Hadrian really is a dear little boy. He’s so easy-going, at any rate when he’s with adults – he’s quite demanding with his older siblings and they’re indulgent with him, on the whole.
He waved goodbye to his mother cheerfully, possibly helped by my suggestion of bacon for breakfast. Russell went to buy some bread and I started cooking – R took ages, so I gave Hay his first rasher of bacon and we waited – in the end, I gave up, cooked our eggs, gave Hay his second rasher and promised him toast when Grandpa finally stopped chatting with people he’d met in town and brought home the bread. And that is what came to pass, eventually. Hay, though quite stocky in build, often doesn’t eat much, but two pieces of bacon, a slice of toast and jam and a cup of milk is a pretty substantial breakfast and he only had a drink for elevenses. Then we went to the supermarket, then he played Angry Birds on my iPad while I put the shopping away, then we made cakes. Lunch next, then iced the cakes (and he ate one) and then outside on the swing and to visit the chickens. I left him feeding them bread while I went for a can of water, as they’d either spilt or drunk theirs, and I saw Dilly driving down the drive. It was just starting to pour with rain, so we scuttled back.
It wasn’t the first time that day that I’d been caught in the rain, now I think about it. Before unpacking the shopping, I went to put the washing on the line. Usually, I’d ask a child for help with that, but Hay was pretty keen to get going with Angry Birds. And the weather turned from sunny to showery in the first minute and I’d only got a few things on the line when it started to spot with rain. I wondered whether to chance it, decided not, got the washing down again and, within a minute of me getting indoors, it was sleeting.
I had too much washing to wait, so dried it in the kitchen on the airer, with the result that we have stiff-as-a-board washing this week. Not being fond of the all-pervading smell of fabric softener (some parents of small children are inordinately fond of it – when I used to help in a primary school, some kids reeked of artificial flower smell), I don’t use it normally – anyway, it’s mostly my underwear, stuff that needs ironing and tea towels, so it doesn’t matter too much.
Radio 4 is having a day on sleep, apparently, from the point of view of not getting enough of it. It’s absolutely true, a lot of people boast about how little they need, as if that indicates something good. Clearly, if we are supposed to spend a third of our lives asleep, that’s for a good reason and enough sleep is essential. However, whilst they talked about what you should do to prepare for sleep, it didn’t (at that time, I don’t know about later because I don’t have an opportunity to listen to the radio all day) give any indication about what to do if, for reasons beyond your control, you cannot sleep.
Last night was pretty good. I woke every couple of hours, but went back to sleep within ten minutes or so each time. The night before, I’d been in bed by about 11, read briefly, went to sleep, woke at midnight feeling rested enough to be really disappointed to discover how short a time I’d been asleep for, and then it was four or five hours before I dropped off again.
I’m trying to reason this through and work out a way of getting into a better sleep pattern, but nothing I’ve done has succeeded so far. I’ve never been a good sleeper since childhood, but the pattern of insomnia has changed over the years. That is, when I was young I had difficulty getting to sleep, but over the last couple of decades, the problem has more been getting back to sleep when I’ve woken during the night. I rarely feel terribly tired now, as I’m so used to not having enough sleep, but I know it’s not good for my long-term health. This is not as worrying as it might be, in that I come from a relatively short-lived family anyway, so I am quite happy to embrace old age now, while I have the chance.