LESLEY KEATING: The thoughts that keep me awake at night

Lesley is often kept away at night about things such as...her dog's toilet habits
Lesley is often kept away at night about things such as...her dog's toilet habits
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It’s funny what wakes you in the small hours, making it impossible to get back to sleep.

Currently, it’s the Big Renovation.

She’s a creature of habit so, as it was a strange place, she actually refused to have a wee for a full 18 hours. The dog was clearly a camel in a past life.

When you know someone’s going to crowbar out your kitchen, chuck your bathroom sanitary-ware in a skip then use a Kanga drill on your black granite floor it’s hard to sleep like the proverbial baby.

I’m trying hard to be relaxed. However, I have a habit of sitting bolt-upright in bed at some ungodly hour, pondering whether I’ve chosen the right wall covering or curtains.

This type of thing has a strong effect on my wellbeing. I’ve been known to buy a new item of furniture, sleep fitfully, then wake Mike at 5.30am with the dreaded words ‘It’s got to go back, it’s all wrong!’

The latest worry was when I decided to fret about whether our dog, Milly, would settle at our temporary accommodation.

You may think that I’m being excessive, however, Milly is pretty highly-strung – like most small dogs – and really doesn’t like change.

Last year we took her on a lovely, dog-friendly holiday to Devon thinking she’d love it but she was traumatised by it all.

She’s a creature of habit so, as it was a strange place, she actually refused to have a wee for a full 18 hours. The dog was clearly a camel in a past life.

Mike and I took it in turns walking round-and-round the garden with her and enduring a cold cross-country walk yet she didn’t summon up enthusiasm for even a miniscule tiddle anywhere.

We then marched her across the clifftops for hours after dinner, armed with a torch, both of us nearly demented with tiredness, but she still stoically refused to ‘go’.

Eventfully, after a long and sleepless night – mainly because I was terrified she’d suddenly randomly perform on the bedroom carpet – she deigned to spend a penny just outside the front door. Eureka!

Luckily, she bounded into the new place like she owned it, instantly christened the garden and is now very much at home.

Think I’ll sleep well tonight.

COUNTRY LIFE AND BACK – IN A MONTH

Friday was a big day in the Keating household. When we moved out of our home. The builders, and our lovely project manager, moved in.

It will be their home now for the next few weeks as we’ve swapped suburban village life for country living.

So, I’m writing this from a quirky, period cottage that we’ve rented ‘out in the sticks’.

They say moving to a new house is one of the most stressful things you can do and this is, effectively, what we have done, waving all our worldly goods off to storage.

But, unlike moving, when you can gradually reassemble everything at your leisure, we’re facing the prospect of doing it all over again in reverse next month.

We must be mad.

I OBVIOUSLY LOOK LIKE A DUMPING GROUND!

The other day I was in a M&S café having a quick coffee-break before attempting my shopping.

I left my empty tray on the side of the table to return it later.

An elderly couple had just sat down at an opposite table where a previous customer’s dirty tray had been abandoned.

The lady moved it to one side, tutting, then, within moments, stood up with it, heading my way.

‘I do hate clutter,’ she said, smiling as she leant over towards my tray.

I smiled warmly back and was just about the say ‘Oh, bless you, that’s kind’ when she plopped her laden tray full of dirty cups down right on top of mine, and tottered back to her table.

I was speechless!