7:52. No. Not seven days a week fifty two weeks of the year but 7:52 am. 7:52 in the morning. It's like Groundhog Day for me. This is nearly always the time I see on the dashboard of our Vauxhall Astra as I head off for work. I never get up early enough. It's always a mad rush for I was born a night owl. The morning will always look after itself.
I wait till the last possible minute to launch myself out of bed. Into the shower. Speed shower with all-in-one shampoo/conditioner to save time. Shaving gel applied in shower. Swift shave. Out. Brush teeth. Shit. Towel dry hair. Comb it. Race back to bedroom.
Underpants. Socks. Clean shirt. Tie. Trousers. Shoes on. Remember to tie them. Race downstairs. Shirley's made me a mug of tea and there's a slice of toast in the toaster. Dip bowl in sack of birdseed. Out up the garden to the bird table. Back in. Butter toast. Gulp tea.
Jacket on. Grab sandwiches and keys. Kiss goodbye while Terry Wogan jests idly with his listeners in the background. Out to the car. Yes! 7:52. I can make it.
Now the race is on to make Shore Lane by the eight o'clock pips on the radio. Shore Lane is a rat run - a little lane that sweeps past the Masonic Hall and up over Crookes, crossing Manchester Road. Yes! 8:00. I can make it!
The Masonic Hall, Tapton.
...One day, I will wake with the dawn. Shower leisurely, dress and amble downstairs to make bacon and eggs. Sipping my third cup of tea, I will peruse interesting news stories in "The Guardian" before loitering out to the car, arriving at work at what time? Why - perhaps 7:52!