Its 10:30pm, which in Amy time is past bedtime. I'm wearing my pyjamas (snoopy, red flannel - nice) and have just dropped 'Canine Mystery Stories' and snuggled down to sleep. I hear the bins outside rattling and my eyes spring open - raccoon?
I love raccoons, something about their masked little faces appeals to me (must be the dark eyes!). But I know that most of the rest of Canada thinks of them as vermin, and also that they shouldn't be cornered as they'll protect themselves.
So, I am torn between wanting to get a photo of the nocturnal visitor in action, and wanting to stay tucked up in bed. The bins rattle again, loudly. Maybe there'll be more than one. I'm feeling brave. I pull on my wellies (present from my sister, fruit printed all over), and a head-torch, grab my camera and head out the door.
I creep out to the balcony, trying to keep quiet but there is a reason cat-burglars don't wear wellies. The bin rattles again...
I make it down to the yard and the bin rolls on the floor - it must be in there. I sneak round to the end and peer in (brave aren't I?). The wind gusts up adding to the atmosphere and the bin rolls again....I crouch down to sneak a peek. Its dark in there. I take a step closer...it moves again and I squeal - yes, squeal. I am not proud, but nor am I surprised by this response....
As one of my neighbours pulls into the parking area behind me, the headlights shine into the bin and I realise it is empty. At this moment the wind blows again and the bin rolls away from me.
Yes, the bin was being blown around in the wind. And I am standing in the back yard in my Red Flannel Snoopy pyjamas, wearing fruity wellies and a headtorch.
With a sigh, I turn and wave at my neighbour, secure the bin and walk up the stairs with my head held high. I never intended to adopt the 'eccentric batty english-woman' persona, but somehow thats how I always end up coming across. Ho hum.