14 June 2018

Sleepless

Unusually,  I could not sleep so I crept downstairs to make a mug of tea. A couple of McVities ginger nut biscuits would have been a welcome accompaniment but there were none in the cupboard so I made do with a bag of Smith's plain crisps instead.

For the past forty minutes I was looking for suitable holiday accommodation for Baroness Pudding and I. We hope to go away at the start of next month - somewhere on this island - but why is everything so expensive? Hell, for less than the price of most of these places we flew to Corfu last month and had breakfasts and evening meals too. Living inland we would naturally like to be beside the sea.

It's what they call a first world problem.

Yesterday afternoon, my manager at Oxfam - Catherine - shared a heart-warming tale. Her son came over from Manchester last weekend and he spotted her "Bosh!" book on the coffee table. He recognised our Ian's name from primary school and he told his mother that once he was playing in the corner of the playground when some other boys of his age were giving him a hard time - teasing and bullying as little boys will sometimes do. 

Some older boys were playing football but when he saw what was happening in the corner, one of the footballers came over and intervened - telling the little bullies to behave themselves and to treat Catherine's son with kindness. That boy was our Ian. Catherine's son said that that simple act of kindness had been imprinted her son's mind forever. This incident must have happened almost twenty five years ago. 

The story was so precious and I am very happy that Catherine shared it with me. When Ian next picks up his dumb smartphone I will of course relate the story to him too.

Sleepless in Seattle Sheffield... It's moving on to 3 a.m.. I wonder if I will be able to sleep now. What do you do if you cannot sleep?

49 comments:

  1. Crisps at 3 am? Seriously? McVitties, yes. Crisps? No.

    As for Ian's intervention in the playground bullying - I've said this before and I'm sure to say it again. Your children simply reflect their upbringing and his reaction even at his young age says as much about you and Shirley as it does about Ian. It's a heartening story because it shows how words and actions, in this case for the good, can have a long lasting effect on someone. Kind people are often remembered well after the event has passed.

    Alphie

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    1. You have summed up just why the tale made me feel so proud. Thank you Alphie.

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  2. What a nice story about Ian. When I can't sleep, I read a book. I'm not sure that being on the computer is a good idea when you can't sleep.

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    1. Yes I have heard that it's not good to look at computer screens late at night but after that session I got right back to sleep! Go figure.

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  3. It's an unusual night if I don't sleep well - but when it happens I get up, make a cup of tea and then read for a bit.
    And good on your son - it just goes to show just how much even a small act of kindness can mean to someone.

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    1. Hello again Margie. Nice to hear about a Canadian whose "go to" hot drink is tea and not coffee.

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  4. Wonderful story about Ian and the boy that was bullied. As Alphie said, it reflects his upbringing and you and Shirley should be proud. How nice that Catherine shared the story with you.

    I often have trouble sleeping and I usually get up and read until I feel I can go to sleep. Not much help, sorry. I hope by now you are sleeping soundly in your bed. It is not quite my bedtime here yet.

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    1. I was probably sleeping soundly when you wrote that comment Bonnie but now I am up again and it's 10 am.

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  5. I remember somebody once telling me that parenting is like housework: when it's good nobody notices but when it's bad it's obvious.
    It took a long time to hear your story about Ian but you finally heard it and how lovely!

    If I can't sleep I usually just lie there and let my mind wander. Rarely I'll get up and read. I have never once made a cuppa!

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    1. I like the saying about parenting. My experience as a schoolteacher dealing with hundreds of teenagers confirms that observation.

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  6. I roll and toss. But with that wonderful story I will go happily to sleep. Bravo to Ian.

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    1. Toss? That has a second meaning in Britain Mr C!

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  7. Well done, Ian, and well done, Neil and Shirley for bringing your children up in a way that enabled Ian to act like this!

    It is rare that I can't sleep, and then it is often due to noise inside or outside the house. The past 1 1/2 weeks, though, I couldn't sleep well because I am struggling with a nasty cough. So, when I'm awake at night, I lay in bed, coughing...
    Seriously: I conjure up a well-known walk in my mind. For instance, I walk from "my" cottage in Ripon to Fountains Abbey, taking in every street corner, house, tree and field, going pace by pace in my mind until I am either there (and start another walk) or I fall asleep.

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    1. I sometimes do the walking thing too Meike and hardly ever get back to Clint!

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  8. That's a lovely story, small acts of kindness are never forgotten. I was tossing and turning in the early hours and thought about getting up but I knew I'd end up tripping over the dog so I stayed in bed.

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    1. There comes a point when the desire for sleep is so frustrated that one simply has to get up. That's what I find anyway.

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  9. I've adapted your son :) Bravo to Ian and parents!
    I try not to make plans for the future while I can't sleep because it is what keeps me awake, so I get up and do the ironing.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Correction: Adopted
      x

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    2. I need to make a blogpost about ironing. It's one human activity that has been very much ignored by writers even though it takes up many hours of human time.

