Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Post with No Name

An early spring evening, out in the garden of the Garrack Hotel, St. Ives, when I nipped out the front door for a breath of fresh air...

... and facing the other direction, this is the ashtray for those who enjoy a breath of fresh air between courses.

It's the incongruity that I like - I wonder what other products this company makes for the hotel industry? We all remember the 'Goblin Teas-Maid' (fnarr fnarr), but I haven't seen - or used - one of those for a long time. They've probably been outlawed by Health and Safety rules, but I find nothing so invigorating than being woken up at 7.00 am in the morning by an exploding kettle-full of boiling water right next to one's sleepy head.

I can feel myself going off on a tangent now. When I was a kid, I had one of those alarm-clocks with a flipping great double bell on the top. It would go off like a bomb, and there was no volume control, so was usually punched a few times before being silenced. The crazy thing was that I didn't need an alarm of any kind because - though I slept well - I could wake up on demand, so to speak. I just liked the clock because it was a Beano Comic book classic, and I believed I needed one in my life. After a while, the mere ticking of it kept me awake, so I stopped using it and just left a wrist-watch on the bedside table to confirm my intuitive belief about the right time to get up.

My father always maintained that you could tell the quality of a watch by the quietness of it's tick, so this must have been a good one, because you had to press your ear hard against it to hear it at all. Then, one night, it stopped abruptly, and the cessation of ticking had the same effect on me as if someone had fired a gun in the room. I sat bolt upright, trying to work out what catastrophic event had taken place before I remembered that I had forgotten to wind up the watch. I certainly did not need an alarm clock.

Equally, I cannot abide sleeping in blacked-out rooms. I must have access to what ever ambient light is shining outside, even if it is street lamps. I have slept with people in the past (females) who cannot sleep at all without almost total sensory deprivation, and this is my idea of hell. I lie there, blind and awake, listening to my own heart-beat and wondering if morning will ever come again.

When I was younger, I simply could not understand why married couples would want to sleep in separate rooms like the Queen and Prince Phillip, despite all the suffering I had endured to maintain instant access, 24 hours a day, to the woman of my choice.

These days, I would advocate sleeping in different wings of the house for those who are fortunate enough to actually be able to divide their living quarters according to the points of the compass, but I suppose one grows inward with age. Pretty soon I will do nothing but stare out of the window all day, but today I'm off to the pub garden by the Royal Crescent to meet up with our friend, Bev. Happy egg-hunting.


  1. My young daughter ate packet after packet of Kellogs cornflakes in order to collect enough coupons to send off for a Cock-a-doodle doo alarm clock. Needless to say by the time she had collected enough coupons the offer had expired. But a sad little letter to Kellogs resulted in the delivery of a wondrous clock. I wish I'd never written the letter. Rather than a cockerel crowing it sounded like a demented chicken being strangled. Woke the whole household up. I think she's still got it somewhere!

  2. Hello Tom:
    Stars in the making we may be, but sadly porn-stars we are not. We hope that this will not disappoint too much.

    Now, to the business in hand. Like you, we wake without an alarum clock but always, these days, set the dreaded mobile telephone to emit its beeps at six o'clock. As to the quality of wrist watches, we suspect your father was correct but apart from one very recently inherited and seldom worn, we live life without one.

    We totally are at one with you over the darkened bedroom. Let there be light! Have a nice time in the pub garden with Bev.

  3. I think you could have called this post "A stream of my consciousness" Tom - loved reading it - not sure about the separate bedrooms though. I endure a bit of snoring in order to get a bit of a cuddle if I wake up cold in the night.

  4. At present Lady M is sleeping in London, whilst I (being foot loose etc) am confined to France. This arrangement is not the prerogative of the rich, just the sensible!

  5. sometimes having a double bed to yourself, even just for one night is a blissful event only surpassed by good sex or a chocolate orange!

  6. Sounds like a great clock Sue. A friend of mine who lived in France, woke up with a hangover one morning, and his neighbor's cockerel was crowing it's head off at dawn, so he leant out of the window and shot it with a 12 bore, then continued sleeping.

    I did have a nice time thank you, Jane and Lance, though I have to admit that I drank 5 pints of lager in the process. I'm not proud of it either. I paid for everyone else's drinks too, and the bill was £92. I am proud of that.

    I agree John - nothing surpasses sex with a chocolate orange.