My usual weekday morning kitchen routine runs along pleasantly familiar lines........
radio on (Chris Evans, since you ask)
say hello to Meg (our yellow lab)
fire on (October to March)
kettle on (first of many)
wake the boys for school (nicely)
empty the dishwasher (that machine works hard for its money)
make coffee (Derek)
make tea (me, several cups)
make bacon sandwiches (Jacob's breakfast)
warm Pain au Chocolat (Isaac's breakfast)
make packed lunch (Isaac)
make lunchtime rolls (Derek)
fill the washing machine (a load in before the boys go to school makes me feel like Superwoman)
locate gym kit (Jacob)
remind to brush teeth (Jacob)
and hair (Isaac)
locate car keys (me)
find mobile phone (Derek)
kiss goodbye (Derek)
match up boys to correct blazers, bags, kit bags and lunches (every day)
see to door, kiss, kiss, (Jacob) (Isaac)
watch boys crossing the park together (start missing them already).......
You get the general picture, perhaps your house is very similar in the morning?
This morning, in the midst of our usual organised chaeos I was suddenly, and unexpectedly, dive bombed from above by a small, beautiful and thoroughly disorientated..... robin redbreast. He must have flown in through the back door, which I had earlier opened for Meg to allow for morning ablutions and sniffings.
I yelled in surprise and nearly dropped Jacob's breakfast, Meg started barking wildly as she caught sight of the bird, Isaac came running through in half a school uniform and bare feet, and Derek (used to a certain amount of noise in the mornings) appeared, nonplussed, at the kitchen door, to ask what the fuss was about. He quickly became a little more animated as our unexpected guest circled twice round his head before taking refuge atop a shelf of recipe books.
Before deciding how best to deal with him, I fleetingly regretted that A) he hadn't landed right on top of my christmas recipe book collection- surely a missed Christmas card design opportunity, and B) that I don't have a better zoom on my camera.
Amid much hilarity, combined with a little mild hysteria at having such an unpredictable house guest in our midst, we tried to decide what to do for the best. Suggestions ranged from adoption (Isaac) to capturing him under a hat (Jacob), laying a trail of breadcrumbs from the shelf to the back door to tempt him outside (Isaac)- actually I really liked that suggestion, and took a bag of breadcrumbs out of the freezer in preperation for a sort of reverse-Hansel-and-Gretel exercise when the children left for school.
Just as I had decided the best thing to do was just leave him well alone on top of the recipe books until the house was quieter, he suddenly decided that another tour of the kitchen skyline was in order, and flew to the top of a cupboard, as we all ducked, and shrieked (and Meg barked) as though we were being targeted by a Lancaster Bomber.
Then Jacob, always cool headed in a crisis, climbed onto a chair with a tea towel in his hand, and with infinate care, and a gentleness that belies his 6' 2" frame, size 12 feet, and huge hands, calmly and carefully caught the little fellow and cradled him carefully as he stepped down.
He walked to the back door and opened the tea towel. Our Mr Redbreast, undaunted by his awfully big adventure, flew up into the branches of our Acer tree. After looking back at us all with what we were sure was an expression of gratitude for our hospitality, he flew off.
I have always wondered what magazine journalists, writing about Christmas, mean when they tell us to be prepared for 'unexpected guests', but I guess I know now.