Insomnia, snoring and bad smells… by Casey Carlisle



Having relatives visit is a delight… until after twilight when the real monsters emerge.

                My writing habits this last week have morphed into that of a nocturnal scavenger. With some relatives visiting for a fortnight, my home is a flurry of laughs and activity. Household chores have been taken off me by Aunties not content to sit and relax, needing to satisfy their idle hands, and hey? Who am I to object – it frees up more time for me to be doing work right? Uncles are pottering in the back yard, the lawn has never looked so good; and all those little repair jobs that have been piling up for the last two years suddenly get done. So what fault could I find in this holiday miracle? Hanging with fun, pleasant family members and long interesting conversations: check! Meals get cooked much quicker with more hands in the kitchen (not to mention new yummy recipes to share): check! A lighter load of daily tasks to run the household: check! Well you get the point.

With bodies occupying every room, the first night we needed to shuffle the sleeping arrangements somewhat, and I ended up with my best mate kipping in a spare bed in my room. More fun – late night gossiping and pillow fights to eschew… well, that kind of behaviour stopped between us over ten years ago. We behave more like a bickering elderly couple these days. So come bed time my new room mate crashes and is out like a light, while I’m reading and writing under a book light. So very rarely do I simply drift off of an evening. I need to tire the mental muscle before it is fatigued enough to stop it’s flow of thoughts and words.

Now all I can say is – thank the heavens for the man or woman who invented earphones! With four puppy dogs (we are dog sitting an additional French Bulldog) and a heavy sleeping individual taking up every available space of my floor. The breathing, snoring, grunting and farting was like a chorus of brass instruments. Not to mention eyes watering and a gag reflex at some obnoxious odours escaping from someone’s rear. So I crack a window and slip on some chill out tunes, pop in some ear buds to block out the bowel trembling orchestra. It works for the most part, but when I’m finally tired and decide to turn in, at that point you’re just about to doze off … TOOT! And I’m wide awake again.

So after a week of this, each night I’ve stayed awake later and later, doing more and more writing accompanied by the canine wind section. But now I feel like I’ve become a creature of the night, tapping away at the keyboard until just before the sun comes up and sleeping part of the morning away. Making a trip to the letterbox in the afternoon to get a dose of Vitamin D and back to socialise and entertain my guests it’s actually a pretty sweet routine – the uninterrupted hours of work I accomplish  in the darkness, minions running about to complete my chores. It’s like having elves tidy your house while you’re sleeping. Of course the cost for these wonderful events is a lack of privacy and a sulphurous scent accompanied by the occasional grumble, mumble, snort and toot. No biggie – I can live with that in order to keep meeting my daily writing goals.

Nonetheless, it will be back to our regularly scheduled programming in another week – I just have to re-set the biological clock. Here’s to pottering Uncles and Aunties everywhere: I thank you for all you do. As for the dogs and friends who share your room… hmmm, maybe one of those snore strips and a change of diet. Or maybe I’ll use some earplugs- for my ears and my nostrils!


© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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