Oh, an early start. Regular readers know I dream of such a thing but rarely manage it.
From the few times I’ve succeeded, mainly in the distant past, I know it’s the best time of day for writing, learning and getting things done.
On this particular morning, I’d lain awake in bed since about 3am. I’m one of these people who falls asleep in under a minute at the start but, when I wake in the night, can’t get back to my z’s again. It’s to do with the brain. I’m sure I’d be happier without a brain. And that’s enough cheek from you, madam.
Audiobooks, which set me off nicely at the start of bedtime, don’t work in the middle of the night for some reason. The idea is that they take your mind off your worries and cares. But, in the middle of the night, my brain seems to think the purpose of the audiobook is to listen to it intently rather than have it on as a sleep aid.
Lying there, trying deep breathing exercises to no avail, the thought occurred to me that I could get up and do some gardening in the peace and quiet.
I hummed and, never one for half-measures, also hawed. I always worry that, if I don’t get enough sleep, I won’t be able to write later because my brain will be too fogged.
But, sometimes, being tired can help with writing because your subconscious, the source of all your ideas, is to the fore and your conscious brain is too wabbit to worry about things, as it tends to do.
So, this particular morning, I got up at the back of 6am and went up to the veg patch, which this year is devoted to berries (I don’t want to see another carrot ever again after last year).
It was a lovely, sunny day. And, oh bliss, oh rarity, it was quiet.
The patch badly needed weeding, which is perhaps one reason why the new berry plants are doing so badly.
So I went to it with a will. But, after just 20 minutes, I had to give it up. Midges: the first of the year, and it was their perfect time – start of the day, no breeze, and a sweaty, gormless bloke thinking life was great.
The expression, Et in arcadia ego, is thought to refer to the devil also being in paradise. But I think it refers to midges.
And not even oven chips? Weird.
Still, I enjoyed being up, and went indoors to learn things. In the early evening, I conked out, which disorientated me and led to my having a sandwich for tea. Didn’t even have any oven chips. Weird.
At the time of going to press, I’ve had a couple of reasonable nights of sleep so haven’t had the option of getting up and getting stuff done.
Even if I did, I’d probably just lie there thinking: ‘But I don’t want to get up. I just want to sleep.’
I think it’s true what that bloke said about sleep ravelling up your cares. It’s good to conk out.
But, next time I’m lying unconked, will I get up and get things done? It’s too early to say.