Sunday morning, 10 a.m

The summer was ending; she could smell it in the crisper morning air and hear it in the owl’s hooting during the night. The birds woke her later than usual, singing less frantically. There was a sense that the world was pulling the covers over its head and settling down for a long winter sleep. Yesterday she had noticed some of the trees turning their colours and the blue of the sky had been swathed in the light haze of autumn.

What that meant, she decided, was that a lie-in was required. If the world was slowing down then it would be rude not to join in, and it felt right to keep time with the seasons. So she snuggled up to her husband and dozed a while longer. Later tea appeared next to the bed, along with the Sunday paper. She could feel the stress of her frantic Saturday fading away as she sipped the elixir and read the weekend articles. A politician had been wearing a baseball cap; apparently it was a slow news week.

A little later again she found herself up and dressed and eating toast while planning the chores. So many to do in just the one day, but she felt ready for them this week. Not like last week when the demands of the children had been the straws that broke her back in a hundred places and she had felt so tired. This week was better, this week was different.

She finished her tea, piled up the washing up and sorted the laundry into separate loads, putting the first into the machine. The on-line grocery order and weekly menu had been completed while she drank. Her case was packed for travel tomorrow. She found the duster and polish and began her Sunday.

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