Five minutes later, the radio starts. The first song an a half, and the news pass me by, although sometimes I hear something on the news later in the day, and realise that I already knew it. I get out of bed with the opening jingle to the breakfast show.
I get to the bathroom, but rarely remember the journey along the landing. I could have floated there for all I know. Shower on, and hop in. By the time I've finished shampooing my hair, I'm awake. By the time I'm conditioning, I'm also working through the day. What's on? Who am I seeing? What am I doing this evening? Then, whilst I'm washing, I work out what I'll wear today. Perversely, I usually start with the shoes, then piece together an outfit in my mind which will go with them.
Out of the shower. Brush teeth. Deodorant spritz. Towel dry hair - never a hairdryer. Splodge on some moisturiser. No perfume anymore - I'm allergic apparently. How dull. Get dressed. Change my mind. Decide on something else. Realise it's in the laundry bin. Put the first thing back on. Find jewellery to match. Have a sneaky boogie to something on the radio, and sing into a hairbrush microphone.
I trot back to the bathroom, remembering more of the journey this time, put some goop on my hair and generally rearrange it, then put some slap on - a process with takes progressively less time every day. Soon I'll just be dunking my face into the make up bag, and wiggling it 'round a bit.
The radio goes off, and I head downstairs to sort out my handbag, pulling out things I don't need, and dropping in things I do, and prise the zip across. Coat on, and quick paranoid check for purse, keys, phone, book, then out the front door.
I speed walk up the road, thinking about nothing. I get to the station having no idea what's passed through my mind on the way. I never run for a train - I have an inbuilt paranoia about falling down the steps onto the platform. Rather than risk it, I'll allow one train to go and wait for the next one.
I have a spot on the platform. Opposite the last but one sign on platform one. It's the right spot when I get off at the other end, but not so busy that it's a scrum. If I'm lucky, I'll get a seat on the train. Otherwise, a leaning post will do. And I get my book out.
Train through the common to Balham, to Wandsworth, another common to Clapham Junction, and through Battersea. No idea what's going on around me. I envelope myself in my novel for fifteen lovely minutes.
Then the train crosses the Thames, and every morning I look up from my book to watch out of the window for a minute.
And that's when my day starts.