We live in house which has two fields behind it. A grass laneway runs down the side of each. At the end there’s a drop where oaks grow, we call this ‘the woods’ even though it is only about four trees deep. Beyond that there are the vineyards of Montemelino – rolling hills with perfect rows of vines.
I do a pet walk a couple of times a day around the fields, it’s a pet walk rather than a dog walk as our two black cats as well as the dogs come along. We have a Bichon Frise named Looney, and a very large half long haired black German Shepard called Asha, which sometimes people mistake for a wolf from a distance.
This morning I decided to bring them out early. I’m in my dressing gown – it’s a long, cosy, grey one with a loose hood. On the way down the steps I grab a large stick from the wood pile just in case the four legged Casanova decides to visit (See Quarantine Day 1 to understand what I am talking about). I walk down the lane towards the woods. The birds are (still) singing and the neighbour’s hen is laying an egg. I’ve never seen this hen, but it clucks and ‘bok, bok, BAWK’s’ way too perfectly, so I imagine it is like a cartoon hen – one dimensional, cross eyed and running around in circles.
I haven’t bothered with shoes. Looney has decided she doesn’t want to walk anymore so I pick her up and tuck her under my arm. I cross the end of the field parallel to the woods and begin my walk back up the other grass lane which faces onto the road. The road is always quiet on weekend mornings, but mass has been cancelled an the supermarket is not open yet so today is extra quiet.
A car approaches and slows to a stop at the top of the lane I see them looking towards me. I think it’s my neighbour so I lift my hand to wave. It’s the one with the stick as the other is full of little white dog. It’s not my neighbour and the car pulls away so quickly that it screeches a bit. Strange.
I get back to the house and get dressed. Without thinking I change from my PJs to just a clean set of PJs. I look in the mirror and realise I haven’t brushed my hair for two days.
I have worked from home for over 10 years and have never done this. What is happening to me? I think it’s because I know that no one will be calling in and I won’t be going anywhere, so my brain has gone from ‘party’ mode to ‘let’s just be a slob’ mode, self grooming can wait.
It also dawns on me why the car sped away – I must have looked like a mad hermit coming out from the woods, long grey hooded cap, barefoot with a wolf and other crazed animals circling, waving my wooden staff at them or maybe a biblical vision with the Lamb of God under my arm… They shouldn’t have been out breaking the quarantine anyway. Maybe that will scare them into staying at home. I feel I have done my bit for the community this morning, now off to the shower with me and to get dressed into proper clothes.