head: he was a brat.
We had words. Finally he settled down and I fell into a deep and dreamless sleep. Morning came all to quickly. Eight o'clock saw me at the shop, getting fresh bread for my breakfast, and today's Guardian. Back in the room, MasterB had hijacked the quilt and was sleeping serenely. Coffee did its work and restored me to humanity. Then I met Aunt and Television Woman as I was heading towards the stairs.
So tonight, I thought I'd get as much sleep as possible before his gingerness begins his demands. Aunt and I have been busy and she looked tired out this evening. Tired but happy I hasten to add. We had a domestic morning with MasterB settling into her flat, making a fuss of Aunt, and then retiring under her bed to catch up on missed sleep. I was dispatched to the shops with a new list. In one of the shops I saw a cat bed which looked like the sort of dark squashy space that might suit MasterB both here and aboard das Boot. I told Aunt about it, and nothing would do but she must buy it for him. It's a good thing we aren't here after tomorrow, or he would be spoiled beyond belief. She is the indulgent fairy godmother who would give him everything. I think I am fairly indulgent, but like Cat before him, MasterB has captured Aunt's heart and Can Do No Wrong in her eyes. Even when he scratched her chair she blamed the material while I said a loud and stern No!
After lunch, we left MasterB to his zzzs and drove over to Reach. Aunt admitted she has been not been out for months, and it made her feel part of things. There was very little traffic so we were able to crawl along oohing and aahing at the birds and the blossoms and the hedgerow flowers. No primroses, which Aunt has now voted for as her favourite wild flower, but a beautiful blue sky that started at our feet and stretched away over green fields where horses grazed. There were pigs too. This is not just racehorse territory; there must be serious bacon productin here too. On a back road, I slowed to a stop as a male pheasant, glossy and glorious, meandered over the road and into the lush greenery. Backlit by the sun, he was gorgeous. We were like two dull feathered female pheasants gazing at him in undisguised admiration. Pheasants are said to be fairly unintelligent, and I am guessing this one would not be the greatest conversationalist, but he couldn't have a chosen a better setting to show himself off to advantage.
At the organic farm we got the beetroot we were after and a couple of bits and pieces. Aunt didn't need much persuading to go to the pub. We sat inside today. There was a delicious smell of woodsmoke as we walked into the bar and chose ourselves a sunny table. The staff were as lovely and welcoming in a quietly unobtrusive way as ever, and Aunt confirmed she wants to come back again in a couple of months and sit outside in the garden.
When we got back to her flat she was buoyed up from her afternoon, and regaled Uncle Bill when he 'phoned with her doings. Then the reflux started, and she suddenly looked tired and huddled. I hope she's fast asleep by now, and wakes to a new day with her optimism recharged. I shall head home early in the day, but she should have a few hours with himself first.