Friday, 23 September 2011

To sleep...

It’s Friday!  Welcome to ‘The Chronicles of a Reluctant Housewife’ documenting my learning curve as a new, and unexpected, full-time homemaker.

This week has been interesting.  I have only just recovered.  Amazingly I have provided dinner every night despite not having gone to the grocery in two weeks.  It’s a combination of improvisation, take-away and numerous runs to the shop around the corner.  This is what happens when I don’t get sleep. 
That might not be completely accurate as I swing between being an insomniac and light sleeper on a regular basis, but this week I went three nights in a row with about four hours of sleep a night.  I know this doesn’t sound like it should be a problem as I stay home.  I could just sleep-in, right?  But then I’m not getting up until 10, which means I’m not showered and coffee-ed and ready to face the world until 1 and then it’s just all downhill from there. 
But why was I only sleeping four hour a night, you ask?  Was it my usual brain-racing insomnia? 
It was because Britain doesn’t believe in window screens and I can no longer stand the sound of rain.
This was the combination that threw me over the edge Tuesday night and had me outside, in the rain, in a flimsy robe, at 3am, inspecting the down pipes like a crazy woman.  
Let me back up. 
It began on Sunday night.  Around my routine 3am wake-up I was dive-bombed by a mosquito.  Repeatedly.  It wouldn’t just get it over with and bite, it decided to torture me first by hovering over my ear at intervals spaced just far enough for me to almost fall asleep.  After flaling at it a few times while grunting, I finally just pulled the sheet over my ear and tried not to move too much. 
The next morning, I had a bite on my arm.
Monday night. 3 am.  Dive-bombed again.  I didn’t realize they lived longer than a day, but I pulled the sheet up and again attempted not to move.  This didn’t work.  Every time I shifted, I also had to re-shift the sheet over my ear.  It became too much work.  I tried stuffing tissue in my ears but then all I could hear was the tissue ruffling in my ear.  Like someone crumpling paper.  All. Night. Long.
Another bite, on the other arm. 
Tuesday night.  3am.  Dive-bombed again.  Shifted the sheet again.  (Notice in all this time we haven’t thought to just close the damn window!  Except we have done that in the past and it gets too stuffy.  We have closed the window and turned on the fan, but the noise of the fan drives me to the brink of insanity and circulated stale air is still stale air.) Now I am awake I notice it is raining outside.  Great.  But it’s not raining very hard, just a steady drizzle.  Just enough to make the downpipes gurgle.  Gurgle.  Gurgle. 
So now I am sleep deprived, hiding from a mosquito and having leak flashbacks and really need to pee.  I silently scream into my pillow.  I decide I can’t take it anymore and get out of bed and grab a robe and head downstairs.  I am going to pee and then investigate.  The gurgling pipes just seem too loud to be right.  Something is leaking, I am sure of it. 
I get downstairs and realize I have grabbed the flimsiest robe we have and that it is actually raining harder than I thought.  I don’t care!  Something needs to be done! 
Outside I am crouching over drains, scrambling over the lumber pile that has been in our side-return since we moved in, and sticking my hand into the down pipes to figure out what is making that horrible noise!!  Of course, I didn’t grab my glasses or a flashlight so I can’t see a damn thing and I am out of my mind with no sleep and water torture.  I don’t’ find anything out of the ordinary (except of course, me, wandering around in my back garden in the middle of the night in a silk Chinese robe and clogs). 
If you’re wondering where Pete is during all this…He’s in bed.  Sleeping.  As you do.
I climb back into bed, slightly damp, and settle in.  I. Will. Sleep.
And then it starts.  The dripping.  Something is dripping with a regularity that can only be purposefully orchestrated.  I can’t tell where it is coming from.  It seems to be moving, but the rhythm never breaks. 

Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.

I try the tissues again.  I can hear the dripping and gurgling through the tissues stuffed in my ear.


7am.  Wednesday Morning.
Pete finds me sleeping on the couch.  Or at least attempting to sleep.  The place that is perfect for an afternoon nap is not perfect for a night’s sleep. 
That evening I dig out the camping supplies and locate all our mosquito repellent.  I’m convinced the only thing between me and a good sleep is a healthy dose of DEET. 

Wednesday night.  Slept like a drugged insomniac. 

Thursday morning.  Pete finds a bite on his arm. 

*Cue a slow-mo montage of myself storming the bedroom draped in cans of DEET spraying anything that moves, mouth open in primal scream and Pete bolting out of bed ("What the ****!") completely unaware that his wife has been driven to yet another insectal genocide.

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