15 May 2022

Sleepless

It is the middle of the night. Sleepless in Seattle Sheffield.

Six hours ago, Clint and I drove over to Chesterfield Road to visit our closest Lidl store. There I picked up supplies for the next three days including a basted pork loin joint for Sunday dinner, a pack of nine toilet rolls, two bags of Jersey Royal new potatoes and a pint of fresh orange juice. There were no fresh eggs.

After putting the shopping away, I went up to the top of our garden, beyond the vegetable patch, ready to light a bonfire. It was the first one I have had this year. Plenty of garden material had accumulated but it was nice and dry and I was confident the rubbish would blaze. Earlier I had split the pile in two, knowing that if I had left it as one big heap the conflagration would have too big and too unruly. with angry flames leaping twenty feet high. Since next door built a large shed at the bottom of their garden, I have had to be more careful with my occasional fires, ensuring they are well-controlled.

After the bonfire had subdued itself, I came back inside and grabbed a can of cold Dutch beer from the fridge. Shirley was in the front room watching the annual Eurovision Song Contest.

It is a strange, glitzy affair that spawns terrible songs and unmemorable acts. It has never been my cup of tea. When all the songs have been sung, the voting begins with nearly all European nations participating. This year, everything was looking good for Great Britain. We were top of the leaderboard. Then my eyes became heavy and I fell asleep, waking just before the end of the show to discover that Ukraine had leapt above us to steal the crown thereby proving that war can bring unexpected benefits.

Shirley went to bed which is what I should have done but I switched over to the BBC News Channel and promptly fell asleep once more, waking an hour later. I came into the study and tackled today's "Wordle" - achieving the solution on my third guess.

By the way, it was our friend Pat's funeral on Friday afternoon. You may remember me writing a poem for him a month ago. The local crematorium was packed to overflowing and there were many heartfelt tears. One of his six brothers, Nobby, played "Going Home" from Dvorak's "New World Symphony" on the Irish bagpipes. The service was conducted by the chaplain from the hospice where he died. Pat's  daughter, Jennifer, read the eulogy and throughout  there were  no references to any kind of god or heaven. In spite or because of his strict Roman Catholic upbringing, he did not believe in all that stuff.

I climbed the stairs to bed around two o'clock. An hour later I was still wide awake, exploring memories in my head. I had no choice in the matter. With no immediate prospect of sleep, I came back downstairs to this computer keyboard.and tapped out this blogpost. Falling asleep in front of the television can be fatal! Thankfully, this does not happen to me very often. 

It now being 04.17 on May 15th, I can see that the day that will dawn before too long is already creating a pale and ghostly lightening of the eastern sky. Maybe sleep will overcome me this time round.

Kalush Orchestra (Ukraine) Eurovision winners 2022

33 comments:

  1. I often doze off in my TV chair, but the walk from chair to bed wakes me enough that I can't easily drop off again, so I carry a book and my glasses with me to read until I am sleepy again. when that doesn't work, I get onto the internet too.

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    1. I would like to read in bed but I am not allowed to.

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  2. It's a funny old competition when it is more political than the best should win. Did not watch it, last time was Abba, and that was a hundred years ago! Of course Ukraine should be brought to the forefront of our national conscience, but we came second, does Europe feel sorry for us as well?

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    1. It's funny. Britain has been a victim of spitefulness in Eurovision voting for many years. This year I think our song was less terrible than most of the others.

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  3. I'm interested in the bon fire. Backyard burning stopped here a very long time ago, probably 40 years.
    Did you end up sleeping? what a rough night.

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    1. Fell asleep nicely the second time round. Garden bonfires are fine in Great Britain as long as they don't cause a nuisance to anyone. Besides, sparks from our bonfires are very unlikely to set fire to the countryside and devastate wildlife.

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  4. I haven't watched Eurovision since the days of Sandie Shaw and Cliff Richard. It is not about the music any more.
    Hope you can catch up on some sleep.

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    1. Yes, I fell asleep quickly the second time round. You have not missed anything by ignoring Eurovision. Good choice.

