Oh, oh, those summer nights

I do not suffer from insomnia except when I can’t sleep.

When a blackbird with a megaphone sat outside our bedroom window and started up a half-hearted, solo dawn chorus, I thought it must be, maybe, 5am?

It was 3.30am.

I had been asleep for three hours.

My husband stirred beside me. “Have I been to sleep yet?” he murmured.


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“You are asleep,” I reassured him and closed my eyes in anticipation of a happy return to dreamland.

But then it started. My head filled up with things I urgently needed to think about now.

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The blackbird gave way to a brace of collar doves who cooed loudly and probably got up to mischief on the patio. A few raucous seagulls swooped over before the magpie arrived to make its tuneless contribution to the proceedings.

I started to feel a bit hot. Despite the Hormone Replacement Therapy, I can still summon up a night sweat from time to time. I kicked off the duvet and balanced it on top of my husband’s peaceful form.

I turned on to my left side; on to my right side; on to my front; on to my back.

Suddenly, my left arm was feeling a bit numb – is that pins and needles? And I had a sharp pain under my left breast. This is it – all those years of smoking and eating chips have caught up with me. This was a heart attack.

I waited for intense pain to strike but quickly realised that during the tossing and turning my nightdress has coiled itself round me like a boa constrictor and the left armhole had stretched itself across my body and was now ac-commodating both my left arm and my left boob.

I unwrapped myself and tried to get back to sleep… did I need to go to the loo? No, I was fine… or was I? Did I need to go and try?

It only takes a sneeze…

I got up and went to the loo.

Only another three hours until the alarm goes.

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