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Early morning meanderings of an insomniac – for the other insomniacs amongst us

In the wee small hours of the morning when the whole wide world is fast asleep I get up and go and sit downstairs and listen to the cars go racing by (sung to the tune of “Wee small hours of the morning”). Who is about at 4.50am? Where are they off to? It’s a bit early for a shift to start or finish. They can’t all be bakers or milkmen – folk known to keep anti social hours.

It is Friday, one of the days the milkman comes but I’m not sure I’ve heard him yet. When he arrives you hear footsteps in on the drive and the sound of a milk crate being plonked down in the porch. You don’t usually hear his float because it is electric. Perhaps the soft whoosh of his tyres as he pulls up and then moves on.

When I was at University I knew a baker called Ray. He made great wholemeal bread. Really tasty, solid loaves. One or two slices were the equivalent of a meal. After finishing the baking, at around 11am, he would nip round to the nearby Globe pub for a couple of swift ones, before going to bed. Who’d be a baker?

The birds have just woken up. Must be starting to get light out. I can’t see because the curtains are closed. I am surrounded by books and the noise of the birds. It’s almost as if the books are reading out loud the words written on the spines of the books.

At this time of the night, or morning, there is the company of the internet to while away the hours. On my Twitter or Facebook timelines most of the posts in the night are from people in the USA. I get the odd British insomniac. One just now reads “Starting your day at 4.45am cos you’re bloody bat shit crAAAzy.#NightShiftProblems#WhyAmIAwake#SaveTheSquirrels “.

Looks like some people must schedule tweets for overnight posting. Who reads them?  Twitter is a fleeting1 medium at the best of times. You might catch a tweet but probably not. There are some events (eg #trefbash) that I promote like crazy in Twitter and other social media destinations and after weeks of doing so have still had people asking me when it’s on this year and why haven’t they been invited? Huh!

On Facebook a friend who has moved to India says “8.30 in the morning, driving to work and it’s 98 degrees outside and sunny. (36.6). Some days don’t you just wish it would be cold, wet and windy…………Nah. I love India.”

98degrees doesn’t do it for me. All I’d be able to do would be to sit in the shade in a pool, perhaps at the wet bar, drinking cool ones. I used to travel to the USA a lot and I recall sitting around a pool in Arizona in July. The water was like tepid tea and the pool surround was constantly sprayed with water mist which was supposed to keep the temperature 10 degrees lower. July is tourist low season in Arizona. The same is true for popular destinations such as Florida where Brits migrate in masses during UK summer holidays. The natives avoid the place in the summer.

I’ve been writing for just over half an hour. Not fast for me. It’s another hour before it will be time to take the tea up. The working day has started. Today must be an “early” which is good because as it happens I am playing golf this afternoon. Good timing that, insomnia.

The clock ticks away on the wall, the only noise when the road outside is quiet. That and the unseen touch-tapping of my Chromebook keyboard. The TV is switched off at the wall, powerless to communicate. All the actors have gone home or are sat in an all night bar somewhere in a place where only actors and insomniacs go.

We have had a few posts in overnight from guests contributing to next week’s VoIP themed week. Some of them need a bit of an edit, the wave of the magic wordprocessing wand. That’s ok. One or two guest posts look like blatant sales pitches. There will be changes. People should realise that a professional, authoritative post is a far better sales pitch than something that just says “buy my stuff”.

As I get older I notice that I seem to need less sleep. This is good although I do tend to go to bed earlier than most – 10 – 10.30pm. It’s a hangover from years of having small kids around the house. They aren’t small any more and the early morning antisocial demands for attention are things of the past. Even on Christmas Day, a time when kids have historically stretched the definition of “time to get up ” to a point where the parents haven’t even gone to bed yet, they now have a lie in which is a real result.

The getting up early to make a cup of tea has real advantages. Going back upstairs with the tea tray makes the lie in to a normal getting up time feel longer and more luxurious.

I’ve drawn the curtains and it is definitely light now. Time to do other things. See you in the morning Catch you later…

1 I’m even tempted to say fly by night 🙂

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

One reply on “Early morning meanderings of an insomniac – for the other insomniacs amongst us”

I have the problem the other way round.

Up until three years ago I used to work shifts.

That would be either your normal office 9-5.30 or 2-10.30 which included some weekends.

When I came home from work on a late shift I get a cup of tea and something quick to eat (a sarnie of some sort or toast), grab a shower and switch the TV on to catch up with the news as would take me 2-2.5 hours to wind down otherwise I would just lie awake for ages.

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