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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I can't get no sleep...

The wind is howling outside, bin lids banging away, all manner of disconcerting noises filling the night. If like me you struggle to get your forty weeks at the best of times let alone when climate chaos is waging war on your ears, then read this....

(I actually composed most of this whilst babysitting - maybe I should do it more often! Especially if paid in caffeine and Percy pigs)


Twelve sheep, thirteen sheep, fourteen sheep, fifteen sheep, sixteen blasted sheep.
Shouldn't have left that work half done. Should have kept going whilst I was on a roll. Probably take twice as long now. Did I change that formula before I sent the email to accounts? Won't look good if I sent the wrong spreadsheet. Need to make the right impression on that new manager. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression and it would be just typical if I'd sent her the bollocks version.

Roll over, quick scratch. Twenty one sheep, twenty two sheep, twenty three sheep.
I should have just deleted the old file, then there would have been no doubt at all. So much to get done tomorrow, got that deadline coming up, and need to finish that presentation. God I could really do with getting to sleep right now, need to be on form. Baaaaa! So bloody tired yet so wired at the same time. I blame technology. Staring at a blasted screen all day long, computer at work, tv, iPad. Always switched on, always connected, no wonder its hard to switch off. That and the caffeine of course.

Thirty sheep, thirty one sheep, thirty two stinky sheep and a fluffy little lamb.
What to have for tea tomorrow night? Can't remember the date on that chicken, sure hope its jnoout of date already, don't want to be wasting anything but you don't really want to be eating out of date chicken, do you. Think it might have been the eighth, or maybe the ninth? What day is it today?

Sixty sheep, seventy sheep, eighty sheep. Why sheep rather than any other animal? Pigs say, or cows. Llamas even. You never hear of counting llamas, do you. One llama, two llama, three llama four. What is the plural of llama anyway? Is is llamas, llama, llamae even? Must remember to look that up in the morning. Funny creatures, llamas. Dopey faces with big, big teeth. Not scary teeth mind, not like a werewolf or a vampire or anything. Just big dirty gnashers in need of some goodental work. Werewolves, now they're a really funny creature. All that howling at the moon, barking mad I say. Hmmm, wonder who would win in a battle between a zombie and a werewolf? Zombies are lacking in brain power but then again maybe that's what gives them their strength. No valuable time spent thinking about, well, thinking anything. Just pure action, mindless instinct driven action. Must eat, must eat, must eat... NO! Stop it! Must sleep! Must sleep! Must sleep!

A stretch, an itch, roll over again.

Can hear noises from next door, a creaking floorboard, hushed voices, squeaking bedsprings. They're very private people, the family next door. Don't know much about them, don't even know the names of them other than Mr Kovak, and I'm not even sure if that's his first name or surname. It sounds as if someone is tapping rhythmically on the wall, slow at first then progressively faster. Bury head under pillow, try not to think about how long it’s been since this here bed has entertained any visitors. I wonder where he is now, what he's doing, who he's with. Wonder if he's thinking of me. Wonder if he knows how much I think of him.

Things next door seem to have gone quiet now. Probably fast asleep already, the jammy things. It's alright for some. Some just slip straight under the covers then, bang, out like a light for the next seven, eight, nine hours. None of this trying to visualise farm animals jumping over stiles or prancing through fields. No exes swimming round their heads, ex boyfriend's in sheep's clothing, incessantly bleating. No excel formulas dancing behind eyes screwed shut; VLOOKUP, SUMIF, IFISERROR. If mind less thoughts equals sleep and sleep equals greater than the product of all thoughts, then, well, what the hell am I doing? The sheep might not have been achieving much but surely milling over possibly impossible algebra is even worse. Deep breaths, turn, flip the pillow and rest head on the cool side.

Start again with the sheep, one, two, three, four. One hundred, one hundred and one, one hundred and two. There are sheep everywhere now, white sheep, black sheep, some even the colour of candyfloss. I'm a shepherdess, in a field, barefoot for some reason, bit weird given how much I love my shoes, but never mind. I'm tending to the flock, not entirely sure what this entails other than floating around in a long dress holding one of those long walking stick things with a curved handle, a crook, that's the word. All is good in my pastoral paradise, the sun is shining, little lambs are playing around my ankles. I could almost curl up under the shade of this lovely big tree and have a sleep, a little rest, well deserved I'm sure. Ah, at long last, bliss.

I'm just beginning to drift off when all of a sudden there's chaos in the flock. What the?! We're surrounded by large dogs with coal black eyes; but wait, these aren't ordinary dogs or foxes or anything I've ever seen before, they're - oh shit! Werewolves! I hit them with the big stick thing and as they start retreating I feel a real sense of achievement until I realise that it's not me that scared them away, but the army of crazed zombies heading towards us. I try to bat them away but it's no good, the sheep have all fled and its just me now, the tasty pig in the middle. My questionable stick handling skills keep them back for a while but then, inevitably, I'm overpowered. The zombie that leans towards me, teeth bared, looks strangely familiar, although I can't at first figure out why. Then I realise that behind the blood and glazed expression lie the distorted but just about recognisable features of the new finance manager, Toni. She clobbers me around the head with her calculator whilst licking her lips hungrily. Never realised she was that way inclined.

As darkness descends the last thing I recall is thinking how this all serves me right for not checking my work more thoroughly. If only.....

Beep beep, beep beep, beep beep

6.30am already? But I've not even...


My rest may not have been peaceful, but, hey, could it be worse. At least it didn't REALLY end in pieces.....

1 comment:

  1. ...and at least the new finance manager wasn't really that way inclined! Very funny, Heather.
    I had one of those nights on Sunday - ended up practicing guerilla warfare in some arctic warzone. I think.