Autumn is here. Deb-rise now substantially precedes sunrise, the red blush glowing in the east to burn away the edges of night’s dark mantle appearing only when the hour hand has crawled well past seven o’clock. And then, when he’s finally lifted himself from his soft bed on the horizon, the sun’s slanting gaze is lower, gentler, more caressing than of late.
The trees are also changing into their outfits of warmer colours for their brief season in bright mode before they throw them off in disgust at the oncoming cold weather and sulk until spring when they’ll again revert to their fresh colours of new growth.
But still we are without rains. Despite the colder mornings and fresher evenings, the days are still flaunting relentless blue skies and high afternoon temperatures. Fantastic news for late holiday makers. Frankly unwelcome for labouring kennel builders.
I have too much hair. That is not to say that it is long, because it is not. However, it is very fine and exceedingly dense – a little like having an Afghan hound wrapped round my skull. Because of this, when I am hot, as I am daily as we toil in the barns, I sweat almost exclusively and profusely from my head.
My hair ends up wringing wet and hanging like rats’ tails in a fetching curtain around my entire head, including my face, and the rivulets of stinging perspiration run down my brow, into my eyes and onward down my neck. It’s most uncomfortable and I hate it. I have threatened to shave my head on more than one occasion, but I have thus far refrained given that I am aware that to do so would probably place me firmly in the Britney Spears’ basket.
The worst aspect of it is the flies that it attracts – dozens of the foul creatures buzzing excitedly around my head, all desirous of drinking at the Fountain of Deb.
Nice, huh? No.
A second problem that has raised its ugly head during this unseasonal hot spell is the little matter of a pair of trainers of mine that suffer appalling body odour. Now please don’t think that I have smelly feet – I genuinely don’t, not in any of my footwear bar these trainers. So I have to conclude that it is the trainers themselves that whiff.
However, given that they were firmly attached to the bottom of my legs recently while I was working on site, it would obviously appear to anyone stood in my close vicinity that I had washed my feet in chicken poo and then lightly dusted them with grated Parmesan.
So – thus far, sweaty, beset with flies and with ponky feet.
Add to this extremely attractive picture, if you will, the following factor.
Suki, the sassy redhead dog (as opposed to her sister Saphi, the dumb blonde), has recently developed a digestive problem that can only be described, in the kindest terms, as an effervescent gut. This is probably due to her latest habit of scouring the land for unmentionably soft and putrid things with which to supplement her diet – I make this assumption because it is true to say that when she farts, it smells like something has crawled up her bum and died.
Anyway, she has recently taken to venting near me just as Andreas (the superconstructor) approaches me to discuss a point of design.
Mindful of the likelihood of a deep suspicion that “she doth protest too much”, I find myself unable to point out that it is not me but the dog who is the culprit for the lingering odour of a pig with gastroenteritis struck by a sewage lorry driven by an unwashed skunk.
I’ve a feeling that Andreas is beginning to see me as the Charles Schulz character Pig-Pen.
It was my wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Rather coincidentally, it was John’s, too. I was here in Spain. John was on duty in the UK. We both forgot.
Well, not entirely true, because I did remember finally at around ten o’clock in the evening and phoned immediately to offer my dearest husband my felicitations.
John and the rest of the crew were out on the pump, returning from an incident.
“Hi, babe,” I said. “Just phoning to say ‘happy anniversary’ before the opportunity lapses.”
“Oh, right,” he replied, clearly not comfortable with a conversation of this nature when crammed at close quarters with four other blokes in the cab of the fire appliance. “Great”, he continued. “Thanks for that – I’ll get back to you on it when I can. Bye.” And cut me off.
Blown out on my wedding anniversary!
Anyway, he flew out late on Wednesday for a four-day break. In the car during the journey home from the airport, he made absolutely loads of no references whatsoever to the conversation. Hmmmm.
I have a problem, when he’s here with me, of digging him out of bed in the morning. To be fair, this is attributable in the main to him having a foot in both camps, as it were, and his body clock being set firmly one hour before mine. So Thursday morning I finally managed to prise him from between the sheets at around half-seven.
I went off to make him a coffee and to feed the cats, and returned with said coffee to find him up and in a somewhat frisky mood, prancing around the boudoir naked and performing the dance of the seven boxer shorts.
“So….” he drawled in his best come-back-to-bed voice. “Are we going to make lurve for our anniversary, then?”
“No,” I replied. “You’re going to get your ass up to the barn to open up for Andreas.”