For someone who usually wakes early and is outside before the sun is fully risen, I am finding my new enforced pace somewhat interesting. Slow. Peaceful. And dare I say it, not too difficult at all. I have no sense of urgency and little sense of time. I am doing things that I don’t usually do, listening to music, radio and podcasts, napping and having long chats on the phone. I look at my watch and go hang on how can it be 3.30, I haven’t done anything today, not even Wordle. But it’s okay. I don’t have to do anything, I don’t have to be anywhere, I don’t even have to take a walk.
And while I love it when people pop in, I think I am starting to understand hermits. There is something nice about not going out. Staying in pyjamas all day. Not worrying about my hair. Dipping chocolate digestives into my tea. Even, dare I say it, cooking a little bit.
My dog, who is my constant companion, is also finding a new lifestyle. In the early morning Bongani, the caretaker, comes to fetch him. He creeps in quietly, nudges Fred awake, and together they go outside. Fred does his business, and I imagine them sharing a cup of tea and a slice of bread together while the sky changes colour. Bongani brings him back, sometimes reluctantly, and Fred happily hangs out until later when I’m ready to take him slowly back to the garden. He waits patiently for me, dear Fred; he is in no hurry either.
There’s a whole world going on outside my window and it’s weird that I am not part of it. I feel an anonymity by just observing. The waves are big right now and there are surfers in the ocean. It must be cold. There’s a wind blowing and the leaves of the palm trees are swaying quite a lot. The homeless have taken up position in their sunbeams. There are the usual dog walkers, runners, skateboarders and cyclists, people walking to and from the beach with their colourful umbrellas and kids carrying their buckets and spades. I think next week maybe I’ll walk across to the beach too and sit under an umbrella for a bit, like an old person, and get some sun on my skin.
Or the week after. Or the week after.
My enforced rest means I am slower to get ready. I wake slowly, shower slowly and eat and drink slowly. I haven’t had a single cup of coffee in ten days, isn’t it WEIRD that I am not missing it, although I am missing my Barista. I feel bad that I didn’t tell him I wouldn’t be around for a while and I hope he is not worried about me. I know that seems odd but we used to pop in every day, me and Fred, so I hope he’s okay. Elton, if you are reading this, I AM OKAY! Maybe just a bit light headed…
I’m going to make another cup of tea, dip another digestive, lie under the covers and start the book that arrived by delivery today. It’s Anne Patchett’s ‘Truth and Beauty.’ The opening quote is by Philip Roth:-
'Nothing lasts, and yet nothing passes, either.
And nothing passes just because nothing lasts.'
It feels apt.