One minute past midnight I lie in the bath. One glass of hedgerow wine rests quietly at hand; sound of rain beats heavy on the window. The house smells of steam. The density of the steam was such as I had to fumble for the bath and the cold tap: it was the one that didn't pulse painful heat to my fingertips.
One minute past midnight: technically, the start of a day. Any sentence requiring the word 'technically' usually involves some form of deception.
Heat, wine: remember to leave the bath before sleep: a reluctant but practical remembrance. Upstairs the air is a pinching thing. Bed is safe. Rain flicks the window and dreams I do not later recall are taking place.
I think I dream of lying in a hot bath, listening to fat precipitating smacks, watching a wine glass fog. If it were a pleasant dream, it would appear this simple. I think of a cold cottage I lived in once and there was hardly any hot water then, hardly any of anything except coal dust and cobwebs. Life was so pared down, right down to cold and hungry and sat in the dark, hilarious and miserable in equal parts.
It was the best appreciation training I have ever had.
Heat, wine, calm sleep, enthrallments of weather: I have the measure of them.