Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Hurry Up and Sleep

We're at that time of year when my sleep is suffering -- the daylight comes so early and departs so late. Sunrise this morning was at 4:43 a.m., and sunset is 9:21 p.m. Every year I mention this and people say, "You should get some heavy blackout drapes." And I say, "Yeah, that's a good idea." And then I don't do it.

I'm not sure it would bother me, except that the dog goes on RED ALERT as soon as she sees daylight. She basically lies in bed and stares at us, and if either of us so much as twitches her tail begins frantically thumping the mattress. Which, of course, makes us open our eyes, which leads to more frantic thumping. She just can't wait to get out of bed and come out to the living room so that she can do this:

That's her next to me right now. Snoring.

We've put her on glucosamine supplements for her joints, and it seems to have helped a lot. She hasn't been reluctant to go on her morning walks, as she was for a while. Of course, the weather's better now too, so that might be a factor.

You know how every year around this time I get stressed out about renewing the lease for our flat? Well, this year is turning out to be even more interesting than usual. Our lease expires in early July, and although the managing agent asked us months ago if we wanted to renew (and we said yes), we've heard nothing since. I wrote on Monday and asked what was up, and the agent said they haven't been able to get a response from the landlords about renewing. They suggested I write the landlords directly, and I did so, but I haven't had a response either. So we don't know what is going on. Normally I'd suspect they were traveling, but that seems unlikely at the moment.

Apparently even without a lease we'd need three months' notice before being forced to move, under new protections for renters during the coronavirus epidemic. So that's something. But I'd much rather have a lease and know we're settled for another year.

I just can't read our landlords. When they visited in January they seemed so comfortable about our staying. "It should feel like your home," one of them told me, and we discussed several improvements to the property. But they've also behaved a bit oddly in recent years, asking for a clause in the lease that would allow them to break it early, and coming for that inspection.

So who knows. Dave and I are resigned to the possibility that we may be asked to move. We'd hate to leave our garden -- where we've invested so much time and effort -- but many of our plants are in pots and could come with us. And honestly, moving would solve some problems. We could finally ditch our antiquated bathrooms and kitchen, not to mention Mrs. Kravitz!

Speaking of plants, I found this tag on my walk Monday, attached to a plant box discarded in the street near Queen's Park. The nursery label on the box said "basil," but let's assume it really did contain "rosemerry!" Perhaps it was a gift from a child. What is that creature? A parrot?


  1. Stop stressing about the lease. Now.
    Of course you know what that bird is! It's a touraco.

  2. I hope that your landlords are just...spacey. Or something.
    I'd go crazy if my dog woke me up that early just to go sleep somewhere else. But of course, sleep is sacred to me so there you go.
    I love "Rosemerry!"

  3. That's quite the interesting Tailor Shop sign. My Pogo does that too sometimes. Just goes to show that we really do spoil our doggies. Sometimes when Pogo is finished eating, he'll start asking for more food. Once I put it on his plate, he walks away. I guess he just wants to make sure there's food for his next meal. I wonder if this comes from his life before he was rescued. I think that plant tag is adorable. You have a wonderful day, hugs Edna B.

  4. Oh that sunrise time reminds me why I had a hard time living in Port Townsend, Washington. Way to far north in latitude for my comfort zone.
    Sure hope your landlords are just being spacey.

  5. I hope you hear from the landlords soon. The lack of contact has to make you feel a bit unsettled. I remember that my dogs were exactly the same, excited to get up in the morning and as soon as they were fed, ready to go back to sleep.

  6. I wake up early in the summer too but I can't blame it on a dog.

  7. my mind went immediately to "the landlords died and in their last will and testament, left the house to you". You are lucky that you can not sleep much, you get a lot done- I sleep all of the time, sleeping though this lifetime seems quite a waste but my dream life is fantastic!
    I do love the art work!

  8. I hope you hear from your landlords soon! I'm actually a landlord and having difficulties with my tenant -- this whole Covid thing has messed up a lot of stuff, and I fear that it's just beginning to snowball.

    As for Olga -- have you ever tried cannabis for her joints? CBD for dogs is available here, and I have many friends with older dogs who swear by it.

