So I said I was going to post fewer posts, and yet here I am, writing one again only a few hours after publishing the last. And no, this is not the kind of post that you can schedule for a later day or save as a draft. It has a feeling of urgency.

Let me set the scene. In my part of the world it is almost four in the morning and I am alone in my room. I’m thirsty but too lazy to go to the bathroom, fill the kettle and make some tea. Also that could wake up my flatmate, which I wouldn’t want. But then I guess she’s probably in a deep sleep phase and she sleeps with her window open every night and we live right by a busy street that’s quite noisy even at four in the morning. So scratch that. Laziness is my only excuse. Also my room smells of salami, which I had a craving for, but now it’s just repulsive. Every now and then a wave of salami-scented air approaches me from my left side. The leftover salami will have to go first. That’ll be my first step after finishing this post. Actually, I do need the loo, so maybe the second.

It’s one of those strange nights where I can never be sure whether I’m having a nervous breakdown or an epiphany. Even though I am as sober as I have ever been (haven’t even touched a cigarette in quite a while now), it’s like I’m high. My every sense seems alert to the beauty and tragedy of life. So I’ve decided to seize the moment and pull and all nighter, something I haven’t done since I left school. My life has become so boring so orderly. There’s no returning from Brighton on the first bus home. There’s no coursework that is worth it to work through the night.

I haven’t even had a drink in over a week. Actually, hang on. I would very much like to have a drink. Right now. Ugh, I now have to admit to having made a gin and tonic way too strong for my taste. It would probably taste better if the tonic water wasn’t flat and too old. But it’s good. I think there is something very graceful about solitary drinking (as long as you limit yourself to the occasional glass). I should take it up. Yes. I might just make and impulse purchase and buy a wine decanter on Amazon.

How have I come here, you ask? Well, it started when I discovered I had internet this morning. I forgot how much I love the internet. At first I thought it would never return and I’d have to spend a lot of time in the library using their free but annoyingly slow WiFi. I went so far as to make a list of reasons why I should actually be happy not to have internet in my room. That’s what I when I get anxious about how things might turn out. I make a list of advantages of the outcome that I feel less desirable. Like a list of reasons why going to my second choice of uni is actually better that my first in case I don’t get into my first choice and then a reason of why it’s better that I don’t go to uni in Scotland in case I get into neither of them. Uncertainty makes me wobbly. I don’t like it. You know how some people make a plan B in case their actual plan doesn’t work out? Well, I also have a plan C, in case B doesn’t work out and C and D and so on. Knowing I have a plan helps. Only if my plan E doesn’t work out, I’m truly fucked.

So yes, I rediscovered the magic of the internet. Not the horrific porn and gossip and people thinking they have to give their opinion on everything, but the nicer sides of it. I love how many opportunities it gives you. How with every door you open there’s a corridor with a million more doors on the other side. It’s late, so please excuse my analogies or metaphors or whatever they are called. I never did get the literary devices right. I loved literature and I loved talking about it but I could never see why it was necessary for me to use words like onomatopoeia and oxymoron and asyndeton. Literally. Why?

Where was I? Yes, so even though it was already beyond midnight and I have things tomorrow and stuff, I decided to watch a film. Films are somehow just so much better than series. I find this with books as well. I like novels. I do not like things that drag on for years and years. Even Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Oh, especially Twilight.

The film I watched was “Laggies” starring Keira Knightley doing an impressive American accent and Chloe Moretz and another guy that I think played superman or badman but I might be entirely wrong. It was not a great film. I will probably watch it ever again. Still. You know when somehow films are just so good not because they are but because they strike a chord in you? So, yeah. That happened.

I really need the toilet now. Drinking didn’t really help that. I think I might have missed my point, the morale of my story, but then I guess that is precisely the point.

Have a pleasant night, y’all!

B x

It’s All About The Timing

I have a problem. Maybe not a problem. A love/hate relationship rather. Who’s my frenemy (my self-declared 90ies word of the day!), you ask? Sleep.

Unlike many others who cannnot sleep or don’t sleep well and can seek the help of tiny little pills and whatnot, my issues with sleep are more emotional and conceptual than others’. I have no problems sleeping. I love it, really. Completely and utterly love it. I love everything about it: the cosiness of my bed (any bed, really, also: my sleeping bag, my friend’s lap, those seats at the airport), the comfy clothing, the warmth, the thoughts before falling asleep, how my eyes fall shut slowly. My issues are more related to the timing that comes with the subject of sleep: when and how long.

