Category Archives: somnambulist

sleep talking

I remembered at school aged 10 the teacher wanted us to describe strange words through the power of art. My best mate Jim had ‘somnambulist’ and I had ‘grotesque’. After learning the about the definitions of the words the class set to work on their pieces. For some reason known only to myself, I decided to portray a fat middle-aged bald man in a dirty vest, sat on a toilet in a cubicle littered with syringes and old beer cans. Being rather deft with a brush the resulting piece was rather effective, I found out later (much later, about ten years ago) that my parents had been called into the school and interrogated about my frame of mind by a social worker. According to my mum one of the teachers was very upset about the piece concluding that the artist was ‘deeply disturbed’ which was utter twaddle, of course…

I was thinking about this last night in bed during another bout of self-imposed insomnia, ‘self imposed’ because I abstained last night. The word ‘somnambulist’, or rather the act of somnambulism is something that has always terrified the shit out of me. As a small child one of my key fears was to meet my parents whilst they were sleep walking, of course this phenomenon is the fundamental chill factor in zombie movies (in addition to being a key catalyst of surrealism –something familiar devoid of its expected characteristics) so as fears go, it’s far from unique, I’d even argue it’s innate in everyone.

So, I pondered this, I began thinking how I’d feel if I found Myfwt sleep walking, no, I most certainly wouldn’t like that… idiotically I found myself downloading my childhood fears into the present, with the barrier of booze removed my mind was able to cheerfully bat these ideas about while I quietly panicked in the dark. Myfwt slept like a top, I went to sleep at 3 after having gone to bed at 10.30 to watch (a not up to par) Curb Your Enthusiasm prior to turning off the light.

Waking up without a hangover is certainly preferable to waking up with one; it’s helping me to stick to my 2 days off a week and contributing to a bit of control when I’m having days on. I’m meeting Frank for a couple tonight but after that I may see if I can hold out until Friday… we’ll see.

Another key factor in all this is the whole food/wine thing. If I eat a roast or a pie or employ anything with a cheese and tomato sauce I find denying myself wine almost impossible. But stick to stir-fries with chilli, salmon, prawns etc., and you’ve a meal that doesn’t lend itself well to red wine (though very arguably with white and beer, both surmountable as I don’t crave them like I do the sweet, sweet red) either in eating or preparation.

That’s got to be a top tip right there, surely.