I stare out through the kitchen door window. My companion, equally solemn, watches with me as a hail storm marches across the landscape - or at least that portion of it visible - pearls of ice divebombing Baile Aoisaghe making gardening impossible. I sigh, frustrated, and turn to my friend:
"You know we should have done it yesterday. We could have had them beans all staked neatly. I know we talked about it, but you insisted it had to be today". The truth is, I'm mildly pissed at having allowed myself to be persuaded.
"I'm going upstairs. What about you?" I ask when, after a minute or so, I get no response.
He remains silent, contemplative.
"I suppose its only one more day" I say, anxious to be diplomatic.
I turn to leave. My friend seems more reluctant than me, but eventually sighs loudly, and pushes himself away from the door he's been leaning on. He slumps on the floor, disgruntled and begins loudly grooming his posterior.
Which is when I realised that tomorrow's final examination of my second year of university cannot come too soon. It's true, that in common with most pet owners, I have fallen into the habit of talking to the cats. But there's a big difference between 'talking to the cats' and 'having extended conversations with the cats about agricultural techniques and expecting an answer'. Since Easter, though, I have been reading, essay writing and revising for examinations which, for me, has to be a solo operation, and its obvious that in that period of time a pattern has developed. I realise, with some alarm that not only am I having extended conversations with the cats about agriculture and expecting an answer, but that I am also arguing with them, on a surprisingly consistent basis about what I should do about lunch, whether we should have any confidence in post-processual archaeology and if phenomenology is something we all experience or not. And, I have to confess, I am taking advice from the larger of the two animals on the timing of agricultural activities.
Tomorrow, it all ends, and sanity will return, I hope. I have a slew of activities planned for the summer, all of which can hopefully be accomplished without feline input, and more importantly, with human contact. Plans range from various jaunts to Scotland, East Anglia and as much cycling as I can squeeze in, to recording Cheek To Cheek's seminal first album. And there's also lots and lots of renovation to be accomplished.
I get upstairs to my lair, turn on the computer and click an icon on the desktop - an Excel sheet that I have developed to schedule my summer's fun. I make a few changes to "June", bringing "Make solar panel" forward by a few days, and slipping in "Re-plaster bathroom ceiling" hoping RHB wont notice. I go to press save, halt, then press "Save as" instead. Under file name, I change the name of the file to "Martin's Summer Plans", thereby eliminating the other named party from the file. If Toshack wants to plan his summer, he can make his own Excel sheet.