An Open Letter to Sleep

Dear Sleep,

Why do you elude me?

At 4am, when there is a minor rattle from the washing machine that in no sane and rational world would wake any normal person, why do you startle and desert me?

Why do you disappear in a clap of silent thunder at 6am when Maya decides to play hopscotch on my head?

Why do you vanish like fog and refuse to return, leaving me wild-eyed and desperate for a doze?

I love you! Come back to me and wrap me up. Sink me into a coma-like state until morning. Please let me stay with you for at least six hours straight. You don’t understand how much I need you!

When you abandon me in the barbaric hours of the morning, I spend the next day bouncing from sugar high to sugar high, from cup of tea to cup of coffee in an attempt to make it through the waking hours in something resembling a functional state. I spend the day on autopilot, daydreaming about wrapping myself in a plush throw and throwing myself on the couch like a human burrito.

But even more than this…

Why let me start dreams that you’re not willing to let me finish?


You seem willing to let me plod through the grimmest of dreams to the brutal and bitter end, so what about the good ones? You know I hate unsolved mysteries. Your habit of slowly unraveling intriguing storylines only to cut the fun short before I can find any resolution is mildly infuriating enough to deserve its own hashtag.


Sleep, please let me love you.

Life sucks without you.

Fingers Crossed!

I am currently typing with only seven fingers, down from my usual eight (pinky fingers are decorative), because the middle finger on my left hand is wrapped in multiple layers of gauze. Beneath the bandage, it now strongly resembles ET’s finger, only without the magical properties and with far more blood.


It’s attractive, is what I’m saying.

Fortunately this is a relatively recent development, because I had a wedding to attend at the weekend and one bobble-ended finger possibly in need of an amputation would never have gone with my dress. Unfortunately, I am now on a course of antibiotics, which is never ideal heading into the weekend.

A fortnight ago, my finger was caught in an unfortunate accident involving a toy and a tiny kitten claw. It was sliced clean along the part where the nail meets the skin, and it hurt, and I growled, and the kitten in question – Maya – looked at me and licked it tentatively as if to apologise.

Now I don’t know if you know this, but cat mouths are filthy.


This makes cat apology licks the mini Komodo Dragon bites of the pet world.

Over the next few days my finger struggled to sort itself out, but a week on I was at least able to paint my nails without any real pain. It seemed to be healing. Last Monday however, in a stroke of bad fortune and cat hyperactivity, Maya managed to catch the same finger in the exact same place with, presumably, the same claw that had done the damage in the first instance.

This time I let out more than a growl. This time, several expletives were uttered.

My finger developed its own unsettling heartbeat, and two days later it had swollen to a shiny plumpness. It started to turn a particularly unattractive shade of purple. A very ripe purple. Like an bruised aubergine (eggplant for the Americanos), or that grape that you leave til the end because you’re not positive it’s still edible.

I sent Scrubs occasional photographic finger updates (which I’m sure he more than thrilled to receive). Nothing like some light midday gore to remind you how much you love someone. That evening he arrived home with a prescription.

“You need to take antibiotics,” he said, as I gingerly wrapped a turquoise bandage dotted with Baby Looney Tunes characters around my fingertip. I nodded absent-mindedly.

The next morning I sent him another photo update.

“I don’t think I need antibiotics, it isn’t any worse.”

Scrubs wrote back, “Go on antibiotics.”

Two hours later, the purpling had intensified. I sent another photo update.

“Okay now it’s worse.”

Scrubs wrote back, “Go on antibiotics! x”

Have I mentioned Scrubs is a patient soul?

Once my fingernail started to look like it was lodged firmly in a questionably coloured bean-bag of skin, I finally took my prescription and got it filled. On the upside, the finger is now a lot less purple, a lot less swollen, and the risk of amputation is significantly less. On the downside, it’s Friday and I’m on antibiotics.

I’m off to read the pharmaceutical leaflet to find out if Germentin is compatible with the reckless consumption of White Russians…

Thoughts On… Adulting Struggles

It is unseasonably warm in Ireland at the moment. In a freak occurence, the sun is actually visible, the clouds are wispy and barely-there, and the temperature has crept up to Irish-sunburn levels (which isn’t very high, but it’s high enough for people to wander the streets in singlets, puffing and red-faced, panting about how it’s “FAR too hot!”).

I am currently sitting at my table, with a cup of tea beside me to wash down my many supplements*, thinking of the many, many things on my To Do List. The thoughts of all these things that need to be done have come together to form a thick, grey, thundercloud of tasks, and every so often it sends forks of lightning formed from pure unadulterated panic down my spine.

This is Not Good.

I know myself well enough to know that I need to get a handle on this situation. I feel overwhelmed, but I know that all the items on my endlessly long To Do List are doable; it’s only when thinking of all of them, together and at the same time, that I start to sweat and wonder whether it might be a good idea to change my name to Carmen Sandiego and move to Raja Ampat to sell beaded bracelets on the side of the road.

I do love making beaded bracelets…

Adulting is hard sometimes. I have yet to master the life skill of organisation. I rarely make lists, and even when I do make lists I inevitably lose them, which usually leaves me worse off than I was before. I often lose track of time because I’m so focused on a single thing that I forget 1.) to eat, 2.) that time is passing and 3.) there are in fact other things that require my attention. The fact that this blog is still alive and updated is a minor miracle considering how abysmal my scheduling skills can be.

And yet…

I love the feeling of being productive. I love the days when I smash through the things on my To Do List with reckless abandon and reach nightfall exhausted but delighted by my progress. I love seeing things look the way I envisioned, or finishing something and knowing I don’t need to worry about it again for a while. I love escaping out from under the crushingly heavy Sisyphean boulder of responsibility that builds up every once in a while after a period of slacking (or, say, a particularly lazy holiday).

Considering that I LOATHE this feeling of having every chore ever invented hanging over my head, feel positively meh about actually doing them, and enjoy the feeling of having done them, you would think the obvious thing would be to get through them as quickly as possible. The adult, rational part of the brain would tell you that it is the only logical course of action. I know this.

So why am I still sitting here?

Wish me luck. If you have anything stronger than luck (bourbon?), send that too. If you have a way of tackling mammoth To Do Lists in a productive manner, let me know your secret. You can whisper it. You can even send it by smoke signal; I’ll keep one eye on the windows just in case.

I’ll be right here, tediously checking my way through a list as long as my arm.


*Seriously it’s getting out of control; I’m now taking iron because my iron stores are low, folic acid because a friend told me everyone should be taking it all the time, vitamin D because I rarely see the sun here, vitamin B12 for my skin and vitamin C and zinc to help absorb the iron. I was talking to a friend recently who said I should also be taking magnesium, but I really don’t think I can bring myself to take more than five tablets in a day unless there is a serious and pressing need…