To begin with, I just sleep too much. And always at the wrong time, it seems. Say I fall asleep at 10 or 11 PM, like a ‘normal’ person would possibly do. We have always been told that we need about eight hours of sleep a night. This surely, varies in people. Maybe I don’t need 8, but only seven or up to 9. Maybe you have also heard about sleep cycles or something, claiming we sleep in installments of 3 hours (or was it 4?). Regardless of all of these things I know, I also know a lot better that if I’d go to bed at 10 or 11 PM, I would not wake up at 6 or 7 AM or even before 10 AM. I’d probably regain consciousness at around 1 PM, at which point my bladder becomes more and more insistent.

After some teenage struggles, I have come to accept that I will never awake at dawn and I will never be cheerful and energetic before noon. That just ain’t gonna happen. I am also aware that, if I had the patience to adjust my sleeping schedule to going to bed at 11 PM each and every night (and quit caffeine), my cylce would adjust over time and I’d probably wake up earlier than 1 PM (although I still severly doubt that I’d get out of bed before nine …). But then there is this other thing. I do my best, most creative and productive and focused work in the hours between midnight and 3.30AM. Going to bed an hour before my personal prime time simply hurts me as a breathing, thinking individual. Sleep at that kind of time seems like a waste. Imagine the ideas I’d have in those 3 ½ hours! The realisations! The epiphanies!

Nonetheless, I will have to change my ways. The incompability of my sleep schedule with my regular schedule (where things tend to take place while it’s light outside) is a constant source of frustration, self-doubt and unhappiness, even. Right now, these are the only consequences it has. Noone cares whether I arrive to my seminar ten minutes late and with bags under my eyes. But the “the glass in half empty” part of my brain can also vividly picture how these sleep timing issues can lead to depression, unemployment, social reclusion and addiction in the near future.

But what do I do when I have identified a problem? I start solving it (sadly, my problem-solving time is also right in the middle of the night) and declare it a project. I start researching the topic, others’ experiences and possible solutions. ‘Project Sleep’, I estimate, will be my biggest project running. Already I have done an unnerving amount of googling (which was probably counter-productive as it stopped me from sleeping), I have been tempted by costly purchases and ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches to the topic.

What I know for sure now is that I will need absolute dedication and discipline. Therefore I have made the bold choice to postpone the endeavour another two weeks (usually my approach is more: do it right now or you’ll never do it!) until all my exams are over. Although I might then still regret the valuable time wasted on sleep, I will not be able to use “I have to study for my exams RIGHT NOW” as an excuse to quit or cheat the project. Very responsible of me, isn’t it.

This topic is yet another example where, really, research is unnecessary. We know what we have to do. We don’t need books or people on the internet to tell us. Still, my (unnecessary) research has given me the opportunity to approach the issue in a more systematic way and it has also inspired me to (once I have mastered the beginner’s level of sleep and timing) maybe try what this lady has done (in response to recent scholarship that claims that we humans actually slept in two installments, with a break of about an hour in between, before the industrial revolution).

But, for my current project I’m just hoping that my creative/productive /focused hours will simply shift in my day, maybe to 8 PM? That would actually be ideal. Fingers crossed.

B x

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire…

So, here we go: Appropriate to the time of the year and the music currently playing on the radio, I’ve chosen to share with you some festive tunes, that can serve you as an alternative to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” on a loop during the next few days. This is the best Christmas album I have come across so far and it is excellent. You know how you have to be in a certain kind of state to enjoy the Sinatra Christmas classics and the new auto-tuned, dolled up versions they play on the radio get old pretty quickly (plus, they all sound the same!), this album is the answer.

It is such a nice, laid back, but still merry collection of some of the best classic tunes: They do a smashing cover of Madonna’s “Santa Baby”, and have included everything from “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to “Silent Night”. My personal favourite is track number seven, but please, please listen for yourself and make up your own mind.

You can download the whole album here, and another great thing is that there is no set price!! This means you can literally pay what ever you think is appropriate and if you’re too broke (or too stingy, no judgement..), just put “0”. Hint hint: This also makes a great present.

Wild Child – Christmas Mixtape, Volume 1