Sunday, May 25, 2008

A frolic in the forest

There are only a few things that will get me out of bed early in the morning.

A flight, Christmas and hot weather.

I used to think that I hated getting up early - until I lived in Sydney and found myself leaping out of bed happy as a clam on most days. It wasn't until about six months later that I made the connection and finally worked out that if there isn't a temperature difference between under covers and the air outside, I don't really have a problem leaving my bed. (Never have claimed to be the smartest knife in the steak set.)

As for Christmas, I think most of my family would be delighted if this was the only day in the year that I slept in. I have banged on about this before, but unless you're under ten, I really am a pain in the arse to be in the same house with on Christmas morning. I will roam the house, rattling things, I will even resort to flinging hungry animals into bedrooms in order to get people up and embracing the day. I think it was a fatal mistake the year my mother decided that unless we were in my parents' house, you no longer got a Christmas stocking if you were over thirty. Silly, silly move, on her part. That Christmas stocking used to buy everyone else in the house at least another three quarters of an hour's quiet. Longer, if there was a book in there.

Last Christmas I behaved myself, I woke up and stayed put. It wasn't until about seven o'clock my nieces arrived in my room armed with their stockings. 'I've been waiting for you guys for aaaaaaagggggggeeeessssssssss!' I said as they climbed on to my bed. I didn't think it would have been so cool if I had woken them at six o'clock. Proof that, on a good day, I can act my age.

As for flights, that means I'm going somewhere, which I always find a little bit exciting, even if where I am going isn't. I really don't have a great urge to hurl the alarm clock through the window on travelling day, in fact I am quite grateful to it.

However on a cold winter's Sunday morning, if my alarm goes off at 5.30 a.m you won't find me leaping from bed with the energy and vigour of a woman from a breakfast cereal ad. Nope, I'm the woman with the crazy look in her eye whose desperately trying to deep fry the alarm clock. That was me, this morning.

So,I was struggling when I found myself, an hour or so later in the forest, the bracing drizzling cold and amongst hundreds of dogs, desperate to start racing and who were conveying this to us by barking. Loudly. Oh, the joys of husky racing.

The morning provided some challenges. We nearly headed in the wrong location (the completely opposite direction which would have been an hour long mistake) and then discovered that the piece of paper that was critical to my part of the job wasn't where we were told it would be. This wasn't quite as bad as discovering there was a missing member of the team - when we were on the way to the right location.

Ring ring.

'Hi there.'

'Hi Kate, where are you guys?' Cue niggling thought in back of mind along the lines of 'Are we missing something?'

'UUUUmmm, where are you?'

'Where I was told to be at 6.30.'

'We're on our way to you!'

'Where are you?'

'Just round the corner! See you in two.'

'How on earth did we manage to do that?' I asked the other guys. 'I can understand one of us forgetting a piece of equipment, but a person ?'

'I just assumed.....' said another member of the team.

That old chestnut. Assuming. It will always get you in trouble. Whenever you assume, suddenly he whips the chair out from under you. Never assume. Never assume. Never assume. Two of us assumed and ended up on our arses. We made a swift recovery, though.

So far we had managed to right many wrongs - until we got to the location.

'That gate looks suspiciously locked', noted Nearly Left Behind Guy.

Ya what?

Closer inspection showed that, yes, he was correct and you could replace 'suspiciously' with 'definitely', 'firmly', 'convincingly' and that sentence would still ring true.

Necessity dictated that we load up and leg it.

Which we did and when we arrived at the location, it started to hose down. Do you remember what it feels like when the back of your neck is cold and wet ?

I am happy to report that (in the end) we got what we were sent for and even a little more. Also, as a result of all of the above, an hour of my day was spent in the bath.

And the great part of this story is that I don't have to get out of bed early to go husky racing tomorrow. I am winning already.

And in completely different news. More stories of upside down thinking just in:

The four year old niece just called me to tell me that her mother was mending two of her dresses, 'The one I bwroke at Lake Hayes and the one Bwarbwara gave me that the bottom fell off.'

I relayed this to her mother who told me that last night she said, 'It's night time Mummy because I just saw the sunrising, down.'

I am also quite fond of the poodle naming. She had been given a black toy poodle so she called him, naturally, Blackie. And then someone else gave her the identical toy, just this one was white. Her name for this toy? White Blackie.

Upside down thinking. There's a lot to be said for it.

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