On a bed of roses

Not the chocolates, obv.

We have a new bed. Have I mentioned that we have a new bed?


Well we do. It’s a bed. And it’s new.

What started out as a conversation (and indeed a decision) to replace the mattress very quickly turned into a ‘throw the bed away and get a new one’.

And then the conversation rapidly became ‘what size shall we go for?’

And then fond memories of the beds we have slept in, in several hotels, played with our heartstrings and suddenly we found that we had bought a Superking-sized bed.

Which, from a standard double, is a heck of a jump.

Actually it’s a heck of a jump up into the new bed, frankly.

We went for a firm mattress with a topper (not a hat) and as a direct result of new bed, new mattress, new topper, new bed-linen, new pillows (yes, we went all the way), but as a direct result of all these things, the quality of my sleep has dramatically improved.

Seven hours a night is common, where once three or four hours was the norm.

Eight hours is regularly achieved.

And this weekend I noticed up my first nine hour doze. If a doze can actually be nine hours of Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Which I think it can.

BTW, did I mention that we’ve got a new bed?


When I woke at 3am there were no cattens in the bedroom, which made me feel deeply suspicious.

An hour later and one is sitting on my chest, holding me here.

I’m now suspicious of what the other three are up to while I’m being constrained by Dandy.

I want to write, but my laptop is in the car.

Besides, Dandy feels like he’s taken up residence for the duration.

How my life has changed, that cats now play such a large part.

Blogathon 20/17: The Insomnia Paradox

Stay in bed, or get up?

And if stay in bed, then for how long before getting up?

And if stay in bed, but putting on a light to read is out of the question, then read the phone?

And if reading the phone disturbs her, what?

Lie awake fidgety, while unsuccessfully getting back to sleep?

And if, in getting up, she is disturbed and asks where I’m going?

Or if, in getting up, she is disturbed and asks if she was snoring, then say what?

Or if I successfully make it downstairs and read for an hour, but then she comes down (at 4am) and asks why I’m awake, say what?


Blogathon 01/17: Liveblogging insomnia


Can’t sleep/Won’t sleep?

I went to bed at 9pm, read a page of Guy Martin’s autobiog and, as I struggled to put the book down before unconsciousness hit me, I was almost overwhelmed with sleep.

And I slept the sleep of the Just.

And then I woke up.

I was wide awake, fully recharged, and my brain was firing on all cylinders.

At 11.30pm.

Ho hum.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to liveblog this bout of insomnia.

In the interests of, you know, science.

And other stuff.

I’ve been tossing and turning in my lovely bed so much that I’m starting to get sweaty. That looks wrong. Sweatie. No, that looks wronger.

I’ve caught up on Twitter.

I’ve caught up on Facebook. I’m thinking of giving up on Facebook. Actually, I’m thinking of giving up on Twitter too. They’ve just become so dull. Samey. Since Trump happened. I mean since President Trump happened, not since someone did a trump. Although…

I’ve tried, oh man, I’ve really tried to get back to sleep. And the frustration of not being able to get back to sleep, coupled with the simultaneous other-level frustration of having my brain running at full pelt has wound me right up. I’m going to get up and go downstairs.

Ouch! While trying to dodge a pair of prowling kittens in the dark (and that’s pretty hard as they’re both black), and conducting synchronised slippers-and-bathrobe-donning, I managed to stub my toe on my bedside table. Miraculously I didn’t spill the half-empty cup of cold chocolate, I didn’t kick a kitten, and I didn’t wake Sam. I hobble downstairs.

I have fresh hot chocolate. It’s over there on the table next to the settee. But I’m stuck. I have a kitten on my lap while the other kitten claws my leg as he suckles on my bathrobe. Strange boy.

They’ve gone; the kittens. I’ve caught up on the BBC News website. My hot chocolate was more like lukewarm chocolate.

I’ve recaught up on Twitter and recaught up on Facebook.

I’ve gone through my blogroll and read everything everyone who I link to has written since my last bout of insomnia. I am beginning to wish I hadn’t left my book and my tablet upstairs. I remember the anti-kitten toe-stubbing limbo, and then I’m quite glad I didn’t have my tablet and/or my book in my hand at the time. But now I quite fancy another chapter of Guy Martin. Or maybe an episode or two of The Man In The High Castle (which I’m really enjoying).

