Tag Archives: early morning

Early One Morning (Just as the Sun was Rising)

It’s Sunday and, as usual, I’m up far too early.

The students are back in town and at 6am some of them were still making their way home. I don’t really notice them most of the time, they are just background clutter in my life, but this year I’ve noticed them more. It’s probably another stage in my decline towards senility.

At this point, in search of a wider vocabulary, I looked up leitmotif as it seemed a good word to use. Ten minutes later I found myself better informed, more confused and less likely ever to use the word.

My age-related confusion is, I think, destined to remain a theme. It’s easier to spell and doesn’t involve Wagner. However, I’m glad I thought of it, as I found the word leitwort. Any day that includes a new word is a good day, but not all good words are words that I will use. If I ever become Oxford Professor of Poetry I might slip it in, but apart from that I can’t see I’ll ever use it again.

Anyway, enough about that.

Today’s subject is sunrise. There was a nice one today, and I didn’t have my camera.

Taking the long way home from dropping Julia off I drove along the high ground to the north of Nottingham and looked down as the ground fell away.

In the darkness of the vally, amongst the mist, a few lights sparkled.

Above that, in the lower part of the sky, a narrow band of salmon pink formed a slightly understated sunrise. The sky above that moved from grey to blue and cloud formations were picked out in pink.

It sounds fairly bland when I describe it, but that’s the fault of the prose, not the sunrise. It was an exquisite moment that reminded me of so many things.

I thought of using my mobile phone to take a photograph but my phone camera is specially designed to remove the colour and beauty from any scene. (It truly is a product of the modern world).

That seemed a good subject for my Sunday morning post, so I came home and started writing.

 

The Natural History of 6am

At this time of year 6am on a Sunday morning is a twilight world filled with strange sights and tinged with sadness. By the time it starts to be twilight you know that summer has passed and another long winter is about to start. Though time is passing more quickly as I get older, winter seems to last longer.

I can’t talk for other days, as I don’t regularly get up for that time on any other day. I would like to, as it seems an industrious thing to do, but I’m just too lazy. My father’s parents used to get up at 4.30 every morning, even when they were in their 80’s, but I haven’t inherited the urge to get up in the dark.

Julia has now been working at the Leisure Centre for around seven years, so I’ve had many chances to observe the Natural History of  that time.

We set off at around 5.40 to get to work for 6am. Other people who go to work at that time are mainly walking, with a few bicycles and cars around. A few people stand at bus stops, but they are early, as the buses don’t start until six. I always think of this when the government says that we should get out of our cars and use public transport. I would use public transport if it ran at the right times. And if I liked sharing a tin box with drunks and people who hold loud telephone conversations.

As people walk to work, wearing stout footwear and sensible clothing they meet a torrent of people wearing fashionable footwear and next to nothing else. I swear that the mascara worn by some of the women weighs more than their clothes. These are the people returning home from a night out.

Talk all you want about poverty and starvation, but there’s something about going to work as the revellers return home that really emphasises the unfairness of life.

For a closer view of the clubbers, you can often find them clustered in McDonalds at this time of the morning loudly discussing the banal details of their night out. At this point it is time to reflect that the more interesting members of the species have, in all probability, paired off and are involved in various mating rituals.

The birds are the other interesting Natural History element of the early morning. Blackbirds tend to be about at all times of the day or night and tend to behave as Blackbirds do at all time of the day. There’s something about a Blackbird’s body clock that seems to go 24 hours a day, whether in sunlight or the illumination of streetlights.

Pigeons stalk the city streets and the suburbs at this time of day, finding plenty of spilled food to eat. Often the spillage will be large enough to attract a sizeable flock. They don’t really pay a lot of attention to cars and natural selection plays its part here – ensuring that the less alert of the pigeons provides a snack for the crows, who always seem to be lurking. There were no Wood Pigeons or Magpies about this morning, but they are often seen too.

That, I feel, is enough. I’m off to the laundry now.

This, in case any children are reading, is what happens when you don’t work hard enough at school. People who worked hard at school tend to have the weekends off.