  9. The rosemerry picture is a joy, whatever it is. I know how you feel about the lease renewal. We've chosen to rent here, and for me that's the one drawback. Impossible to find anything that was solely intended as rentals. So if you don't buy here, you're stuck renting from a condo or home-owner who could change their mind at some time. But, hey, maybe your landlords left the country and decided to simply gift you the place! (Anyway, I hope you can soon rest easy.)

  10. That would be super-stressful not to feel secure about your home. It's one of the advantages of home ownership although ownership comes with a whole other set of issues.

    Maybe Olga's just hungry and if you fed her you could go back to bed?? I am a bear without enough sleep. I keep cat food in the bedroom (where we have to keep one cat overnight) so if she wakes me up to eat I don't have to go far, then I can get the rest I need. Or maybe Olga's just waking because of the light, as you said, especially if she doesn't do it in the other seasons.

  11. Hi! New to your blog (found you via Oddball)....always great to hook up with more male bloggers (that sounds wrong LOL)...and especially anyone on the other side 'of the pond' (from the USA.)

    Hope the landlord issue gets resolved soon; we are all on edge and extra things like this don't help. I think that drawing is a happy shark. I'm sure I'm wrong, but it brings a smile to my face and I hope it does to yours, too.

  12. I agree that a lease is always better than the guessing game but I would think that they would like to know that they have renters for another year as well and what a strange clause about breaking the lease early?

    I hav e my fingers crossed that you and Dave will not have to relocate.

    Olga made me chuckle as your description of her wanting into the living room to snore next to you. Too funny.
    Have a awesome day.

  13. Dear Steve and Dave,

    I have decided not to renew your tenancy as you keep calling me a "landlord" when I am clearly a woman so I should be referred to as a "landlady". This is most upsetting and if I might say, a form of subtle sexism which affronts my feminism.

    Yours sincerely.

    Ms Virginia Loadsamoney (Landlady)

    P.S. Only joking!

  14. You wouldn't want to spend money on blackout blinds without a secure lease. Mrs Kravitz....everywhere has them.

  15. Alphie: It does LOOK a bit like a Turaco!

    Ms Moon: Who knows. I wish they'd just write us and say, "We're thinking about it" or whatever. ANYTHING.

    Edna: Ha! I guess Pogo just wants the security of knowing there's food around, as you said!

    Robin: It's definitely an issue for this Florida boy. Even in NYC the sun didn't come up THIS early.

    Sharon: Yeah, it's the silence I can't stand. Just communicate with us, for Pete's sake!

    Red: You're in the same boat we are -- far enough north that the sun comes up crazy early.

    Catalyst: Ha! It DOES look a bit devilish!

    Linda Sue: I wouldn't want my landlords to die, just for the record -- but OMG that would be FABULOUS if they left us the property!

    Elizabeth: I think COVID probably has something to do with this. Dave pointed out that they could be sick themselves. Who knows? We've never tried CBD for Olga. I'm not sure we can get it here.

    Mitchell: Yeah, renting can be stressful. We are model tenants (as I suspect you are too) so they probably won't throw us out unless they want to reclaim the property for some other purpose.

    Jenny-O: I would LOVE to own our home. We've talked several times about buying but it requires a degree of fortitude (and financial commitment!) that I'm not sure we have! London is a shark tank when it comes to real estate.

    Silver: Welcome! A shark is a good guess! And yes, these are tense times for everyone, so the landlord situation doesn't help.

    Beth: I suspect -- but it's only a suspicion -- that they're thinking about either selling the property or taking it off the rental market for some reason. Maybe they're so impressed with our gardening that they want to move back in themselves!

    YP: Now see, I think "landlady" is a far more sexist term. Didn't we reject "lady," with all its implications of ladylike behavior, decades ago in favor of the more egalitarian "woman"? I consider "landlord" basically genderless, like "actor."

    Andrew: Yeah, we have terrible window coverings in general, but we've never wanted to spend the money to replace them. In fact, in the living room, we just took them down altogether.

  16. well, you know, stressing out about the lease solves nothing so let it go. either you stay or move and neither is really under your control and as you said you will have 3 months to find a new place and move if need be.

    I remember those early mornings and late nights (even later) when I was in Scotland several years ago and the family I stayed with did have blackout drapes.