Listening to the tunk, tunk, tunk of a large crow hopping on the roof tiles.
Down to the drainpipe, where it pauses to scrape its beak, before tunking back up to the ridge-cap.
Flip back the covers and down to the kettle.
Not wanting to turn on any lights, I pause before the single deep step in the hallway, to feel forward with my toes for its widow-maker edge.
It is still dark outside, false dawn curled back by a powdering of autumn prophecy.
Through the kitchen window I can just make out the green greyscale shapes of the nearest wattle tree, its branches waterlogged and low from the overnight rain. Beneath the tree lies the bucket shadow of an overturned flowerpot, dragged from its usual place to the center of the lawn by my crazy dog.
Beyond this, the world seems wrapped in a cool, flannelette inertia, and in sympathy I choose tea rather than coffee, flipping the bag from the box into the cup with a propeller flourish that I could not possibly execute were I not half asleep.
Autumn is my favourite time, as it slows to the pace of chocolate browns and mustard yellows, and wet leaf mulch and silver slug trails, and sweet woodsmoke song.
Short, crisp, sun soaked days that demand to be enjoyed before they dim down into the long freezing bland of winter.
I stand before the full length window and sip hot tea. Holding the cup just below my lips, the rising steam warms my face.
For a long while I just stand there on the chilly tiles looking out at a pale autumn ghost ageing, unassured, standing in underpants, out amongst the garden dawns.