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It all works out in the end

My daily grind includes internet-surfing around the websites of broadsheet UK newspapers both to get a ‘heads up’ on what’s happening in the world and to see if I can come across any new item worthy of using as the subject of a blog. Thus any astute readers or saddo regular followers can usually tell how interesting (or the opposite) my own life is on a day to day basis by logging how often I have to resort to using a media story to springboard into some observation or comment on sites such as this one.

Being an ‘early to bed and early to rise’ type all my life, over time – and I’d argue also as a product of maturity – I have taken, via taking account of my own body rhythms, to sleeping four to five hours upon retiring to bed of an evening, then getting up for six to eight hours … then at some point after that taking a post-lunch or afternoon nap.

EricMy justification (to anyone who needs one) and/or explanation – in the style of the famous Morecambe & Wise TV sketch with conductor Andre Previn in which, challenged by Previn about his poor piano playing as the lead soloist in an orchestra, Eric retorts “I am playing the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order!” –  is that I simply sleep a similar seven to eight hours per day as everyone else, it’s just that I do it in two or three shorter than average batches.

Or, to deploy once again one of my favourite Bob Dylan lyrics “(I’ll) eat when I’m hungry, drink when I’m dry …” from the track Standing In The Doorway off his middle-late period (1997) and somewhat ‘downbeat’ masterpiece album Time Out Of Mind:

TimeI’m walking through the summer nights
Jukebox playing low
Yesterday everything was going too fast
Today, it’s moving too slow
I got no place left to turn
I got nothing left to burn
Don’t know if I saw you, if I would kiss you or kill you
It probably wouldn’t matter to you anyhow
You left me standing in the doorway, crying
I got nothing to go back to now

The light in this place is so bad
Making me sick in the head
All the laughter is just making me sad
The stars have turned cherry red
I’m strumming on my gay guitar
Smoking a cheap cigar
The ghost of our old love has not gone away
Don’t look like it will anytime soon
You left me standing in the doorway crying
Under the midnight moon

Maybe they’ll get me and maybe they won’t
But not tonight and it won’t be here
There are things I could say but I don’t
I know the mercy of God must be near
I’ve been riding the midnight train
Got ice water in my veins
I would be crazy if I took you back
It would go up against every rule
You left me standing in the doorway, crying
Suffering like a fool

When the last rays of daylight go down
Buddy, you’ll roll no more
I can hear the church bells ringing in the yard
I wonder who they’re ringing for
I know I can’t win
But my heart just won’t give in
Last night I danced with a stranger
But she just reminded me you were the one
You left me standing in the doorway crying
In the dark land of the sun

I’ll eat when I’m hungry, drink when I’m dry
And live my life on the square
And even if the flesh falls off of my face
I know someone will be there to care
It always means so much
Even the softest touch
I see nothing to be gained by any explanation
There are no words that need to be said
You left me standing in the doorway crying
Blues wrapped around my head

(Copyright © 1997 by Special Rider Music)

Whenever I’m spending time with my aged father – who can sometimes get confused or forgetful – and I disappear off up to my bed in the afternoon for my half an hour-plus in the land of Nod, he often begins commenting to others upon this practice as if I am somehow inadequate and/or odd:

Why does he go to bed in the day-time? What’s wrong with him? Why doesn’t he sleep at night-time and stay awake during the day like the rest of us? And anyway … just what does he do with his life all day? He just seems to sit around with me, reading the papers or watching the TV …

Sometimes, as yesterday, people (including myself) explain to him that I’m ‘up’ from approximately 1.00am until about 2.00pm every day … for about half of which period he’s normally fast asleep … and all I’m doing with my post-lunch nap is a bit of ‘catching up’ upon my slumber.

And also, of course, that the reason I spend my time sitting and chewing the cud, or reading the paper, or watching television, with him is … er … because that’s what he does every day.

It’s not as if it’s necessarily my choice of what I’d be doing if my time was my own, i.e. if he wasn’t so insistent upon having members of his own family come to stay with him and keep him company, even though he’s already got live-in carers on hand, staying with him 24/7 to look after his every need.

I come to stay with him as often as I do partly out of filial duty and partly because I undertake this often rewarding ‘family’ experience willingly.

sleep2However, it’s therefore a little bit frustrating to be branded in your own parent’s mind (and thus presumably described in terms to third parties) as being a workshy lightweight who has little or nothing to occupy him and – on top of that, someone who cannot stay awake during the day like everyone else – when in fact I’ve got 101 other commitments and/ or things I’d really like to be doing … most of which I’m prevented from dealing with because these days I have to spend so much of my life driving to and from my father’s home in order to spend my time with him instead.

Anyway. Since it was at 3.00pm that I went upstairs for my afternoon nap yesterday, I took some comfort and pleasure this morning from coming across this report by Rachel Hosie on the ‘best time of day to take a nap’ on the website of – THE INDEPENDENT






About William Byford

A partner in an international firm of loss adjusters, William is a keen blogger and member of the internet community. More Posts