Thursday, 15 January 2015

Matchsticks for my eyes please

It is a wet and very windy night and I should be asleep, but I am not and can not so I have read a while, lain a while, walked around the house a time or two and finally given in to the lure of the keyboard.

The wind is shaking the house and even through the double-glazing blinds and curtains it is howling like a wild animal in pain.

Earlier sitting at the front desk in St. Mary's (Meet and greet) they call it, but there is no-one to meet and greet when the weather is so cold wet and windy.

"We are lucky here in this area where we seldom see the extremes of weather" we tell ourselves, but, bent double to hide from wind and rain, standing waiting for the bus it somehow seems less true.

Why is it expected of us that we be stoic and unfazed by regular soakings, freezings and generally being 'roughed-up' by gales.

"A mild winter" they say.  Doesn't feel mild to me I think.

"Soon be spring" they say.  Really?  Not in my Welsh calendar it won't.

Too little physical exertion during the day leads to sleepless nights, for me anyway.  So a good book is a necessity, and sometimes, just now and then, I actually find one among the library's mountain of dross.

My current one is very good indeed , "The coward's tale" by Vanessa Gebbie is a rare treasure.  The author, new to me, has a wonderful descriptive narrative style, similar only to Dylan Thomas.

It is the kind of book which, far from rushing to the end, makes you want to read only a little at a time so that it will last indefinitely.

Reading at night for hours makes my eyes sore anyway so have had to give up for a while.

Some people lie there for hours trying to force sleep to come.  That doesn't work for me but night-time activities are restricted and for me TV is a no-go after midnight,  so the computer has a stronger than usual attraction.

Have just peered out of the window and the back garden is a lake with a frosting of snow.  It will soon turn to sleet again I'm sure but it is not an inviting sight at 2.30 am.

Today, or rather yesterday, I collected two pairs of glasses from my optician,  One for reading very small print and the other for watching TV if it becomes a strain.

I have incipient cataracts in both eyes which have not moved for years but I am told, are now doing so.  So at some stage both will have to be operated on.  Not a pleasant thought, but I have got  away with it for a good while so I suppose I should be grateful.

My spirits are beginning to turn morose so will stop before the gloom spreads.

Sleep happily on dear readers, I only envy you a little.


  1. I too often suffer from sleepless nights -- lying in bed always seem to make the problem worse. I often find getting up and having a weak cup of tea and a piece of toast helps. Thanks for the heads up about The Coward's Tale. I am always glad to hear about an untried author. As for your cataracts, I had mine done 18 months ago and am astounded by how rich and colourful the world looks once again!

  2. Thanks Broad. It is not the operation itself I fear, it is the thought of a 'foreign body' lodged in my eye that worries me.
    Crazy I know, but then fear is usually irrational.
    Luckily I won't have to have the op(s) yeat for a while.
    I finished the book by the way, and it is really excellent, particularly if you are an admirer of "Under milk wood".

  3. Insomniac here as well. It tends to affect me most when I am stressed, annoying as that is when you need your sleep most. Once I've been awake for more than 30 mins, the only way is to get up and make a drink/ do something then return to bed and (usually) to sleep.If you read the article below you will find the idea of the "first and second sleep" which is apparently how we used to do things and how my body clock still seems to work!

  4. Thankyou Sue for the longest reference in living history. By the time I'd typed it in to Google I had nearly lost the will to live :-)
    I did read it right through but remain totally unconvinced that it in any way relates to modern insomnia (mine anyway).
    For me, the nights when I don't sleep are not the early sleep followed by a period of wakefulness type. I simply do not go to sleep at all. On other night's I am awake until around 4.30 am then grab a couple of hours before it is time to get up.
    Mercifully, it doesn't happen as often as it used to but just lying there is never an option, I always get up and do something.
    The idea of eight hour's sleep is an unimaginable luxury but I seem able to function on 5 hours of disturbed sleep and even just a couple of hours at times.
    I think the creator threw some design faults into the mix to see how we would cope.