In my experience different places encourage different routines. They possess their own natural rhythm and groove. This is how it works here, and without thinking about it too much you find yourself complying with that groove. Now that I’m in a beach side, semi-holiday location my routine is far different to what it was when I was in town.
I sleep longer here. I was up and out of bed by 7.15 not a month ago as a regular routine. Here I find myself rousing from my slumber some time between 7.30 and 7.45. I’ll listen to the news and then get up to feed the dog, have a piss (and let him out for one also), and make myself a cup of tea. I’ll return to bed with Rigby in close attendance and for the next hour or so will read, or else catch up with the news and twitter, the email overnight on my tablet. It feels very civilised.
Most mornings after my shower Rigby and I will head out for a walk. He’s always very expectant of this moment. He looks at me searching for the sign. His eyes dart from me to the red leash looped around the door handle. He’s restless and set to be excited once more. When the time comes his tail wags and he pushes at me with his snout, eager to get going, keen to have the leash clipped to his collar. Once out he leads the way as if running late for an appointment. “Settle,” I tell him, tugging on the leash. Soon enough he is either sniffing keenly at every passing bush and pole, or prancing ahead very elegantly.
There’s a nearby cafe I go to normally for my morning shot of caffeine. I sit outside at one of the tables and read the newspaper if I’m lucky enough to snaffle one, though more often I sit there in relaxed contemplation. Rigby is alert, never sitting down. He watches everything. Occasionally he whines with excitement, then will turn to jump up on me. Passers-by stop to give him a pat. What a beautiful dog, they say. Rigby accepts their affection with relish.
This morning we got in the car instead. It never occurs to me to leave Rigby behind when I go on these drives. He loves to be with me, loves to be out. I’m surprised at how content he is to sit and lie in the back seat while I go off to attend to some chore. I leave the window open a tad, and the sun-roof ajar. He’s happy to sit and watch, alert to my return which occasionally he’ll mark with a happy bark.
Today I had coffee in Blairgowrie, just to vary the routine. Afterwards we drove to Rosebud proper. The sun was shining gently. The strip of narrow beach followed us on the left all the way. Rigby jammed his nose to gap in the window and breathed in the salty air.
In Rosebud I left him in the car while I went and bought some Christmas gifts for the kids. It’s coming up to lunchtime now and we’re back at the ‘house’. Soon I’ll start my work for the day – writing this book.
I had a productive day yesterday writing. At the end of it I felt great satisfaction. For the first time I thought that if I manage to finish it then the book should be quality. I should finish it too. I have the time, and I think enough ideas. I feel more and more like a writer all the time, as if this is something I’m meant to do.