There's a time isn't there? When you wake in the morning. Well, not exactly wake. More like half awake. Half asleep. Probably drowsy is the word I'm looking for.
It's a nice feeling. Kind of warm and snuggled. Cocooned in the nest. Safe. Secure. Away from the worries of life. The postman hasn't been yet, so there's nothing bad arrived in the post.
In your dreamlike state of inertia you hear the clink and smashing of bottles as the milkman's horse bolts, while the milkman himself, is treated to his morning cup of tea in Mrs Browns back parlour. She sure takes a long time to brew that tea!
What am I saying? The milkman was made redundant years ago. Loyal though, he still visits her regularly.
That's what I mean you see. The brain does strange things in the early hours, when you are not quite awake. Well it does to me!
This morning I thought I had died! An easy mistake to make, especially because I found myself knocking on the Pearly Gates of heaven, asking Saint Peter to let me in.
"You're early", he said, looking slightly miffed, as though I'd woken him up. He still had on his nightshirt, so maybe I had.
"Sorry," I answered. "I know it's early, but I was woken by the milkman's horse, so thought I might as well make my way here."
He put on one of those peaked caps that officious people are prone to wearing, picked up a clipboard, ran his finger down a list of names and adopted a haughty attitude. "It is normal practice," he said, "to wait until you are called. You are not on today's list. We can't have people turning up here without an appointment. It's against policy."
"What about sudden death?" I quickly countered.
"Don't you get smart with me mate! There is no sudden death, as you call it. All deaths here are planned and arranged, according to God's will."
"Then why am I here?" I asked, quite politely. Although to be honest his brusque attitude was beginning to grate slightly.
"You are here," he said, "because you are an idiot! You are not dead. You are half asleep."
As he spoke I managed to sneak a look through the gate. There was God, and Jesus sat on his right hand side. In fact there was a line of people, and they were all sat on each others right hand side. The line stretched to infinity. Everyone on the right hand side.
"You do realise don't you," I said, as it suddenly occurred to me that I could get one over on him, "that you are the only one not sitting on God's right hand?"
For just a satisfying second or two, he actually looked flustered. Then a really irritating smirk appeared on his face. "Somebody has to mind the gates! Now clear off!"
Just at that moment Bonnie the ginger cat knocked another plate off the kitchen shelf! I woke up fully then. Bloody cat!
Milkman's horse indeed!