I say the magic word as I get up from the computer and Bertie's instantly awake, yawning, stretching and arching his back, ready for his next adventure.
He and Vita dash ahead of me as I make my way up the drive to the house to pack away the Christmas decorations.
They were all down by yesterday - twelfth night - just to make sure of avoiding whatever ill luck is supposed to befall if you don't, but I didn't have time to put them back in their boxes, so that's today's task.
Mind you, the French don't seem to have the same twelfth night thing. My French teacher keeps her crib on display in the lounge grate until St Valentine's day. And some houses never take down their weather-beaten Father Christmas climbing the ladder while hanging rather mournfully from the gutter. One of our local communes keeps its three street decorations in place too - a star, a bell and something else, I can't remember what. Saves paying for a man and a van to put it up again next Christmas.
There's a mix of emotions with the Christmas decoration packing away task. Regret that this season and this last year have just slipped through my fingers (again). But then also a tinge of relief: "Thank goodness that's over and we can tidy it away" (I can hear my grandmother's brisk voice here). And a touch of excitement. Start of a New Year. Like Bertie, time to stretch, arch our backs and say: "Here's to our next adventure".
3 months ago