It was early and I was making coffee and thinking about gratitude. A bit like any other day, but with the gratitude. That’s a new thing to replace the usual round of improbable targets followed by self-criticism.
I’m grateful there’s milk left
I’m grateful there’s coffee left
I’m grateful there’s food for lunch (and I remembered to pack it in my work bag)
Technically these work for a 10 things I’m grateful for list, but, really it’s just a reverse shopping list.
I’m grateful there’s food in my cupboards
I’m grateful I spotted the direction my gratitude list was going
I’m grateful I know where my work pass and railcard are, because I’m organised that way
What was that?
Something streaked across the floor. I investigated and Godammit. A mouse, there behind the bins. It was looking at me not so tim’rous at all. Oh, now what?
I’m grateful for a home that’s normally safe from invasion
Sure, we’ve had mice before – sneaking in when we go and away and stuffing their faces with lentils and arborio rice – but I’ve never actually seen one, here, in my kitchen.
I’m grateful for holidays
I’m grateful for that moment when you turn into your street and see that the house is still standing and not, in fact, the burnt-out shell of your imagination
I could always tell by the smell. Not empty-house stale, but acrid, alive, mice-moved-in stinking, rampaging under the sink and through the cupboards. And the only thing for it is a bin bag and a scrubbing brush.
I’m grateful that this summer’s chewed through pipe could be replaced quite easily
I’m grateful for plastic boxes – with lids – where the lasagne sheets now lie
I’m grateful there’s food in my cupboards that isn’t full of tiny teeth marks
I checked and this mouse hadn’t used the usual route. At least not regularly. So, where did it get in?
I’m grateful for a home that’s big enough to take a while to find a mouse hole
Where was I? Noticing the time.
I’m grateful that I hung a big clock up there to tell me when I need to leave the house
It was still looking at me from there behind the recycling bin. “Right, mouse, today’s your lucky day. I’ve got a train to catch. Just don’t be here when I get home. OK?”
I’m grateful no one heard me negotiating with a mouse