Awake At 1.06pm

You may well be wondering what this all means. Most people ARE awake at 13.06. However, as we know I am special, because I’m perimenopausal and I don’t sleep like other people do. Other mortals being men and children.

This was what happened.

I was up at 05.30am, so that Tiny Treasure could get off to school. I was up with the first alarm, no 5 minute snooze this morning, as she has her first camp out tonight with her school camping club. We had to finalise the cool box and a few other bits and bobs. She has been packed for a week – very impressive.

Hubs woke up just before we left and started barking, “Have you got this?” and “Have you got that?” and then “Why have you got my waterproof sailing bag?”

Fortunately she didn’t hear any of it as she was out putting our security detail in the car. The three dogs that is. They LOVE the car SO much. It takes a while to get them in, as they all have their own spots. They need to get in different doors so that they don’t growl at each other.

The rain has seized up the back door of my gorgeous, elderly toyota land cruiser, so it takes about 10 minutes to open. When you do manage to prise it apart from its casing, you have to hold on to it tightly, otherwise you fly off with it.

Back to hubs.

I just kept repeating to him; “Yes she has her torch, yes she has her raincoat, she has been packed for a week, we have been through the list, several times. I gave her permission to use your bag as it is waterproof. DON’T say anything to her as you will upset her when she has done so well getting ready”.

He just looked at me and growled rather limply,”She might damage my bag”.

“Why and how could she do that?” I asked him, “You keep telling us it is so strong. That’s WHY she is using it. Shhh she is coming – don’t shout at her. If you really have to shout, shout at me, I was the one that gave her permission to use your bag.”

“I have been shouting at you” he replied sweetly, “and I am finished now”.

“You have everything then darling, have fun,” he said to TT as he kissed her goodbye.

Now another small digression onto what I was wearing…

I always got dressed to take her, even to the bus, which was much nearer than school. This was where my emergency preparedness from my previous life kicked in. I didn’t always do my teeth, I have to confess, but at 05.45am I NEEDED to be wearing trousers if I was stopped by the police, NOT pyjama bottoms. I didn’t NEED to have brushed my teeth.

I NEEDED to have my phone plus CREDIT, bribe money, wet ones and a small sweat towel in case I decided that I would go to the police station instead of paying the bribe. My car is very old and so therefore is likely to be infringing several regulations.

Since I started taking the dogs with me, I haven’t been stopped. Interesting. I was always dressed just in case.

The second risk I had identified, with the police being number one, was the car breaking down.

Again, you need to be dressed for this, not clean, but dressed. I didn’t do my hair before I got in the car, as I felt this WAS an optional extra. Pleasant for others but non-essential. My hair was/is so short it hardly warrants any attention at all. However the hair pixies still manage to mess it up in the night so that I look like I have a pointy head each morning. What little I do have, is squashed flat each morning where my head has lain. I look very much like my hubs in fact.

So now you know my morning strategies. Comments welcome.

That day, I took her all the way to school, rather than just to the school bus, as she had a lot of kit. I was actually able to drive over Selander Bridge – second reference this year – as opposed to float, as the rain abated last night after 10 full days. We negotiated each week over which days I would take her all the way, and which days she would go on the bus. I usually lost out, but any day without the bridge was a good day for me.

We were ready to leave the house at 06.00am, in fact TT was almost hassling me to hurry up. It took me two times of in and out of the house to find my phone. The little bastard always tried to make a bid for freedom at some stage in the day. It was in my handbag in the car where I had put it so I wouldn’t forget.

ETA at school, no traffic, no rain, no hippo pools with stranded floating toyota corollas…06.20am. Perfect.

I was back in the car at 06.35am and over the bridge in a jiffy. Hurrah.

Hubs had asked for a latte, as I was trying to be a better person, I drove round the Msasani Peninsula to see if anything was open. Nothing was, I KNEW they weren’t but I did want to make an effort and be able to say I HAD tried. It was quite interesting being able to actually see all the potholes in the roads the heavy rains had created, as opposed to just driving into them over a mass swell of water.

I was back home at 07.07am. He was in bed, fast asleep, so I was unable to tell him I had tried, not pretendy tried but really tried.

I lay on the sofa and started looking at my new video tutorial by Mark Dawson, an author who is doing a series for writers who need to learn how to market their books.

Suddenly I heard the click of shoes on the tiles. It was hubs, “I need T/Sh 22,000 for the water man”. I realised I had dropped off. I leapt up and got the money, he took it, came back and said good bye. I sank back on the sofa and started the video tutorial again – it is such great stuff.

I stirred and there were six big brown eyes staring at me and licking my feet and my t-shirt. “They weren’t here a minute ago,” I thought. I looked at the time on my phone.


I got up and tripped over as I was all crooked from sleeping on the sofa. I had cushion prints on my face, and dribble. You know the whole falling asleep in the sofa thing. But it was GREAT. It was the longest I had slept in ages. I felt elated. By anyone’s standard that was a mother of a sleep.

I went to see if there were any other humans in the house, still feeling that spacey, long sleepy feeling, and wondering if I was dreaming. It was so quiet. Maybe it WAS a dream. I frequently do nod off from time to time after the school run, but usually wake up within a few minutes because of sweeping noises, talking outside, etc.

Today, life had continued pretty much normally without me. Just quieter.

The first words I heard were from the housekeeper. I know, for those of you not living in Tanzania, it sounds very grand but please get over yourselves.

I will start again, the first words I heard were from the housekeeper/”lady who does”, telling me that the NEW washing machine wasn’t working. We were without a washing machine for two years. My mother in law was so sorry for the poor lady doing the hand washing that she gave us money to buy one in February. It hasn’t worked since we got it, but we do love it.

Those words are still not uncommon here with our house – third year in. Not necessarily in reference to a washing machine, it could be anything like; the fridge, the pump so no water, the power, something leaking like the roof, rats, snakes or other infestations, doors not closing, plaster coming off the wall, sparking electrics etc. etc.

My alarm on my phone went off.

It was my 45 minute warning to pick up TT. But today I wasn’t going to obviously. The dogs started twitching, why wasn’t I starting to find the things I had to find before I go to school? Why wasn’t I walking up and down the corridor several times exclaiming, “Where are my sodding glasses?” and “Why am I going down the corridor again?” They were frantic and worried in case I was going to forget her again. They knew what all the alarms are for. They KNEW it was time to go to school. They scratched at the door and kept coming to get me.

Very puzzling for a dog. But no, there I was back on the sofa, looking dangerously close to a state of relaxation.

I called my hubs to update him on the happenings of the day. When I told him about the washing machine, he didn’t understand and asked me whether the problem was power or water or operator error. I told him that I had no idea, as I hadn’t been to look at it yet.

The point was that the first thing I hear most days is that something is not working in our empire. Today was no different it was just later than usual.

I sauntered out to the laundry room. Note SAUNTERED. No neck breathing, still nearing relaxation. This is what happens to you when you get sleep. It changes your personality quite profoundly.

I looked at the machine, I didn’t swear, I said hello to it. We all crowded round it. I pressed a button and nothing. I turned on the power, yes that helped. I turned the dial, and took the pause button off and it started gurgling. I fixed it myself. I was confidently expecting to get the plumber out for the second time this week, but no.

The rain had stopped so we could dry the clothes. Hidden under the blanket are two weeks worth of dirty clothes, towels and sheets. Why hidden? Well the flies keep landing on them, because they are fragrant and damp and mouldy because of the moisture. Not for much longer.

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