I got inspired to write this post by Profoundly Inarticulate, because it made me realise that my whole life and the whole life of mum and Uncle Hugh is governed by rituals and habits and routines. Mum is the worst when it comes to habits and rituals and routines. Uncle Hugh said she would be really easy to assassinate, if she were President, which she isn’t – ‘cause that’s Mr Obama. I think he was just making a point.
Every morning, it’s the same. Mum and Uncle Hugh get up at different times. Uncle Hugh (7.00), Mum (8.30). Uncle Hugh’s morning ritual is to have a big mug of tea in his old, trusty mug that he’s had longer than I’ve been alive (the one on the left of the photo), and then read his book whilst I snooze in my night-time bed under the table with my head on his foot. Then mum gets up and has a big mug of coffee in her own mug (the one on the right) that she’s had since she moved to France (her old one broke in the move and it made her anxious until she got a replacement). Then she reads or catches up with some blogs whilst she drinks her coffee. After mum has had her coffee in that mug, she has to have a tea in another mug – a plain white one. They take their mugs wherever they go. Even on holiday. Yes, they are sad bastards.
Then, they have breakfast, whilst I beg. Then I have breakfast. Then I snooze in my mid-morning and afternoon bed whilst mum and Uncle Hugh do things on their computers and talk to folk in the UK
Than Uncle Hugh and mum shower (not together).
Then Uncle Hugh goes to do things with his flying car.
Then me and mum go for a walk.
Then I come back and snooze in my afternoon bed whilst mum does more stuff on the computer for Uncle Hugh.
Then mum goes to the Supermarket to buy stuff for dinner and takes me with her for a ride. Whilst there, mum ALWAYS parks in the same place. ALWAYS. It’s nearly always free too ‘cause it’s about a five mile hike from the Supermarket itself. But mum doesn’t seem to mind the walk. It means that HER space is nearly always free. It’s a little space right at the end of a parking row and it’s a big space so it also means that mum’s car doesn’t get dented by people opening their car doors. (Borderline OCD if you ask me – this parking obsession thingy).
A digression - it’s obligatory in France to open your car door onto someone else’s car door and leave a little dent. Same as when you’re parking, it’s obligatory to ‘kiss’ the bumper of the car in front or behind. That means you’re parked. Mum doesn’t like this French custom. In fact, mum hates it. Which is why she chose a parking space far, far away from anyone. Now don’t think that mum is ‘precious’ about her car. Far from it. Mum doesn’t give a damn about her car. Mum’s car is the messiest, dirtiest car you’re ever going to see on the road. Mum never, EVER cleans her car. That’s why she always has silver ones – she says they never look absolutely filthy. Uncle Hugh says that mum would rather buy a new one than wash one. However, saying that, she hates those little dents that sometimes happen when folk open their car doors.
Mum always drives to the Supermarket on the big roads, and always comes back on the little ones (the scenic route she calls it). She never, ever does it the other way round. Why? (Again, borderline OCD methinks).
Then after mum gets back from the Supermarket, Uncle Hugh gets back from the aeroclub.
Then they open a couple of bottles of grape juice and start drinking that whilst Uncle Hugh cooks.
Then they eat , whilst I beg.
Then I eat.
Then it’s more drinking and ‘play with Henry’ time.
Then mum sits on her sofa, Uncle Hugh sits on his sofa, and I sleep in my evening bed whilst they watch TV or read.
Then we all go to bed after nighttime pee, which me and Uncle Hugh do together.
Then it starts ALL OVER AGAIN, the next day.
Why do folk have routines? Do you have one?
I can’t imagine mum or Uncle Hugh ever varying theirs.
Even when they go on holiday. I’ve heard mum talk about how they quickly set up a routine – when on a City Break, Uncle Hugh finds a bar to sit in whilst mum goes sight-seeing and she walks and walks. Or, if they’re doing a ‘beach holiday’, Uncle Hugh finds a bar to sit at whilst mum finds some shade and reads or walks and walks. Especially when on a ‘beach holiday’ they find themselves eating lunch and dinner at exactly the same time every day. After one holiday mum said that the folk at the resort were setting their watches by them. “I’m sure they were. Whenever they saw us heading for the restaurant in the evening I saw them glance at their watch just to check it was 7.30.”
Other little idiosyncrasies of mum & Uncle Hugh – they have ‘their’ side of the bed (and I know other humans do that too), they have a sofa each, and they’re exactly the same but even so, they would never swap – unthinkable.
Mum has all her toiletries laid out in her bathroom in the order she uses them and she KNOWS if Uncle Hugh has been in and touched anything.
Uncle Hugh can’t go to the loo for a number two without his mug of tea and a book - too much detail, I know, but hey! I'm a dog.
There are more but too many to list.
I do think you humans are a peculiar species. Saying that, since I first posted this, I've had time to ruminate and I wonder if mum & Uncle Hugh's routines are a result of them living in chaos for many, many years? Perhaps their routines make them feel safe? More secure? I don't know.
Talking of peculiar – here is Uncle Hugh doing ‘farting hands’ and scaring me. He puts his hands together and makes a strange farting noise and he gets me EVERY time. He always makes me think he’s holding something horrid in them - a horrid farting creature. Deep down I know he isn’t, but I can’t help myself. I get all hyper. It's short and it's a bit dark, sorry.
.....I'm a Mini Schnauzer, which I reckon is the coolest breed on this planet. I've got grey hair, which isn't because I'm old -I was born in April 2005, so in case any cool, sexy lady dogs are reading this - I'm in my prime. I live in France at the moment but that may change very soon. I decided to start this blog because my mum's was having a bad time due to the Credit Munch and was ignoring my attempts to get her attention (worrying my basket, her socks, her slippers and looking very appealing with my big brown eyes). Mum lives with a guy called Hugh Bastard, at least I think that's his name. It's what she calls him from time to time, but she also calls him Sweet Hart. I call him Uncle Hugh.