Insomnia, a delinquent cat and a bear named Pooh

And in that warm cocoon, I am up against the faceless man once more. I’ve had my second guess at today’s five words and not guessed right. So back I go to the locked room until tomorrow, frustrated with failure and at the unfairness of it all. It should be a place of sanctuary but I’m restless, sleeping fitfully and dreaming endless, unsettling dreams.

Over the last month or two I’ve been flexing the writing muscles with a weekly five word challenge – five words, once a week, from which I must create a poem. The last of these challenges starts today. It’s something I thought I was enjoying but, at night, the mind behaves oddly!  

Yesterday was Blue Monday – supposedly the bleakest, darkest day. Something to do with lack of sunlight, the dip after Yule and Hogmanay festivities, (not a huge number of these this year), feeling disheartened at the breaking of New Year’s resolutions and so on. The weather performed accordingly. Not cold but wet and grey, grey, grey with promises of worse to come – Storm Christoph.

Miss Baxter, our adopted stray ginger moggy, has reverted to her formal feral manners. She’s inviting in, or not shooing out, the neighbouring neutered tom. The conservatory reeks of unpleasant feline aromas this morning. Miss B is also having a few ‘accidents’…maybe because the outside is less appealing at this time of year. Not expending her considerable energy in the great outdoors means she has a surplus when inside. Midnight craziness is what happens when she’s in our room. And when she’s not, because we’ve closed the door, loud vocal objections and destruction of the landing carpet edges are our reward.

Yesterday was also A.A. Milne’s birthday. He was born in 1882. As a child I first loved both E.H. Shepard’s illustrations and the poems. I still more-or-less know a few by heart, including ‘The King’s Breakfast’, ‘Says Alice’ and ‘Disobedience’. But it’s the characters Milne created, Pooh, his friend Piglet and all other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood, who still resonate with children, of all ages, including me. Expunge Disney from your memory. Open Winnie the Pooh at random and something small, simply expressed and perfect will jump off the page and grip your heart tightly.

Unless of course you’re obsessed with the spelling of Tuesday, or, like Rabbit, you are clever and have Brain…

“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that’s why he never understands anything.”

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