take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Thursday, August 17, 2006


"03:10!" blurted the harsh, green LED of Big's clock radio directly into my blinking eyes, adding to the discomfort and bewilderment which tends to accompany an unscheduled awakening. I frowned, although there seemed little point in doing so - a frown being best used to attract sympathy from onlookers, of which there were none. Big was fast asleep, breathing steadily, unconsciously taunting my state of insomnia by his mere presence. The herring gulls had not yet started their early morning chatter and the busy road, which from the front bedroom (our temporary residence, whilst the back bedroom is being decorated) usually provides a low, background roar, was eerily silent. I was alone, resentful, with my wakefulness.

At this point in time, I knew I was awake, but I didn't know why, so I settled back down into my customary sleeping position (on my side, hands between the two pillows, upper leg bent and drawn up over lower leg, facing unromantically away from Big) in the hope that the awaited waves of sleep would lap up onto the shore of my mind and sweep me away again...

... they didn't.

It was no good, I would have to drag myself out of bed to try the "classic" toilet trick. Often, that's what my body is trying to tell me when it wakes me up at such an ungodly hour. Afterwards, I clambered back into bed and assumed the position as before but soon discovered that no, answering an assumed call of nature had not alleviated the problem.

Finally, as the stillness and silence allowed the cogs in my brain to begin to engage and turn, as the connection between mind and body was established, I realised what it was - the discomfort, the irritation, the annoyance.

I had an itchy finger.

Yes, as unglamourous and pathetic as it may sound, my finger was itching so much that it had woken me up.

The compulsion to rip my own skin to shreds using my bare fingernails was almost overwhelming, but ever sensible, I removed the ring which was presumably causing the irritation (although I'd been wearing it for months with no problems) and took an anti-histamine as it seemed like an appropriate action to take. After this, I was finally able to drift back to sleep, almost as if my acknowledgement of the problem was enough to allow my mind to rest once more.

This did not prevent me from sulking later that morning when the "official" alarm sounded at 7am. An interrupted sleep does not set me up well for the day.

Later, at work, after my customary lunch of roll and salad, creature of habit that I am, I felt an irritation in my throat, as if there were something stuck back there, something scratchy. Try as I might to dislodge it by making a series of revolting throat-clearing noises (in the privacy of my car), it wouldn't clear.

I inspected my throat in the mirror and discovered the source of the irritation. A tiny shard of lettuce (du genre "frisée") had managed to lodge itself into my left tonsil. Too far back for manual dislodgement due to the risk of gagging, I wondered whether it would stay there forever, causing a nasty infection and providing me with some much-wanted time off work. Far be it from me to be melodramatic about such a thing. I tried sucking numerous sweets and lozenges and munched on my desk-based supply of mixed fruit and seeds, hoping that they would carry off the foreign body on their way past my tonsils. No such luck.

Finally, when I got home, a swift gargle with a TCP solution managed to free me from the evil clutches of the frisée.

All in all, for curious and pathetic afflictions, 'twas indeed a good day...

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