Sleepless in Burton-on-Trent

So … just the two of us here. Again. Like two boring old men at the Legion bar, on a week night. There’s no atmosphere, no music, nothing to do, nothing to say. We don’t want to be here, but we don’t seem to be able to break the cycle or think of anything better. We just lean against the bar and stare into space.

We’ve been doing this a lot, haven’t we? Just us and the four walls. No-one else is awake. Actually: no-one else exists. Just you and I, and that cheap clock on the mantlepiece that ticks just loudly enough to remind me that my life is slipping away.

This picture sums-up how I feel pretty well. Though to be perfect, it would have to show a Mrs. Eyeball next to me, snoring like a hog.

Why must you hold on to me? Why not release me to sleep, just like everyone else? Even the cat taunts me. “Look at me! I’m lying on my back with my legs in the air, making you rub my ears because you have nothing better to do! And I can fall asleep just like zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz“. Little bastard.

My doctor hasn’t helped me get shot of you. “Take one of these before bed, but it’s easy to become dependent on them so you can only have one every third night”. They make sod-all difference. I’m pretty sure she ticked the “give him the Placebo” box when she filled out the prescription. If I’m going to pop pills that are highly addictive but do nothing for my Insomnia then I might as well start buying bags of Midget Gems. If I’m going to become dependent on substances to get me to sleep then they might as well be fun ones! Ones I can drink or smoke. Would I rather be dependent on Ziprodoxymoxybollockymolyclone … or gin? Not a tough one, really.

Why do I keep staring at that damn clock? It’s like I just want to know exactly what time I will fall asleep, so that when all my bright-eyed, keen, well-rested colleagues – those bastards – see me tomorrow and ask why I look like crap, I can say “sorry, I only had X hours sleep last night”. Because if I’m going to take anything from this, it might as well be a shred of sympathy. Before I fall asleep on the train on my way home, and wake up in Aberdeen.

Too awake to sleep. Too sleepy to write anything decent. Sorry about that.

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posted in Diary, Me by Oddbloke

4 Comments to "Sleepless in Burton-on-Trent"

  1. ant wrote:

    Brilliant post, thank you for letting me know I am not alone! … In holiday time or at weekends I get up when I wake up at 2-3am and come up to my castle (attic) and do geeky things. It doesn’t help me sleep but it makes me smile.

    Loved your article on the register about the raspberry pi … you make several really good points about when programming died in the UK and the importance of learning to program in school. I have tried to force this onto the curriculum at our place for 5 years, against the wishes of lazy ICT teachers and unimaginative senior leaders, who are either unwilling or unable to learn new things. The system of school league tables discourage experimentation. The world moved in our direction last year however. Michael Gove may have fallen out of the ugly tree and speaks before his brain has had time to gestate his thoughts – but his comments about the ICT curriculum in schools are spot on.

  2. Simon wrote:

    How very true this article is.
    I have just read your article on the Raspberry Pi on the Register website, and as a fellow programmer I totally agree.

  3. Lee wrote:

    I read your R Pi article on El Reg after minimal sleep last night and, being curious, discover this. I agree totally with your views on programming. My eleven year old started nervously working his way through a kid-focused python book on his R Pi; then discovered he could install python on the main Windows machine and has taken off like a rocket. I can’t buy the books fast enough. Context is all – once again.

    Good luck with getting to sleep. A shag helps if the snorer is willing!


  4. Roger wrote:

    Enjoyed your programming article on El Reg, as another resident of B-o-T I’m not always that sleepless as the drifting aroma of brewing sends me to sleep…

    Have a 16 year old who expressed an interest in games development, but prefers playing them to writing them, although he’s a bit of a wizard at Minecraft.

    Couldn’t agree more about coding, my first attempt was in 1974 whilst in the 6th form – BASIC, handwritten, output back on punch tape from Huddersfield Poly. Since then learnt COBOL, C, Pascal, HTML – but don’t code for a living – 28 years in IT though ;-). Had an apprentice working for me in 1981 who successfully wrote a VT100 terminal emulator on a Z80 ICE micro development system – £20 grands worth at the time which we turned into a £600 VT100 – we had the MDS, but not the £600!.

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