Around five a.m., the noise of the city begins to infiltrate our dreams from the main city thoroughfare behind us. We hear hundreds of buses begin their daily flow, interspersed with the meep-meep of the motoboys’ horns as they dart impatiently amid the other vehicles.

With the advent of traffic comes the dog commando raid, as Sydney and Cricket creep from their camp beds and stealthily leap onto ours, to lie alongside our legs, hoping we won’t wake and drive them off. We wake, but let them stay. The four of us fall asleep again.

Periodically, we are serenaded by the whiffle of an ambulance siren or the trill of a police car giving chase.

What we don’t hear are the sounds of birds, as we used to hear every morning in San Diego. Oh, how I miss the sound of birds awaking on a damp morning!

We’ve had to change our alarm here, which for years has been the sound of waves susurrating on the shoreline. But that now blends in with the background noise of traffic and we no longer hear it. So, Tom has had to choose a new alarm. Couldn’t tell you what it is, ’cause I haven’t heard that one, either. It’s set to go off at 6:30.

Our final wake-up call is the thumping of the headboard against the wall in the apartment above us fifteen minutes later. Wake-up nookie. Thump-forty-five. Time to start a new day!