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Photo by Janet Beasley of JLB Creatives

Anyone who suffers from insomnia knows it sucks, big time. For the last two years I have used the fact that I can’t sleep to my advantage, and get most of my writing done in the wee hours of the night, when there is no noise and no Hubby to distract me.

Recently, I decided that I am getting too old to spend every night up. I look wrecked. Even pandas look less baggy-eyed than I do, so I made a new year’s resolution to refuse to get up the second my brain whirs into action. It is a battle. It’s the brain versus the body. However, I have found a technique that wears Brain out and sends it into a slumber.

Last night I employed it. The scenario went like this.

Facing 50 turns out light at 10.30pm worn out from a long day and drifts off to sleep. 11pm a 60 watt light goes on in her head and wakes her.

Facing 50: “What are you doing up, I’ve only been asleep half an hour?”

Brain: “I need to exercise. Can’t sleep. You know the routine by now. What shall we do? Do you want to go through chapter fourteen of your latest book and make some changes?”

Facing 50: “No. We tried that this afternoon when you kept dozing off, and I stared out of the window trying to work out how ways the main character could murder her husband.”

Brain: “Yeah. Sorry about that. I was a bit tired from being up the night before. Had to grab 40 winks and leave you to it. They were rubbish ideas that you came up with anyway. You can’t kill him off by grinding egg shells into his food. So what do you propose we do?”

Facing 50: “Sleep. Now, bugger off and let me get some zeds.”

Brain: “If you doze off, I’ll put on Pump up the Volume and do a boxercise routine which will wake you up again. How about we stay awake together and worry about how old we are getting? Or, oooh…this is a good one…worry about the books sales you haven’t made this month?”

Facing 50 (yawns): “Okay, how about the new game. You get to tell me a fairy tale but you have to give it a twist. Let’s make it harder. You have to put it into verse.”

Brain: “Great. Okay. Hansel and Gretel. Mmm Gingerbread houses. I could murder a piece of gingerbread. Hey, hasn’t Hubby got a ginger cake in the drawer. You could have a slice. Think how tasty that would be.”

Facing 50: “No. That’ll wake me up even more. Besides Hubby will murder me if he discovers that I’ve scoffed his afternoon tea treat.”

Brain: “Boring. Okay, not Hansel and Gretel then. What about Red Riding Hood? Lots of potential in that.”

Brain sets about working out a suitable poem. Mumbling can be heard and Facing 50 waits quietly for an hour while Brain comes up with a result.

Brain: “Here it is. What do you think?” Coughs and reads:

“Red Riding Hoodie dressed in a cloak,

Stopped in the woods for a quick smoke.

She really ought to quit, she thought

to appease Nan, the worry wart.

She crushed the tab under her feet,

Then chewed mint gum to smell all sweet

‘Twas then she spied old Wolfy boy,

Lurking afar, face full of joy.

No doubt he had a cunning plan

To gobble up her poor Old Nan.

She swiftly pulled out her iPhone 5.

She’d make sure Nan stayed well and alive.

She raced off then to Gran’s back door

Where she spied splodges of bright red gore.

Inside, though Nan smiled all brightly,

Wearing nothing but a nightie.

“Thanks for the warning text,” said Gran.

“He was no match for my large pan.”

Wolfy was flat out on the floor.

Pearly whites shattered, gums all sore.

Poor old chap was then removed.

Now in a zoo, he eats minced up food.

Moral: You are never too old to embrace technology and smoking occasionally saves lives. (But best not to try it!)”


Facing 50: Not bad. I’d give a C.

Brain: “Only a C. You can tell you were a teacher. You’re a proper mean stingy. It’s worth more than a C.” (Yawns.)

Facing 50: “No, it isn’t. It’s only just worth a C. I tell you what; I’ll give it a B if you shut up and go to sleep now.”

Brain: “Deal.”

Light goes out. Brain snores. Facing 50 settles down comfortably to go back to sleep.

Please leave Brain your verdict on its efforts. It would love to know what you think.