It’s been a hell of a day but before I fall in to bed and wait for Soph to (eventually) return from the ramparts of Ludlow Castle, I’d like to tell you how the day started…
You know those loud compressed-air horn things that the more juvenile adults take to sporting events?
Imagine that you are fast asleep in your bed, little Zs falling out of your mouth and running all over the pillow before they transform and become slightly damp patches, suspiciously near your mouth.
Now imagine that the local village lunatic has silently broken in to your house and is standing beside your bed tittering, silently, to himself.
Now place in his hands one of those compressed-air horn things.
Now make the time just a few minutes before 02.00.
Yep, one of our smoke alarms went off in the very early hours.
Not went off as in ‘detected any smoke and decided to do something about it’. Oh no.
This was went off as in ‘decided that its battery was too low so, instead of flashing a warning light which we could have picked up on in the morning, and instead of making a subdued, mildly-concerned kind of noise, it decided to give us the full benefit of its full-on smoke alarmingness.
We were out of bed instantly.
Asleep, but moving around.
I, unusually – given that I was still unconscious – identified the culprit then dashed downstairs to check on the status of the smoke alarm in the kitchen.
Then inspected the upstairs one.
Green status light, flashing red battery light.
Still fast asleep we got the small step-ladder out of the spare room, I tottered around on top of it and eventually worked out how to remove the cover.
Then I removed the dead battery and do you know what?
The fucking smoke alarm chirpped at us. Repeatedly.
Why couldn’t it chirp at us to tell us the battery was screwed? What did it have to sound like the Battle Stations klaxon onboard a Nuclear Submarine?
So I did the only sensible thing a half-asleep person with a chirping but batteryless smoke-alarm could do.
I went outside and locked the fucking thing in my car.
Then I made two mugs of tea, returned to bed and handed Soph hers.
We were still, frankly, in a state of shock; adrenaline coursed through our veins and our pulses were elevated.
We read for a while and then sleep arrived and eased itself in.
So that’s how my day started. It went rapidly downhill from there.