30 Jun

I HATE hot summer nights! 

I should perhaps qualify that a bit because a great deal of the time that statement isn’t actually true! 

What I DON’T hate are those nice, warm evenings when you can wander around the garden wearing a pair of shorts and very little else, or put a shirt on and saunter along the riverbank to the pub at Alwalton then saunter home again. 

I also DON’T hate standing outside just sky watching around this time of year. I’m not too worried about what’s on display astronomically speaking  (I keep THAT sort of observing for cold, clear, dark winter nights) but what I DO like to look at is the northern horizon – just to try to work out how many gorgeous shades of blue I can spot. 

You see, at this latitude (52.5574 Degrees North if you’re interested) and at this time of year (within a week or two of the summer solstice) the sun sets – but not by very much! 

And because it isn’t actually very far below the northern horizon there is a patch of MUCH lighter sky that drifts around from the point of sunset to the point of sunrise a very short number of hours later. Some of the different blue tints in that “never-completely-dark” patch have to be seen to be believed! 

Anyway, I see that, as usual, I have digressed from my own point and should now revise my opening sentence to read: 

“I hate trying to sleep in my house on hot summer nights.” 

When we do occasionally have good weather in this country the back wall of my house soaks up the sun like a giant storage heater and then, despite cavity wall insulation, generously gives up that heat INWARDS during the hours of (almost) darkness. When we’re trying to sleep in other words! 

Having only a sheet on the bed and the windows open doesn’t help in the slightest – it’s still too hot and I wake every morning feeling more tired and drained than when I went to bed! 

There is of course a bad side to having the windows open all night – THINGS FLY IN!

I am often awoken for the purposes of either humanely removing moths that have taken the liberty of fluttering around or landing on my sleeping spouse, or of destroying gnats, crane flies and any other mosquito-like objects that have done the same thing! 

Having spotted the things and woken me (her “Hero!”) up, Faith assists me in this by pulling the sheet up over her head and asking repeatedly if they’ve gone yet! 

I don’t usually notice these creatures myself BUT…………. 

Last night, or rather at about 4.30am, I was awoken by an unpleasant sensation! 

My warm leg – that is to say the one that was under the sheet – felt as if something was nibbling at quite a large area of the back of my knee! 

Being a big brave boy and not wishing to forfeit my moral high ground, I did NOT wake Faith up with screams about there being something in the bed. Instead I slowly and carefully reached down……… and my fingers closed on something large and rough! 

But fortunately not ALIVE! 

It was a very new and consequently very rough emery board – one of those non-metallic replacements for the old-fashioned nail file – and I do not use them! 

Now it is my experience that these objects gather and, presumably, breed down the sides of seat cushions and NOT in beds and so a couple of questions occurred to me. 

Firstly, I wondered WHY anyone would be filing their nails in bed AND under a sheet. 

Secondly, WHY would said person be filing their nails, under a sheet on MY side of the bed? 

I put these questions to my dear wife when she woke up this morning. 

Did I get an answer? Well, yes – but not to those questions! 

“Oh! I wondered where THAT went”, was all I got, and I guess that will have to do! 

I do think that an old rhyme needs amending, but it doesn’t sound as good anymore! 

“Goodnight, sleep tight; don’t let the bedbugs give you a manicure!” 


1 Comment

Posted by on June 30, 2010 in Uncategorized



One response to “Bitten!

  1. Mike

    July 1, 2010 at 11:44 am

    This was a problem I faced on my sojourns into the heelands of Scotland. I used an estate car. Drove in the front – slept in the back.

    It meant moving your bags from the back to the front to sleep – and vice-versa to drive.

    But one got a much better kip (on a mattress) than one would have in a tent. Also one felt more secure in a tin box than a layer of canvas.

    I would locate a good spot, JUST off the road, while it was still LIGHT – then mark it (a stone at the side of the road) and go get supper.

    Then I would return AFTER dark, knowing where my parking place was. This meant I could not be seen until morning.

    Occasionally, one would be unable to find a place before dark. Then one had to take pot luck. It would have been embarrassing to wake and find oneself on some chaps LAWN.

    Luckily that never happened – although I did once wake to find myself on the edge of a CLIFF!

    Anyhoo, I toured Scotland a few times – and the whole of EUROPE, once – using this method.

    I would drink Glenmiller in pubs, eat fish ‘n’ chips and corner-shop meals and wash in streams (follow them till I was no longer visible from the road) or swimming pools, if I could find one.

    Europe On $12 A Day!

    But the reason I am troubling you with this – is that I soon discovered that I had three choices, regarding sleep.

    One: close all the windows and wake with myself and everything else SOAKED with condensation.

    Two: open the windows and be eaten alive by the legendary Scottish MIDGES.

    Or three: obtain a NET CURTAIN and cover the open windows with it.

    I heartily recommend option THREE!


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