Awake in the early hours, to the sound of fireworks exploding. We get our fair share of sleep disturbance, even though we’re buried deep in the Hampshire countryside. Two or three months ago it was Elvis at 03.00, explaining how he couldn’t help falling in love. Before that, it was the police hammering our door at 02.00. “Sorry to disturb you sir, but we’ve had a call about a domestic distrurbance.”
“Not guilty, officer. Can I go back to bed now?”
Usually I can slip back into slumberland with ease but, when I can’t, it means the thought processes move quickly into overdrive. This morning I started drifting off, vaguely thinking what goes around comes around. Then my mind is full of rhythms. The rotation of the earth, the hands of the clock, the seasons, Trump’s Tweets, the regular repeat showings of Dad’s Army.
I must have dropped off and, when dreamtime eventually came to an end, I kicked off my day by idly checking the news on my phone.
Despite all that’s going on in the world right now, it was an article about llama’s blood that caught my interest. I had my flu jab a little over a week ago, so the fact that scientists have been checking “…llama blood for the most potent antibodies that could attack a wide range of flu strains” made we sit up straight. I paused for a while, imagining the vaccine I received from the Superdrug pharmacist, working its way into my system. What goes around comes around. Then the revelation that llamas produce incredibly small antibodies, compared to those in humans. Then back to the rhythms again. The huge, indisputable, wobbly recurrences that we unconsciously keep in time to…or not. And between, those rhythmic layers? Unpredictable and unforeseen changes, that’s what.
Mutation, as favoured by the flu virus, is ever present in our daily lives. Things that have the power to shock and surprise. A sudden change in someone’s behaviour – “well, I would never have thought he had it in him”– a spin on the news, a fall from grace, triumph over adversity, a miracle cure, unexpected debt, a windfall, babies arriving ahead of time, loved ones departing before reaching what we’ve come to consider as being an ‘good’ age. And, of course, the detonation of pyrotechnics at 01.30 in the bloody morning!