Five twenty-two. It’s quiet. The light is grey, starting to sneak in around the edges of the curtained windows. I don’t know why I’m awake.
Without much thought I get out of bed and pull aside the curtain to get a look at the day that is to come. Bleak-looking, damp, cooler. It’s the summer. The street, usually parked nose to tail, is almost bare of cars. The neighbours are on holiday.
I shrug myself back down under the duvet, trying to find the warm bit, delighting in the knowledge that I have another hour and a half before anyone wants anything.
The cats at the foot of the bed look up bleary-eyed, blinking. Even they aren’t ready to rise yet, although they are curious.
For once, I’m not aware of the distant howl of jet engines on the flightpath to Heathrow along the Thames. Nor do I notice the comforting double hoots of the trains going in and out of the junction. I’m in my own, rare little world.
Finally, I hear the hollow shutting sound of a metal door down in the street and a van starts its diesel engine, revs a few times and is gone. I was wrong. Not everyone is away.
I’m loath to close my eyes and submit to sleep. I want to savour the pleasure of this limbo. I stretch gently and wiggle my fingers and toes, making sure that all of me is there. And while I’m feeling so calm and settled, nod off again.