I fire up the laptop.

I’ve given up trying to write a blog post that just wasn’t inside me. I started reading some old draft short stories, and two outlines for novels, that I started some years ago. Maybe I should do something with those one day? One of them isn’t that bad! I’m starting to get cold now. The remote control for the central heating is also upstairs in the bedroom. With my book. And my tablet. And the sleeping Sam. As I’m still completely untired I decide to remain downstairs and tough out the temperature, until I start to feel sleepy.

I point the browser and an SSH session at the datacentre, log in and pull up the reporting dashboard. I’m almost disappointed to see that all of the servers are operating normally. I even drill down in to the status report to check that the CPUs are operating at their normal temperatures. They are.

I consider getting my leathers (or textiles) on and taking the ZX10-R out for a night run, but checked outside and found that it’s massively foggy.

No idea what the time is now. While I was reading the news (again) one of the kittens decided to sit on me. Then he curled up beneath my chin/on my throat and chest, and is now fast asleep, purring loudly. I am unable to see my phone.

The kitten got up, licked its bottom and wandered off to bother someone who is more asleep than I. There’s quite a lot of Facebook action in the heart attack survivor’s group. Insomnia seems to be a very routine event amongst that category of person.

I have built a Jenga-like tower of scenarios in my head. It started out with an ‘If I do this…’ strand, and has gone in a dozen different directions. As a result I’m now planning a round-Portugal motorbike trip that probably isn’t going to happen. A few minutes ago I was going to give up work, and was planning what I’d do and how I’d spend my time.

I have calf cramp. Moo. No, not that kind of calf.

I make another hot chocolate.

I’m contemplating the weather and wondering which thundertwonk made up the word ‘thundersnow’. What an arse. I wonder if what’s going on outside is thunderfog. Or murderfog. Or slaughtermist.

I’ve been playing with (re)definitions: Gruelling (to manufacture gruel). Sweety (a bit like a sweet). Sticky (like a stick). Carbuncle (a male relative who loves pasta and bread). Twanky (a Yorkshireman’s almost wank). Trump (a Yorkshireman’s steak). Lactose (the result of severe frostbite). Staircase (somewhere to store your stairs).

My alarm will go off in less than an hour. I’m still wide awake. This is pathetic. Despite still being totally untired I decide to go to bed to read my phone.

My alarm goes off which I sleep right through.

The second alarm goes off. I feel like a dead thing. But where am I going to find one at this time of the morning?

*looks in the mirror*

Oh. There.

This has been a typical bout of what I call insomnia.

I sometimes experience two of these a week.

Welcome to my world.

Anatomy of a kind of insomnia

  • 2.45am, gets up for a wee
  • Goes back in to bed
  • Rubs eye
  • Dislodges contact lens
  • Goes back to bathroom
  • Removes lenses
  • Goes back to bed
  • Now wide awake
  • Gets up
  • Makes tea
  • Goes back to bed
  • Drinks tea
  • Picks up phone
  • Checks news
  • Gets Really Fucking Angry
  • Gets up
  • Makes hot chocolate
  • Goes back to bed
  • Checks time
  • 3.30am
  • FML

Sleep: foiled

Around 2am, at the height of the stormy windfest that has been raging and howling since 8pm last night, I was woken by a really loud noise in the garden.

I mean it was a REALLY LOUD NOISE.

Well I checked, obv.

Padded downstairs, put the garden lights on and peered through the garden doors.


But it must have been a really loud noise, to have woken me.

Looked again.

Still nothing.

Whatever – and wherever – the noise was, it was enough to have made going back to sleep difficult.

So now I’m back in bed, mug of hot chocolate and a glass of fizzy water beside me, music playing quietly on the iPod dock.

Wondering what to do.

There’s a couple of music reviews that need editing, their submission deadlines are imminent.

There’s a piece of audio that needs a final edit/production polish, but there’s no rush for that.

Or I could sort the laundry and put the first load on – but that would mean getting out of bed again, and I’m trying to avoid that.

