Lovely, lovely, lovely local garage

Good news and bad today.  The day started quite cheerily – well no, it started at 3 am which is far too early but, not for the first time, I discovered another insomniac friend about on Facebook and we had an online chat for a while and then I went back to sleep.  I don’t always use the internet when I can’t sleep, before you tell me that’s keeping me awake.  I am in for two or three wakeful hours whatever I do, if I can’t get back to sleep quickly, and I might as well accept it.  So I lay and let my thoughts drift unstressingly, realised I wasn’t going to sleep, put the light on and read and only then checked what was going on in the world.

The cigarette lighter in my car had stopped working – not that I’ve ever used one as such of course, and nowadays they are, I see, called ‘power outlets’ anyway.  Inconvenient when I want to use a satnav or charge my phone, so I trotted into the local garage and arranged to take the car in this morning.  While they had it, I went to the butcher’s, then down to the library.  I read for a while on a bench outside in the sunshine and then went to retrieve my car.  “It was only a fuse – no charge,” said the mechanic.  I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else, they’re so helpful, the kindest old-fashioned service and the only independent petrol station left in the town – though we’re lucky to have two places to buy fuel still, many town centres don’t even have one.

I was so sorry to hear that the woman I was due to share a room with when I go to Holland in the autumn won’t be able to come after all.  She has quite a serious back problem and travelling will be impossible, even if she doesn’t need an operation.  Although we’d exchanged emails and phone calls, we’d only met once – when I say that I’d told her about this blog, you’ll realise that I liked her very much and I hope we will not lose touch (she told me today that she reads it sometimes, which is kind).  The upside, as she said, is that I’ll have a room to myself on the trip…and I won’t be in the least lonely, it’s the sort of visit where you can be alone but never have to be.  I’ve been to several places with the Nadfas I belong to and I’ve always had a brilliant time.

This morning, I’m listening to Benny Goodman.  I love the way he plays his clarinet, as if it’s part of him, incredible virtuosity that seems completely effortless.  Take a look at this and you’ll see what I mean.

And from nearly forty years earlier –

6 comments on “Lovely, lovely, lovely local garage

  1. Z Post author

    That’s really interesting, LX, thank you very much. I suspect that I am moving towards that sleep pattern, although I sleep soundly a couple of nights a week or I wouldn’t get enough overall – I’m an owl, hate going to bed early and find it dispiriting to be newly wide awake at midnight. I always used to read before falling asleep for up to an hour but I’m too tired now, so 3 am is a good alternative, if wakefulness is nothing to be concerned about.

  2. Liz

    There is a school of thought that our early ancestors went to bed as soon as they got home from their day’s toil and then woke up some hours later and did their eating and socialising in the middle of the night before going back to sleep again. A couple of thousand years ago, your sleep patterns may have been considered quite normal.

    Hurrah for your friendly neighbourhood mechanic. It is nice to still have a local business to support.

  3. Z Post author

    Even a couple of hundred years, Liz, check LX’s link. I’m really encouraged by the article because, having become used to being awake in the night, I’ve adjusted to it quite well. I’ve been wondering why I don’t feel exhausted.

  4. Roses

    You local garage sound lovely. I’m glad they’re looking after you.

    I’m sure you’ll have a brilliant time in Holland. I think it’s going to be really nice to come back after a busy day, to a quiet room all to yourself. It’s weird, to be sure, but relaxing.

  5. Z Post author

    I like a room on my own, but the single room supplement was heavy. I’m not a bad night-time companion though, I think, and I’m happy to lie in the dark quietly when I’m awake for several hours.


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