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  10. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree YP. Have you booked a holiday?

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    1. Nope! Still looking for a suitable rental property. At first we were going to go to The Isle of Wight but you have to factor in an extra £200 for the ferry and on Holiday Lettings the right rental at the right price eluded me.

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  11. I have many nights when I can't sleep. Not helped by being on steroids. I put the radio on....LBC....and set it to go off in 15 mins, or sometimes if I get really bored I play " Freecell" on the iPad. A brilliant form of card solitaire that I have been hooked on for about 5/6 years now! Do try it if you haven't already! ( I only start a game where most of the aces are near the bottom of the piles!)

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    1. I had never heard of "Freecell" until you mentioned it Frances. Next time I can't sleep I will seek it out.

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    2. Let me know if you like it.

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  12. Fairly recently I have moved into a room on my own. We both snore and whereas Tom can sleep through anything I cannot. Since sleeping on my own I'm getting a lovely nights sleep.
    When I was being awoken I often used to sit playing scrabble on the pc, lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. I always find it sad when I hear of married people sleeping in different bedrooms but I guess that if the snoring gets too disturbing then it's a sensible solution. I must say that I have never played Scrabble on the computer and should seek it out as it is a game I have often enjoyed playing.

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    2. It was a hard decision to make YP, we had slept together for 50 years but when you do not get a good nights sleep it ruins the days. I still feel guilty every time I go to bed.
      Scrabble is always on my computer and I do it in between my needlework and in the evenings.
      Not sure I'd like to play a teacher though, lol

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    3. You play a teacher and I'll play a headmaster - "Come into my office Mrs Cater and I'll finish your appraisal!"...CARRY ON TEACHING

      You could try ear plugs!

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  13. Aaaaaah 3am and I are intimate friends. I usually lie there for a bit and then get up if I feel Morpheus has left the building.

    It's always a joy to hear of ones own children being kind. It was the most important thing for me to instill in our children. I think I've succeeded.

    If you do manage to book a holiday, may I recommend a good book?
    It's called "The 5 people you meet in heaven" by Mitch Albom
    I know we share the same views on religion but it is a work of fiction and is an excellent read. Sort of sums up the kindness of others and the effects it can have.

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    1. I agree with you on this book, I read it some time ago and loved it, in fact I still have it, its one of those books that you want to keep.
      The first book I read of his was 'Tuesdays with Morrie' that is a lovely book but get the tissues out.

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    2. I haven't read"Tuesdays with Morris" maybe I should. Thank you.

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    3. Thank you for the reading tips ladies. You are right Christina that the kindness and goodness of our offspring should mean more to parents than money and "good jobs".

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  14. 1.You beat me to it. I was just about to remark that "Sleepless in Sheffield" might make a blockbuster!
    2.How kind of your lad to step in and confront the bullies.
    3.If you are looking for cheap holidays in the UK, try Shearings. You don't have to travel with their coaches but just use their hotels. For example, you can stay almost a week at an Eastbourne hotel for about £199pp.

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    1. should add that price includes evening meal too!

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    2. Thanks for the Shearings tip ADDY.. maybe one day but for now we want our own self-catering accommodation.

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  15. That story must have made you very proud of Ian. In my experience, it's unusual for one student to look out for another unless they are friends, and even then sometimes not. It's often every child for himself or herself. Well done and I'm glad you got to hear about this incident.

    I read if I can't sleep. Or if I haven't got the energy to turn on the light I problem-solve sewing or crafting problems :)

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    1. You are right about children looking out for themselves and their immediate friends. Kindness normally stops there in the school environment.

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  16. A heartwarming tale. You and Shirley obviously taught your son well. :)

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    1. I just phoned Ian and of course he had no memory of this incident... but it is always nice to hear positive stories from the past.

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    2. Of course it is. :)

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  17. If I were ever to be in that situation then Mendolssohn's Songs Without Words would certainly do the trick. The story about your son was very gratifying.

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    1. Mendolssohn's Songs Without Words... There are some advantages to sleeping on your own in your own detached property... even if the air outside is filled with midges.

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    2. No midges at the moment! Yes. I keep forgetting about spouses. It's 18 years since I had a partner (and longer since I had a wife).

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  18. I am a very poor sleeper. I try to tough it out and lie there. Sometimes I get up and stretch as all my muscles tend to get stiff and sore.

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    1. Sounds like you are troubled by guilt Red.

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    2. Oops! Shouldn't have mentioned that.

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  19. What a great story! Not all boys are blessed with any sense of empathy for others. As for sleeping, I'm a pretty good sleeper (fortunately). I find that getting exercise during the day makes the biggest difference, and I'm surprised that with as much walking as you do, sleep still comes with difficulty sometimes!

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    1. I think I couldn't sleep that night because I had snoozed for ten minutes while watching the TV news about Donald Trump Peacemaker.

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