Six for Gold 

The weather has heated up a lot in the last few weeks. I have managed to get the electric blanket and one extra cover off the bed, but I fear this is as far as I will get. The latest casualty has been my pajama bottoms. Although the material they are made from is thin, it is flannel and now way too warm for me to wear. The bedroom window is now open again at night which means that I am woken up by the soft rustle of leaves from the tree outside.

This morning the soft rustle of leaves woke me up at just gone 3 am. Or perhaps it was the soft rustle of my husband returning to bed. He fell asleep again but I lay awake: kept that way by the rustle from the leaves, the snoring of one dog, the sighing of the other and the essay that I had foolishly proofread just before turning out the light.

The assignment has been a great learning process, but I am not happy with the essay. I am sure it will be enough to to get me a pass, but I did quite well in the last assignment and feel unhappy that I will not be able to repeat that success. The argument does not flow as well as I hoped it would and now that I have edited and re ordered, it is better, but it has lost a bt of the ‘pop’ it once had. I made some decisions about content I wanted to include and now am not sure it adds value but have no time to change direction without just deleting it. I feel I can now understand how some movies can be ruined in the editing process when too many people get involved.

I lay with my body still, trying not to wake my husband who had to be up in a hour, but with my mind tossing and turning. Eventually, I gave up and slid, like a silent but large partially dressed snake, out from the bedcovers. Lucy, who was the dog sighing on the couch, hopped down straight away and followed me to the living room. I slid the door across and went to the kitchen to make some hot milk.

The sound of claws trotting down the corridor interrupted me. Archie, the snoring dog had noticed our desertion and his face was now pressed up against the glass in a silent plea for admission in case he was missing out on a midnight snack. I let him in, finished my milk, made a couple of notes about my essay to get them out of my head and snuck back into bed.

I reckon I could have made it back silently if it had just been me, but, like Noah, I was now leading two animals in my wake and they did not realise it was 3.30 am and my husband only had 45 precious more minutes of sleep left. Lucy walked up to the pillows and Archie gave himself a good shake, rattling his collar as he did so. No sooner were we all horizontal again than my husband was vertical, disturbed by our re-entry.

I fell into a deep sleep and almost failed to stay awake when the alarm went off at six, but the morning walk in the milder sun woke me up. I thought about my essay as I made my way down to the park. When I arrived, the sun was shining and there was a line of magpies lined up against the wall on the far side. I counted them as I walked along the fence: one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy. Five for sixpence, six for gold. Six magpies bathing in the morning sun for gold.

Today I saved the edits from version five of my essay as my final draft. The sixth version may not be gold, but it is time to let it go. I am submitting it tomorrow.

 

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