More specific than 8:50

It was the sort of dark, gloomy, wet day that has everyone complaining about the weather, yet which I – for reasons completely unknown – really love.

It got so dark at lunch time that we paused to stare out of the kitchen windows at school, watching the wind whip the trees back and forth as it whistled through the narrow streets in a flurry of leaves and rain. A lengthy conversation about the end of the world took place as we switched on all the lights; I stood at my classroom window watching brilliant flashes of lightning tear apart the black noon sky as thunder drum-rolled like it was announcing a very special guest.

I love this weather.

I lost my umbrella to it as I stepped outside after work, but it was OK. I pulled my furry coat hood down over my face and dipped my head against the wind, stopping at the shop for the type of food I shouldn’t be eating but can’t resist on a dark, stormy evening. On a night like that, there’s nothing quite like a big bowl of cheesy pasta, eaten in front of the TV, in your PJs, before snuggling up with your snuggliest blankets and a good book.

However, I must have dozed off before I even got as far as the book part, for suddenly my phone beeped loudly with a message, startling me out of a deep sleep and vivid dream. I jumped fearfully, opening my eyes in disoriented confusion. This always happens to me when I fall asleep at an unusual time. I wake up with absolutely no memory of it, and very little awareness of where and when and who I am.

After a few blinky, bleary, fuzzy moments, I glanced at the time, and my heart jumped in panic. Ten to nine!! I flung myself out of bed and into the bathroom, the hot jet of the shower taking my breath away as I shivered and rubbed my eyes and wondered how badly I must have slept to be feeling this unrested and exhausted.

Of course, as the water beat down on me and I gradually regained consciousness, my memories came back to me and I realised that I couldn’t have been home for more than an hour before I fell asleep. Come to think of it, wasn’t it a bit too dark outside for 9am, even given the weather? Ohhhhhh, hang on. Sheepishly I towelled off and dried my hair. Got back into my jammies, crawled into my still-warm bed.

This is exactly why most of my electronics are set to display military time. There are just moments when you need your clocks to be more specific than “8:50”.

Also, I may be reaching that point where I need a holiday soon.


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