Tuesday, 26 June 2012

How to get to sleep

I heard that this was the most searched for phrase online, so thought I would put it to the test and welcome all insomniacs to my blog.  

So, hello to you all.  I expect some might be reading this in the middle of the night, in your nightie or jim jams, maybe with a soothing hot drink, listening to owls hooting outside.  You will need soothing, because not being able to sleep is horrid, so you have my sympathy.

I have some nuggets of advice, which you can either take, or disregard and go back to staring at the ceiling in the dark, with occasional panic stricken looks at the alarm clock.

Firstly it doesn't actually matter if you can't get to sleep.  You will still function tomorrow.  You know this is true because there have been lots of other nights you haven't slept, and you are still you.

Secondly, you might actually be asleep some of the time you think you are awake.  I know it is maddening when people say this, but it is true.  I used to think I was staring at the patterns on the wallpaper, joining up bouquets of flowers into geometric designs, and yet would be snoring away.

How seriously disappointing is that?  My dreams are just like being awake. I still feel depressed when I think about it.  (I once had a dream about blocked toilets, that wasn't so good either).  I know people who have flying dreams.  Unfair, but life is like that sometimes.  Maybe I should also stop buying wallpaper that you can line things up on.  I do it with the bathroom tiles too - lie in the water and make zigzags that bounce off the corners of the room.  I'd better stop this, I'm sounding like a seriously sad person.....where was I? Oh yes.....

Thirdly, remember you are not alone, although it certainly feels like it in the depths of darkness.  There are thousands of people not sleeping at that moment as well.  People being kept awake by screaming babies, pain, noisy neighbours, snoring partners - lots of things.  There are also lots of people awake because it is daytime where they are, so think of them shopping in hot, sunny, exotic markets, buying strangely shaped fruit and vegetables (this is one thing I have particularly noticed on my travels, real fruit and veg comes in knobbly shapes, not uniform and vacuum wrapped).  Having radio 4 on very quietly helps, especially if there is a programme about politics or economics.  Keep the radio close by so it takes the minimum of movement to turn it off when you can't take comments on the Eurozone any more.  Have it about where your hand lands when you drop your arm over the side of the bed.  Don't worry about disturbing your partner, the Eurozone is so dull, it will help them sleep too.

You could always give up even trying to sleep and use the time productively, being artistic and expressive (quietly so as not to annoy everyone else in the household).  It takes a certain amount of courage to actively give up even trying to sleep, to turn the light on and do something else, because you will be panicking about counting hours of slumber.  I daringly suggest that it won't hurt to try - that if one pattern of behaviour isn't working, trying something different might be sensible.

Another really silly thing is about closing your eyes.  I know that sounds just the stupidest thing ever, but when you get anxious, I bet you are lying there with your eyes wide open.  So, let them droop closed and think about somewhere lovely you once visited, and walk around that place.  I have a walk I go on, on a Hebridean island.  I think about each step and the view, the breeze, the sea, the shapes the clouds make. Even if it doesn't send me to sleep, it makes me feel nice.

Try to lower your expectations.  Stop expecting to sleep, and aim to just relax instead.

So, to summarise; remember you are not alone even though it feels like it; it really doesn't matter if you are awake all night - that your panic about lack of sleep is almost certainly worse than the reality; and once in bed, make sure those eyes are closed.  

A Pilgrimage

I went on a pilgrimage at the weekend.

It wasn't a stone circle to dance naked.

It wasn't a shrine with half man, half beast sculptures.

It was better than all that.

It was to..............................

............................Eeyore's gloomy place!

It wasn't sad and boggy.

It was sunny and breezy and rather lovely.

I was keen to go to the Pooh Sticks Bridge as well, but was advised against it by a friend.  Apparently this is now a modern, square cement structure, and a visit could potentially make me....

very gloomy.

An Ode (don't worry, it's not anything to do with electricity)

I've been to a gloomy place
that wasn't sad and boggy
I didn't take my orb or mace
and it wasn't even foggy

I've been to a gloomy place
that had trees and ferns and stream
I wasn't wearing leather or lace
But did stop later for an ice cream

I've been to a gloomy place
A place where morris men dance
Fields and tracks and moss on gates
And lots of green plants

I've been to a gloomy place
and now I'm running out of rhyme
so I will stop and go and face
the music for this crime!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sunny Spain!

I've just spent a week in sunny Spain - and very wonderful it was too.  I can't remember when I have spent so much time relaxing.

While relaxing, I found it was easy to invent things that might one day make me very rich......

Firstly, there is the large, rotating platform you desperately need at the bottom of those thatched sunshades on the beach.  It would have to have a wide enough diameter to take two sunbeds, and have a winding handle on the supporting pole.  You could have a little crank every so often to make sure you are optimising the sun or shade, as appropriate, without the bother of having to attain a vertical attitude which obviously should be reserved only for another icecream or cocktail.

After a while of staring at the underside of the thatch, I found myself thinking about how I needed to paint my ceiling, and how this would be annoying as the drips would land on my furniture.  So I invented the inverted paint brush umbrella.  A mini upside down umbrella attached to the handle of the brush, so that any drips are caught in the fabric as you paint your ceiling.  No more worrying about whether your suite is going to look like it came off the set of '101 Dalmations'.

Having spent a disappointingly long time in a queue at the airport on the way home, I found myself wondering why EasyJet don't produce their own in flight bag, to the exact dimensions of their testing cage arrangements (I was a bit anxious that my holiday shopping had been rather ambitious for hand luggage).

After a lot longer in the hot queue to get on the plane, I decided the bag could come with a pocket, ready filled with stamped, addressed cards to the Chief Executive of EasyJet, and a pen tied to the zip fastener, so you can easily write your complaints and have them ready to post on return to your home country.

After even longer in the queue, I thought the bag could have an inflatable armchair attached, then maybe even a bed, with a pull out blanket on an inertia roll like seatbelts in cars.

When the queue eventually started to move, painfully slowly, I invented the travelator extension, that moved every passenger to their seat, ejected them into the sitting position, while a metallic arm punches out from the ground and bounces the above mentioned bag into the overhead locker.  This would be a fully automated system, so that everyone would be seated in the minimum time, and offer no opportunity to dither over 'aisle or window', 'over the wing or at the front' etc etc yawn yawn can't you get a move on some of us are hot and bothered here.

Getting off was just as tedious, it was hard to understand why the mobile corridor operative had only just realised we had taxied into a parking space half an hour after arrival, when air traffic control must have known we were coming for the past three hours.

I haven't invented a cure for that one yet, but I am working on it.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Blind drunk.....

Came home from work yesterday, smell of stale alcohol, and yes, shards of green glass all over the kitchen and sparkling wine dripping from every surface.


What is going on?

I've put the other bottles in the fridge, it's not worth getting blinded by Prosecco.