The pale light of dawn showed me it was time to get up. I resolutely pulled the covers closer around me and refused. It was a matter of principle. For once, I didn’t have to. Okay, I still wandered down at 6.45… but that was my choice; yesterday it had been 4 am, and that sort of wasn’t. So here we are, Monday morning, around ten o’clock… the first day of the working week and I am still sitting huddled and chilly, wrapped in my dressing gown and in no hurry to get to work. I am two hours late. This is unusual. Not, I hasten to add, through any misplaced desire to be a slave to the clock, but usually because my employer is waiting for his early morning tea. Today, however, the alarm clock stayed silent, my frozen fingers tap away merrily between throwing the inevitable tennis balls and reaching for the next cup of coffee. My employer is absent, ensconced in a seafront hotel and I will wander in to work shortly… when the mood takes me, or I run out of coffee… whichever comes first. Possibly the latter.
I don’t actually have to go to work today. I could have what is known as a Day Off. This is a rare and elusive beast for carers, seldom manifesting at those moments called weekends and national holidays when they are usually sighted. It would, in fact, be the first Day Off not booked as part of my annual leave in the best part of two years. I shall not take it as such, though, but will go into work anyway and do the necessary… which, if I am extremely unlucky may even include hauling the pond pump and filter out to clean as it has been playing up… and the fish won’t like it if it dies again.
On the other hand, the whole day feels different because the clock can be ignored. I will work without my boss under my feet… a comment I can make with impunity as he is also my son and Mum can get away with saying a few things an Employee might not… especially when said son gets away with the kind of jocular insults that might land a straightforward employer in a tribunal… usually targeted at my lack of verticality, my age or mental stability.
For once, however, I could wish he was going to be there to hear about his adventures first hand, as the crackling phone call doesn’t show the sparkle of the eyes when a challenge is set and achieved… and yesterday’s adventure was no small achievement and adds another T-shirt, and another medal to his collection.
Now… should I get dressed and wander off to work…? Or have another coffee…