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  5. Are you allowed backyard burning? You get fifty years in gaol for that here, the same penalty as smoking where you shouldn't. No car fume penalties though.

    I've only seen a photo of Australia's entrant. He is, well.... I've only paid attention to Eurovision once but I did quite enjoy the schmaltz.

    I hope you went back to sleep. My partner says he gets the best sleep once the sun rises.

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    1. Yes we are allowed garden bonfires as long as they don't cause a nuisance to anyone. Of course, England is a greener, moister country than Australia and last time I looked there was no tinder-dry bush out there! Our garden is fifty yards long - well away from the nearest house.

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  6. If we lived near you, we would refer to you as Mr Pyromaniac.

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    1. Referring to you, I would just miss off the prefix "pyro".

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  7. The Eurovision Song Contest was something we used to watch as a family when I was little. I admired the beautiful presenters, they looked like Barbie dolls in their glamorous evening dresses. Of the music, I remember little - ABBA are one of the few who really rose to fame after an ESC.
    My settee at home is comfortable, and I do watch TV in the evenings, but I have so far never fallen asleep there. I watch what I want to watch, then turnthe telly off and go to bed, sometimes reading a bit before lights out.

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    1. PS. I meant to say it yesterday but forgot: I really like your new avatar!

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    2. I admire your self-control Meike! To have never fallen asleep there is almost incredible.

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  8. Recently I read that looking at a computer screen late at night can cause sleeplessness.
    I tend to try not to watch TV too late into the night as I find I go past my normal sleepiness and am wide awake again. Because of this I rarely find out "who dunnit" if I'm watching a murder mystery, or the interesting summing up of a programme on history, or current affairs. Being an hour ahead of you - most main evening programmes finish too late, and I've fallen asleep in front of the TV on occasions.
    Now that it's summer and the nights are warmer, I find I rarely watch for more than an hour, if at all.
    I forgot all about watching the song contest - but knew that Ukraine would win - how could they not? Haven't watched it since the days of dear old Terry Wogan, and from what I read, it's doubtful the songs have improved much over the years.

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    1. I have heard of Mystic Meg but not Mystic Carol! You KNEW Ukraine would win! That is so spooky. By the way you are not missing a thing by not watching it... nor is Terry Wogan!

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  9. Sleepless In Sheffield. Starring YP and Meg Ryan.

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    1. Unfortunately we do not have a king-size bed.

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  10. I do like a good bonfire, but being surrounded by so many trees I think it too dangerous. Still, I love the smell.

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    1. Yup! Not a good idea to burn your neighbours' trees down!

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  11. I'm finding I'm spending a lot more time wandering through memories in my head instead of sleeping. Last night my feet were so painful, I had to get up and take something for the pain before I could fall asleep.

    Hopefully, you had a restful sleep once you did fall asleep.

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    1. I hit the pillow and got five solid hours. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

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  12. I have been waking up too early - I think it is because it has gotten so much brighter earlier in the day. So I wake at 5 or 5:30 and often cannot go back to sleep. It's annoying.
    Glad you got some rest after all. I watched a funny movie about Eurovision years ago but I have never seen the real thing.

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    1. You are not missing anything Ellen!

      It's always nice to get seven or eight hours sleep - then the day ahead is easier.

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  13. Outdoor fires are legal? They are in my county but not the next one over. It's like the Wild West in Lloyd sometimes.
    I'm sorry you couldn't sleep. That is a horrible feeling.

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    1. Like The Wild West! You mean you have stagecoaches and hollerin' injuns who live in wigwams?

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  14. I believe I forgot to watch Eurovision last night -- and on such a momentous occasion for Britain! I can't believe the UK scored so high! Sorry about your sleepless night. I hate that.

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    1. It's strange how a country with such a rich tradition in popular music should struggle to do well in Eurovision.

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  15. You should have gone into the garden and counted your sheep.

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  16. Falling asleep in front of the TV in the evening gives you a nice snooze but causes trouble later on. I would not be able to get back to sleep after writing a blog post.

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