Sleep, a wonderful thing. Dreaming of creatures, as long as they aren’t monsters. And if they are monsters then as long as they are friendly ones? My monster is insomnia, when the dreams WON’T come. When the dreams that do appear flit past my eyes for a second and are then gone. Like a butterfly snatched by a cat, or a dragonfly grabbed by a pike. Then awake again I have to watch the seconds click by. Close my eyes and the world swirls sideways. I need rest!

Why can’t I sleep?

Cats can snooze anywhere. I can hear this one snoring next to me. But I just lie awake. A million thoughts tangle in my head, health issues, pain in my feet and shoulder, snoring from hubby, then there was hunger, thirst. Went and had a slice of toast and a decaff coffee. I did finish a couple of paintings. When I went back to bed I did what I sometimes do and put the radio on to murmur me to sleep, but last night it was too interesting. Even the shipping forecast ‘Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth, North backing North West, 25 miles, good, occasional rain and mist. Two to three.’ Something like that. Then there’s a news briefing, farming today, a prayer for today, tweet of the day (birdsong) then into the Today programme. Radio four. Somewhere around six thirty I fell asleep only to be woken at ten by my hubby who had slept for twelve hours! Argh!


Its almost time to submit my final major project but I’ve become very nervous about it. Such a lot rides on how I do. I’m already suffering from insomnia but this is just making it worse. I’m wondering why I can’t sleep, but I guess it’s thoughts like “have I got enough images?” “what if I forget to include?” “how do I create?” Don’t get me wrong, I have learnt a lot over the course of the last two years. I am attempting things I would never have done before. And what am I going to get out of it, apart from those new skills? Would anyone employ me as a free-lance illustrator/ author/ crafts person? Lot’s of questions. I think my style is my USP. I tend to do my own thing. I am probably too analogue. But I have a passion and I want what I am doing to be interesting. Do I have to be subsumed into a generic style? I hope not!


My mind is racing, I cannot sleep. My hand has held a paintbrush and suddenly the impetus is there to paint again despite the shaking and wobbling. I started three more small paintings tonight, a kingfisher, then this dragon, and finally a face I’ve called medusa. All works in progress. I think the illustration side of me is leaking into my paintings!

awake 6.30 am

playing with paper and felt pens

Sitting here- pondering what to do about college work, I never seem to get a minute to myself. I couldn’t sleep, I’m either too hot or too cold or someones elbow is sticking in my ribs, but because I woke up and started typing, now hubby is up and ready to go for a walk! For heavens sake can’t I get a quiet moment to myself?

I’m seriously thinking about single beds! you know you are getting older when you think that comfort outweighs companionship. No more knees in your back, or elbows in your ear, or your shoulder being used as a pillow.

No I’m not doing college stuff, I’m just trying to chill for half an hour. No doubt I will go back to bed soon!

One hour!

That’s how much sleep I got last night. My hubby has a cold and was coughing and snoring. He hurt his leg a week ago and can’t get comfortable. I think I’m having another attack of gout as my feet and hands hurt. I couldn’t get comfortable and as I’ve cut down on the central heating it means the bedroom is cold at night. A fight over the duvet ensued. So I came downstairs and read for a couple of hours. I knew I was supposed to get up and go somewhere. That didn’t help. In the end I fell asleep at about 9am then woke up at 10am. I should have been out at the meeting. In the end I gave up and sent my apologies. I went back to sleep at about midday and woke up just after 3pm. Another night of insomnia! Is it any wonder that I fall asleep in the day!

Sleepless in Stoke

My minds a whirl..

Little thoughts track big ones

Trickle through my brain

Like sand in a puzzle

Clogging up the workings

No smooth calmness

Jumping clumps of

Dark matter

Or spaghetti goo

What does that meant

To you?

Nothing, random


Spiced with tinges

Of pain

Let me sleep

Not that tune


Grey Dawn

Tree branches and twigs, grey sky, a street lamp partly hidden. Got up for a decaff coffee. Still having trouble sleeping. I half think it’s my toes. I’ve got achy feet and have problems with the weight of the duvet. So I throw the bedding off my feet, then they are too cold. Perhaps I should wear bedsocks, but then won’t they put pressure on my toes? So instead I’m up and about, watching the slow change in light iin the sky, listening to the radio, trying to sit comfortably on an armchair. Playing with my phone. Oh for a decent night’s sleep.


I was struggling to sleep again last night so I got up at 5am to have a warm drink. Sometimes I can sleep in the armchair.

I decided to turn the radio on for something to sooth my nerves. There was a programme called Test Match Special on. It was a cricket match between England and Australia. Australia were ahead three games in a five game series. This was the fourth test match.

The match was likely to go Australia’s way because they were well ahead on runs (in cricket you run between two sets of wickets with bales on top called stumps) . The bowler throws a ball at the stumps and tries to knock the bales off. The batsman has to defend the stumps. They try and hit the ball with a cricket bat. If they hit it they try and get runs. There are two batsmen (or women) at a time. They run between the stumps. You get four runs if you get the ball to run over the boundary line and six if you hit it over the boundary in the air.

Anyway, Australia was well in the lead. England had lost six men out of eleven and were batting. The commentators said that the last four of England’s batsmen had either suffered injuries or not done well in previous test matches. It looked very bleak!

I listened and was enthralled. There were missed catches and the Australians were trying hard, bouncing the ball high and hurting the batsmen (cricket balls are very hard). Lots of calls for leg before wicket (the batsman has his leg in the way and stops the bales being knocked off). Slowly the score crept up, three batsmen were caught or given LBW. (leg before wicket). I couldn’t sleep, this was too exciting! There were two batsmen left. Each round of bowling is called an over (where six balls are bowled) the last two overs came up. The first batsman tried to hit some runs so he could get to the other end and take the strike for the last over, if he did the last batsman would not have to play. But the Australians managed to stop him and the final over started with England’s last batsman waiting to be bowled at or bowled out! They couldn’t win but if he didn’t get knocked out they would have a draw.

Six balls. One after the other. It was radio so I couldn’t see what was going on, I could only listen to the commentary. Five balls to go, the daylight was going, the floodlights were on. Four balls, my heart was thumping. The batsman (Anderson) calmly prodded the ball away. Three balls. If the batsman tried to hit the ball the fielders (the rest of the Australian team) might catch the ball and get England out. Two more chances, the batsmen again stopped the ball. This was the last ball coming up. Australia had to dismiss the batsman to win. The bowler ran up, pitched the ball at the batsman and…. The batsman carefully pushed the ball away (I didn’t actually listen to what he did, I was too busy jumping up and down!) He ended the match safely not out. England drew the fourth test! Not a win, but a hell of a lot better than the previous three tests. The next text match is starting in Hobart, Australia on Friday. I’m expecting at least another sleepless night.

Dawn Chorus

Despite it being the start of January I am listening to a beautiful dawn chorus. It is either a Robin or a Blackbird. That’s because I’m struggling to sleep again. But hearing the liquid notes and swirling tunes is fascinating and lovely. I’m just sitting quietly and I can hear strong birdsong despite having double glazing. Each tune or snippet of song only lasts for a little while, then there is a short gap and the music starts again. There is no other sound out there. It’s too early for traffic or footsteps. Just a high series of tweets and whistles cascading from a small bird.

The weather forecast is for lower temperatures and snow rain and ice to return over the next few days. I shall make sure the birds in our garden have food and water. They deserve it for creating such beautiful song. I could not get a photo so excuse my drawing of the garden. Its full of trees and bushes. Now other birds are joining in. Excuse me while I listen… X