On Saturday Mornings

Waking up on saturdays is characterised by that joyous in-between moment where my sleeping self encounters my waking world. Rather than the startling electronic shock of my relentless weekday alarm – EEH! EEH! EEH!- on this day my dreamworlds get to dissolve and melt into consciousness. I am left mesmerised and inert by the process, and enjoy a state of warm contented dopiness until ready to move forward.

Normal procedure is then to make sense of what kind of day it is outside. Before i muster up the energy to move anything, I pick up clues from the kind of light coming through the tiny cracks in the shutters. If it gleams, we’re storming. I’ll prise open the curtain gently and the good news will be confirmed by an immaculate, glowing slice of blue sky – amazing!

Possibilities and opportunities in this day start to pop in my head like corn. The day is enriched just by thinking about them and i start to get jittery. On this day I decide to sneak out and make Mike breakfast. So I get something on and slide down the hill to the supermarket on my bike, through a cloud of finely dispersed grass, freshly mown – it smells warm and hovering on the edge of my consciousness is the feint memory of a similar experience in my childhood. The memory gets lost in the music I am listening to, the enjoyment of which is amplified by the bright sunlight, my sense of freedom, the speed at which I am travelling.

Back at the house, Mike is resisting the day’s insistent presence with the aid of an eye mask, but eases into it gratefully when I bring him poached eggs on buttered toast and fresh orange juice. We review our adventures of the previous evening or take our time to narrate left over stories from the week we never got round to covering in the in between moments of our busy weekdays. Then I hop in the shower and, in the absence of my customary sense of urgency and efficiency, take an interest in the way the water explodes off my back, splatters and dribbles down the glass walls, congregates at the base and works its way downwards to the drain, all of its own volition.

Because I can, I procrastinate dressing. My bed seems soft and warm and lures me back in. So I flip open my Mac and start writing.

On Whistling

Whistling is surely one of the neglected bonus features of the human being. If Q was explaining the capacities and functions of a human to Mr James Bond, surely the capacity to whistle would raise a suave, curious eyebrow. Yet once the lofty aspiration to whistle is mastered by the child, after some frustration and dribbling, most of us sadly take this inbuilt instrument for granted.

I like the humble, cheerful and whimsical associations with whistling. For some reason I think of old irish men who drink whisky and waddle home – while whistling – to disapproving and bearded wives. Hearing people whistle instantly makes me feel happier inside. However, I do wonder whether the emotional range of whistling has been fully explored and appreciated. I for one would be interested in attending a concert, perhaps at the Palais Garnier in Paris, where men in tuxedoes explore the heights and depths of human emotion and express the nuances and subtleties of human existence – through whistling.

It is possible that a proposition for such an event was vitoed due to health and safety precautions – as, according to the Koreans, Japanese and some in the South of India, whistling attracts snakes. Whistling is also believed to bring bad luck by stage performers, and Hawaiians. More pertinent to myself -and here we come to the crux of it – the Russians and Serbs believe that whistling brings about poverty. Little did I know this seemingly most innocuous of human practices could be so effective in bringing about the absence of the prosperity I anticipated as a frustrated, dribbling child.

However on the upside, sailors believe that whistling encourages the wind to blow, and this perhaps might explain the number of opportunities I have had to travel throughout my life. So, recklessly, I will continue to whistle – I am poor but on the move, I am like Bob Dylan in the old days, I am a rolling stone that gathers no moss, I am blowing in the wind! … and I’m broke.