A Night of Gongs and Clankings

I had something of a nuit blanche last night; what with the bells and the clankings, it was like being in a haunted castle only much less fun. The Aged P-in-law (also much less fun than Dickens’ character) wanted the heating on, and the heating in this house never gives over clanking. You wouldn’t mind so much if it only clanked when heating up or cooling down, but it clanks intermittently all the time it’s on – just to remind you that it’s there, I suppose. You don’t notice it so much in the day but at night it’s like creaking floorboards which convince you that someone is stealthily climbing the stairs; besides, it’s a sound I normally associate with waking up so subconsciously my mind was preparing for it to be morning. Eventually I got up and grumpily searched for my earplugs, though not before we’d been woken twice by Aged PiL complaining of being cold. To be fair, it has turned very cold of late and though I’m not generally a fan of frigid weather I am happy to see it. I’ve hated recent autumns where it’s warm and damp or even hot and damp and you don’t feel a nip in the air till November at least. I regard this as a sign that lockdown has had some effect at least on our disastrous warming of the planet.

But enough of that or I’ll start depressing myself.

I’ve started another knitting project (there’s no stopping me at the moment) which is a black roll-neck jumper. I’ve also knitted a hat from the remains of the wool from the first jumper. It’s very satisfying. And the project for Nano is coming along nicely; I’ve planned most of the chapters in very rough outline now.

TV-wise, OH and I are greatly enjoying the Michael Palin retrospectives, both the programmes themselves and the programmes about the making of them. Palin nowadays looks grizzled and elderly but still recognisably Palin, and it’s abundantly clear that the success of the series hinges very much on his affable personality and egalitarian outlook. He’ll try anything and talk to anyone and endures hardships and delays with patience and fortitude – a real role model. Speaking of which, I’m off to endure the white-out fatigue of today with patience and fortitude, pausing only to yell to OH to bring me a shot of tea which can be administered intravenously.

I feel there is more to be said about Palin and his programmes, so I’ll come back to these. In the meantime, have a good Tuesday.

Kirk out

Yoga practice of the day – sleep!!!

Insomnia is a very big problem these days, whether it’s not getting to sleep or waking up and not getting back to sleep.  We are generally over-stimulated, stressed, caffeinated and, whilst we may be great at Getting Things Done we are not so good at getting things undone ie unwinding.

Here are a few things which might help:

Before Bed

No TV, computer, video games etc for an hour

No tea or coffee – milky drinks or herbal tea

Read a book, write a diary, chat (pleasantly), hang out, enjoy the evening sun

No eating for at least an hour before bed and preferably two or three

have a routine which helps to calm the mind and prepare for sleep: brushing teeth, turning down the bed, arranging clothes – these rituals get the mind into a state ready for sleep

If you have already practised meditation, meditate!  If not, now is a great time to start.

In bed

Go back over the day in your mind.  If there are outstanding concerns, things you need to remember or deal with, write them down.

Give thanks for the good things that have happened and let go of the bad

Read for a while but something relaxing – good fiction, not politics or debate!

Listen to the radio but same applies.

Set the alarm if you need it.

Then forget it.

Lying down

If there is a history of insomnia, at this point tension may set in.  You may start to worry that you won’t be able to sleep and then all the things you need to do tomorrow will form a mountain in your mind.  Two practices will help with this: the first is Acceptance. Accept that this is where you are.  This doesn’t mean you have to like it, just that you are not fighting it and thinking ‘I don’t want to be here’.  Repeat: ‘I accept that this is where I am right now’.  It doesn’t imply that you are going to stay here.

The second is Letting Go.  This is part of relaxation, which comes next.  When worries come to you, let them go.  Imagine you are holding onto the reins of a team of wild horses which are pulling you in all directions.  Consciously relax the hands and let them go.

Now practise body relaxation (see previous post)


If you still don’t sleep, it is a victory because you have practised this.  The next time you practise will be stronger because of what you’ve done.  Remember, ‘do or not do – there is no try’ (Yoda, Star Wars)

Repeat the mantra Om shantih shantih shantih – or peace, peace, peace.

OM shantih!