....and my alarming tumble down it.
We've recently moved into our new place down here in Dartmouth, and the house looks like a grenade has gone off in a charity shop. It's bedlam. We sit on packing crates, forage for food like huge racoons, and essentially have gone feral whilst we try to sort our lives out.
One of the most alarming aspects of this for me is a dramatic tumble down the hierarchy of the household. I used to be the boss. Tam would turn to me for manly advice and to lift heavy things. Reubs would trail round after me rapt in complete adoration, drooling and whimpering with devotion. Occasionally the two of them would swap those roles, but the general theme was that I was the baboon with the biggest, bluest bottom.
Since baby Isla has turned up, I've gone from first to second, and then (disturbingly) to third in the Halls household rank structure. That means I'm only just senior to Reubs, and even he's waiting for an opportunity to take a pop at the champ. This was perfectly illustrated the other night.
Tam and Isla took the best bed. A more accurate description might be achieved by substituting the word "only" for the word "best" in that last sentence, that's how dire things have become in the chaos of the move. Anyway, this left me to wander the house blearily in my pants, until the obvious solution presented itself in that Reubs had a nice big cushion to sleep on. It's his bed, he's slept on it for ages. We got it from Pets At Home six months ago. It's covered in spit and unidentified crusty things that seem precious to him. He was duly booted off, and I slept blissfully on it, snuffling and twitching and dreaming about chasing squirrels. Reubs went off and - presumably - booted a rat out of it's bed in the cellar and slept there. The rat I imagine nudged a beetle from it's home etc etc, and so the circle of life continued.
It's probably very important that I point out that Tam slept on Reubs bed the next night as I did Isla duty, and so the scene has been set. Happily we've recently got another bed, so the natural order of things has been restored. Reubs still eyes me with that "you'll die mad and alone and by the time they find us I'll have eaten your feet" look. The attached photo is of the two of us playing with a rugby ball in Ireland. Which is another way of saying he just bursts the rugby ball and I get furious and chase him round the garden (which as far as he's concerned is simply the finest game ever invented).
Anyway, just completing the legal handover of the shop, at which point we'll start turning it into a divers / wildlife / filming haven. Whatever one of those looks like.