I could read, there are enough unread books within reach.

If I had someone here, someone who loved me, someone I loved, I could spoon, snuggle and fall asleep.

But being here by myself is different to being with someone you love.

I could watch an episode of Buffy…

But instead I’m going to just starfish here, in the middle of the bed, tapping notes in to this blog.

And think about people. And worry about people.

Just, you know


The 4.45am alarm seems to be coming around quicker and quicker.

It was half-past midnight when I stopped working last night. This morning.

And then 4.45am, and in the office for 7am.

Finished earlier tonight. 11pm. And 4.45am tomorrow. And in the office for 7am. Again.

As well as working, this evening, I’ve been running conversations with friends.

Good friends. Facing challenges. Big, serious, world-shattering decisions.

Slept wrong last night, my back was awful this morning. First time in maybe five years. Been on heavy PKs today.

Tired now.

I think of my friends.

If the worst I’m looking at is the temporary flare of an old injury and being tired, I’m doing pretty well.

Unlike some.

Insomnia is good for you. Discuss

Woke about 3am thinking ‘I’ve forgotten something’.

Couldn’t put the thought out of my head; couldn’t get back to sleep.

Read a little.

Checked emails.

Checked Twitter.

Checked my calendar.

Reminded myself to check a suit as I’m going to dinner in London on Wednesday.


I’ve forgotten to book my hotel.


Done now though.


Sorry luv, Granada’s off

Because of tremendous pressures at work, nipping over to Spain this weekend isn’t going to happen. Work-based things need my attention over the weekend. That’s all I can say.


The forecast for Sunday, as pointed out by the redoubtable Sir Masher of Englandshire, is reasonable.

So I’m going to trip in to that London on Sunday morning, on the Bandit.

And in that London, on that Sunday morning, I shall be hitting that Ace Cafe for one of their gargantuan All Day Breakfasts, which shall be washed down by several gallons of Best Quality Builders Tea.

Sir Masher of Englandshire has strongly hinted that he will consider sitting astride his Mighty Triumph, and will point it at another gargantuan All Day Breakfast of the Ace Cafe.


Do you fancy joining us?

Motorbikes optional, obv.

In other news…

I did ride the Bandit to work today, so in your face doubting Thomas and doubting Thomasina.

In. Your. Face!

I had a bucket of fun.

I wouldn’t like to ride the Bandit that distance – esp that route – every day.

Not every week.

Maybe once a month, and just for fun.

I am in bed.

It is 9.45pm.

I really need to switch my brain off, stop fretting about work-related things, and get a solid night’s sleep.

That’ll be tonight.


So, what’s new with you?

Having a big dump

another braindump…

My weekend trip to Granada is *still* not finalised; I won’t go in to the reason, but the source of the problem isn’t me.

If I don’t make it to Spain this weekend, maybe a trip to Ace Cafe on Sunday morning, on the Bandit, for one of their world-famous All Day Breakfasts?

Who knows.

Also, I still haven’t decided which gig I’m going to see tomorrow evening.

Besides, if I have a tough day at work, all bets for hitting an evening gig on a schoolnight could be off anyway.

I had a very late night last night; as well as being a late night, there wasn’t too much by way of restful sleepage going on when I did get to bed.

It was, unsurprisingly, very difficult to get out of bed this morning.

The 4.45am alarm played pleasant music and, you know, it was just great to lie there and gradually wake up, listening to excellent sounds.

The 5.10am alarm got switched off and…

My mattress continued to get some pressing exercise.

At 5.40 my conscience got the better of me; I was in the shower and, having shaved and dressed, on my way to work.

Bugger breakfast, I ate at the office.

Like yesterday, today was another massive day at work.

Like yesterday, by the time I switch out the light this evening, today will have been another 20-hour day.

There is so much work-stuff going on but I can’t talk about it, obv.

But I can say that this weekend is phase one of a big thing, and members of my team will be working all weekend.

And next weekend is phase two of  a big thing, and again, members of my team will be working all weekend.

So things are busy.

I’m still considering riding the Bandit to work tomorrow.

We’ll see how that thinking looks in the cold dark of a new morning.