If You Can’t Sleep, Learn Something

March 5, 2013 at 1:40 am | Posted in cooking, food, History, insomnia, internet, Ireland, Maps, Northern Ireland, Recipe | Leave a comment
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So. I can’t sleep. A fairly common problem for me, exacerbated by flu, a child with an unpredictable sleeping pattern and an overactive mind. So I decided that instead of aimlessly tweeting, I might take advantage of my insomnia and learn something. This is what I have learned:

1) The six counties of Northern Ireland;
2) The largest county of the Republic of Ireland;
3) The perceived difference between a Loyalist and a Unionist;
4) When the Act of Union was;
5) The 10 best Irish history books;
6) The 10 best Irish novels;
7) The recipe for an authentic spaghetti bolognese.

So, food & history: these are the things which keep me awake at night.

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Five Minutes Peace

April 7, 2012 at 6:19 am | Posted in books, Childhood, Children, insomnia, Literature, London | 2 Comments
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Blog, I have neglected you. This ends now. I did do well by you in January, but now you lie abandoned in the great internet orphanage/Battersea Dogs’ Home/some other appalling metaphorical place of forsakenment. (Apologies for the antiquated word: but it is rather fitting considering yesterday’s date).

I woke suddenly this morning about five after having a recurring nightmare (I won’t share details, but it involves murder). Too restless to sleep again, I read some blog posts by this lady and this one too. Both made me realise how much I missed writing up my own adventures.

I’ve not had a laptop for ages since my brother ‘borrowed’ mine (hey, at least my diary is password protected), and although I’m hoping to get one, I rather like this funny little QWERTY IPhone keyboard. Sure, the screen is somewhat ambitiously tiny for my shortsightedness, but that’s part of the fun (or something).

The silence this morning is so delicious. I can hear nothing whatsoever apart from, well, that slight buzz of soundlessness you get when you are somewhere very still. Here comes The Desiderata bit (apologies for the link to THAT website, but it was that or businessballs.com…). So much of our lives are consumed by busyness that sometimes we forget how easy it can be to find quietness in the midst of madness. Get up an hour earlier (not easy when you’re knackered, I know), or take ten minutes out of your lunch break to find peace (not of the inner or world variety, just peace, pure and simple). Where I work in Tenterden, it’s amazing how quickly I can find silence just a few minutes after walking out of my shop, even on the high street. You seem to enter a whole new universe which runs in parallel to the craziness of the usual world. The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago in Richmond: a friend and I were en route to a lovely pub, and the further we walked up the hill, leaving the bustle and Bugaboos of the main town behind, the more the soft sounds of nature descended. You have to walk up this hill at least once in your life: the views are absolutely amazing. Plus perving on the abodes of the rich and famous is such an enriching activity.

There’s something so wonderfully expectant about a Saturday, particularly when it is very early and still (not, I should add, when you are rolling out of bed, dry-tongued and hungover). When I am up very early on my favourite day of the week, I always think back to walking over Kew Bridge as the sun comes up, or of sitting outside Waterstones Thanet as a probational bookseller, and reading the terrible eponymous book.

That’s all for now. Je Reviens, as Rebecca’s boat said. And remember: go placidly, folks…

I wasn’t looking, but somehow you found me…

March 1, 2012 at 5:39 am | Posted in insomnia, internet | 1 Comment
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Well, I can’t sleep, which is not unusual for me of late. However, unusually, I’m not working till 1315 tomorrow (or, erm, today), so we’re not exactly in long dark night of the soul territory.

This post on search terms comes to you after I read a similar post by this blogger (she’s a great writer and you should all follow her). Anyway, it made me think about the bizarre search terms which have lead people to my blog, amongst the more mundane involving my name and the blog name. Here’s a selection:

1) How do you know if a girly girl is in love with a man – mate, you’re asking the wrong woman, for I am not a girly girl. You will not find me in the kitchen slaving away baking heart-shaped buns, nor will you see me buy baby pink accessories for my vehicle.

2) Lolita porn – well, you seem to have stumbled across the wrong sort of website! Yes, I’ve made a reference to Lolita in a previous post, and I appreciate that this blog is called Sugar Baby Love. But that is after the kitsch 70s song, not a website where ladies of the night contort themselves in many and varied ways.

3) Motherhood prefab sprout – I have discussed both motherhood and Prefab Sprout. Why someone would decide to search those two things together, however, I have no idea.

4) Half siblings in love – must we go there? Let me clarify: I blogged about half siblings, not incest.

5) Eastenders lady with one nostril – I think this one might be my favourite.

6) Sugar baby wanted in Florida – honey, I am always wanted in Florida. But I suspect that wasn’t what you were looking for, was it?

7) Joy division baby love – ooh, that would have made an interesting cover.

8) Homemade sex tapes damien and “theresa” – I don’t even know a Damien or a Theresa, let alone whether or not they film themselves in flagrante.

9) Shugar baby love – you need to learn to spell.

10) Slut – nice.

11) Is Sweden really as gender phobic as Stieg Larsson indicates – in my experience, no. And I don’t think he suggests that in his books, incidentally.

12) Bergerac centre – do please tell me as soon as this is established. I feel very strongly that we need a Centre for Bergerac Studies.

13) How make dleray woman baby – I know the ‘dleray’ in question and I have no idea why someone would search this.

14) Sugar baby small town – good song title.

15) Pirt girl – they’re either genuinely looking for a female Pirt. Or they can’t spell.

16) Annie Wilkes birthday cake – let me guess: it’s got Liberace and a penguin on it.

Fascinating, eh?

Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh…..

January 16, 2011 at 2:25 am | Posted in books, dreams, family, house, insomnia, work | Leave a comment
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…………or not.  Not only can I not sleep, and have been forced to confront the Clipper Sleep Easy tea which smells of manure and other unwanted countryside fragrances, but I also still have the freaking Carpenters in my head (Goodbye to Love, to be precise).  Nice and uplifting for 2am on a Sunday morning in winter.

If I lived here, I would go outside for a cigarette, or, better still, have a cheeky fag in the flat, but this is my friend Emma’s place, and she probably wouldn’t be too impressed by the smell of tobacco, given her ex-smoker status.

So, I have work tomorrow at 9:30; great, let’s hope I’ve managed to actually get some sleep by then, given the fact that I have to drive to Thanet and may have to cash up/operate heavy machinery (ok, well, Phoenix is neither ‘heavy’ not a ‘machine’, but there you go.

I’m not prone to imsomnia, but I am susceptible to bouts of nervous energy; it’s one of the reasons for my recent weight loss, along with too many fags and an aversion to breakfast.  My brain is at its most active at the most inconvenient times, lately, mainly because I am no longer living with my son and therefore no longer need to be a lark.  I’ve never quite decided if it’s a lark or an owl I am naturally; I was an owl at university until prescribed Prozac, which turned me into the larkiest of larks, for want of a more suitable epithet.  If you need to be wide awake and raring to go at 5am, I heartily recommend it.

It is now 2:10am and I am starting to worry, given the fact that my morning shower and subsequent attempt to get a comb through my sodden hair really require me to rise at 7:30.  Yes, many an all-nighter was pulled during my university days, but I would not advocate doing so when you actually have to work for a living.  Nevertheless, despite the hour and the fumes of toxic, manure-esque Clipper tea invading my nostrils, I am decidedly bright-eyed.  I need a lullaby from W H Auden.

The other day, my dad (I am chez parents while waiting to move into my new house) walked in and woke me from a delicious dream.  I was playing a clown on Eastenders and Hilary Mantel had offered to give me free piano lessons and pay me £350 a week to write.  Nice work if you can get it, eh?

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