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Has anyone seen Stan???

Has anyone seen Stan? Stan? Hello? Are you there Stan?

Stan has won the competition but like, he hasn’t like been in contact so like, I cannot send the stuff to him…and like…that’s bad. Really bad. As bad as something bad that has been really bad and is currently sat on the naughty step wishing it hadn’t been so bad. But maybe it needs to think a bit more about its actions and adapt its behaviour for the future then it wouldn’t have to sit on the naughty step with no pudding tonight.

My alarm goes off every morning at about half past eight. Which I know is really quite late but then I’m a writer that stays up into the early hours being all beardy and deep and thinking long trains of thought processes that entwine and dance through the meaning of life as I delve into the human psyche. The dark hours that bring the shadows into the room, when the house is quiet and you can hear all the creaks and groans.

But back to the morning thing. Yeah so my alarm goes off so I roll over and hit the snooze button, at which point my youngest dog jumps on the bed and lies on my chest staring down at me. He is the youngest but also the biggest at about forty kilos.

He will stay there until the alarm goes off again and if I don’t get up he starts swatting me in the face with his paws.

Thump. Get up. Thump. Wake up. Thump. You’ve had a snooze. Thump. Really, I’m a dog and I can do this all day. Thump. Get up. Lick…that didn’t work and your breath stinks in the morning by the way…thump and lick and thump again. Good, you’re up.

He then runs into the bathroom and stares at the toilet until I get there. Once I am stood there doing what er…well you know…what men do in the morning when they’re trying not to sprinkle all over the floor while weeing through blurry eyes. He, the dog that is, is then stood by the sink waiting for me to start brushing my teeth. I start my morning washing routine and he runs into the bedroom to wait until I start getting dressed.

During all this time, the other two dogs have stayed completely asleep and don’t bother moving until I’m halfway down the stairs. They then decide that everyone needs to be running down the stairs…at the same time. So I’ve learnt now to cling onto the bannister while they try and take my legs out.

They get fed and I go straight out the door for Cappuccino. The morning cappuccino is an important ritual as it gives me a strong jolt of caffeine in a very nice environment and allows me to think about what I shall be writing about that day.

All of these things, the dog waking me up through to who makes that first cappuccino directly influence what gets written that day. The plot line or story arc might already be underway but how it gets done, and what words, style and umpteen ingredients go into it are all down to the dog and the cappuccino.

The café owner always makes very strong cappuccino that blows my head off and within five minutes has me talking at full speed while bouncing my feet up and down and drumming on the table while twitching my head left and right and laughing at things that really are not that funny.

Too frothy, as in too much milk, and it gives me a lovely warm feeling of drinking er…well hot milk and doesn’t quite do the job in waking me up enough.

Two of the staff at the café make it perfectly with just the right ratio of coffee to milk being steamed and spooned out in the right way with a long handled teaspoon deftly held between thumb and forefinger and the lovely frothiness being gently laid upon the double espresso nestling in the bottom of the wide rimmed mug.

If the dog gives me just enough thumps to wake me up without causing serious injury, and then I manage to cling onto the bannister without going arse over tit down the stairs, and the cappuccino is made by one of said two baristas, then the writing will be good and forthcoming and speedily done.

However, if the dog thumps me too many times and I piss all over the floor then trip over him on the way to the sink to brush my teeth then find him chewing on my shoes and then get taken out on the stairs…and then drink uber strong coffee which makes me go nuts only to have a serious crash at around 11am…which requires either more strong coffee or a lie down…then the writing will be shit and Day Fourteen will just never get finished.

In conclusion, if any of my books are completely crap or Day Fourteen is too violent / graphic / romantic / deep / or too long in coming (delete as appropriate) then this serves to show I am not responsible. That in fact, the Morning Gods have all conspired together to mess it up. Not my fault. I am a man so everything is everyone else’s fault and I don’t need to ask directions either, or use the instruction leaflet provided with the self-assembly furniture…

Day Fourteen is coming and if the dog(s) and cappuccino are just right then it will be done a lot quicker.

And has anyone seen Stan?

Take care

RR Haywood


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