Thursday, July 26, 2012



There is no other hour in the whole of the twenty-four as quiet, as dark, as far removed from the light of day as the hour of three in the morning.  Even nature herself is shuttered and still - the raucous choir of cicadas now hushed, the great-horned owl sitting silent.  No wider than an eyelash, the crescent moon casts a feeble light into the bedroom window, painting shadows too pale, too watery, to be of much interest.  The only glow in the room comes from Edward, whose fur, the colour of ivory, always shines in the darkness.  I hear him sigh in his sleep.  Indeed, the only sounds in the room are the contented breaths of those dreaming beside me.  I alone am awake.
Knowing the dawn is coming, knowing how out of sorts I shall be when it does, I give studious thought to going to sleep.  But that never works, now does it?  Sleep cannot be chased down, nor sternly summoned when it has left y0u alone in the dark.  I turn my pillow over to the cool side, give it a punch or two.  I close my eyes in determination.  But no matter.  My thoughts are at a carnival - flashing lights and music, sweet aromas, gusting wind.  

Known throughout ages as being reliable, I turn to the sheep for help.  Lining them up in a green meadow, I point to the stone wall in the distance and instruct them to jump over, one at a time, in slow rhythmic fashion, as I count each one by wooly one.  But before the first fellow takes even a step, my thoughts have turned to knitting their wool into presents and I think about this new sweater pattern. 
It's free!
 You can find it HERE.  

And then once again I’m off, my imagination unleashed, my mind awhirl. 
I ponder the book I’ve just finished, the one in which the heroine attends a midnight dinner where the dishes are served on mirrors and the host “wears a suit of vibrant purple with a gold paisley waistcoat, and throughout the evening, he smokes specially made cigars that spout matching violet smoke.”  She herself wears an elaborate gown that changes colours, “shifting through a rainbow of hues to compliment whomever she is closest too”.

Then I’m thinking of a plane bound for Vietnam on which sits my dear friend Jeanne, who is moving this very week from London to that strange, unknown city.  What a remarkable adventure for this beautiful, interesting woman.  You should join her on this journey for Jeanne is a fabulous photographer and this promises to be a wonderful, enlightening time for all her blog readers. 
 Find her HERE.

Having recently spent too much time down the enchanted rabbit hole that is Pinterest, 
I recall this wonderful image, and I’m thinking of Christmas, making lists, making plans.  
You can find Edward and me on Pinterest HERE.
 Such beautiful images, sure to set your imagination loose.
But I warn you, it's addictive!

Oh, I think about Scotland and wonder how soon I can get back to this charming place.  I think about the six hundred year old bra recently discovered in Austria.  Who knew?  I wonder who the people are who care about the Kardashians, what the new novel by JK Rowling will be like, if Shirley MacLaine will be a good fit for Downton Abbey and when exactly did pregnancy become saddled with the dreadful moniker of “baby bump”?  
Continuing in this roundabout fashion until the bedroom began to shimmer with the hazy pink of a hot July morning, I finally fell asleep just as The Songwriter’s alarm began to ring, and for someone so wide awake at three in the morning, I am awfully sleepy at noon.  
I hope to do better tonight.
Any suggestions?


  1. Wishing you a safe and wonderful trip to Vietnam with Jeanne, Pamela; I understand it is beautiful. With your two like minds and creative spirits, the conversation must be ever so full of dynamic and intelligent deep thoughts, plans, ideas and laughter. Thanks for the book read before summer is out. If you're anxious anticipating so much ahead of you, it sometimes helps me to get up and do some packing or organizing and making lists for the trip. I will have gotten little sleep but feel I've at least a good start on the morrow'..some comfort in that and of course reading after that will knock me out. Looking forward to hearing more good stories from both you both! Regards,

  2. Hello Pamela

    Your bed sounds like ours, we just have Spice Girl in the middle, with her head pinning my feet. The bewitching hour of 3 am - 4 am is my least favourite time of day. Your thoughts are pleasant and at least you are not worrying. I think of Jeanne too, as she begins a new life with such gusto.
    I have found doing a Meditation tape (Deepak Chopra) for 15-20 mins before bed seems to help.

    Edward's coat must look spectacular in the moonlight.
    Another great post

    Helen xx

  3. Oh Pamela,I've been in this exact same sleepless spot more times than I care to remember. I may try your train of thought, I could relate to so many of the thoughts you list. I had to laugh at the thought of the sheep, all lined up, being dismissed with thoughts of other things. :-)
    I have no answer other than the occasional Excedrin PM when I've had too many consecutive sleepless nights.

  4. Do so enjoy your blog...and your dog! Read of a sleep trick that is working for me, one that distracts the mind by crowding out the "noisy" 3am thoughts with a monotonus thought. Pick a word--I use "the" as was used in the article--and repeat it in your mind in a monotone. I never exactly remember the instance of falling asleep but when i wake up in the morning I always remember the word "the" as being my last thought. Hope this works for you!

  5. This is the one and only reason I have a Kindle and a Nook. When I awaken, I turn on my cute little book light and begin reading. I quite often wake up in the morning with the light still on. :<) Before these electronic devices, I was a books on tape person. Always gets my mind to shut off, and if perchance it doesn't work, I've at least done some good reading. Win win!

  6. Knowing that you're three hours ahead of us here in the Northwest, I hope very much that you are slumbering peacefully this very moment, but if not...well then, I hope your insomnia will produce another post as delightful as this one!
    I've been strangely waking up in the wee hours myself lately, which is odd, because normally it's the initial falling asleep that gives me grief...but my favorite remedy is some sort of sleepy tea. In California, they sell that tea with the sleeping bear on it with added valerian root (aka-valium) works like a charm, but normally, Nighty Night or Easy Now teas do the trick, both from Traditional Medicinals.
    The pattern is lovely btw...
    Sweet dreams...
    xo J~

  7. I love how your thoughts of jumping sheep switch to knitting. I wonder what Edward dreams of at three in the morning. I'm off to pinterest to look you both up.

  8. If I can't sleep Pamela I get up, go downstairs and sit by the Aga with a cup of Horlicks and read my book for an hour - then go back to bed and fall asleep instantly. Like you, once my brain starts fluttering from subject to subject trying to get to sleep is useless.

  9. Oh dear this seems to be a problem for a fair few of us!!!! I am looking to your replies for the answer!!
    Did you enjoy the Night Circus?

  10. For some reason I see 03:19 every night/morning. What sort of tormenting clock is lodged in my brain? Sometimes I'm able to fall asleep, but more often I lie awake with 'monkey brain' syndrome and jump about as you've illustrated so well. I have no solutions to offer. It seems to be a time-of-life thing.

  11. Oh Pamela, this is what happens to me! I loved reading the journey you took in your mind last night. I need to work on making my insomnia a little more entertaining, and then maybe I will go back to sleep more quickly!

  12. I love your description of the moon crescent as not wider than an eyelash - gets the image and the feeling of those late night awakenings. My favorite way to get sleeping again is to make a quick bowl of instant oatmeal. The next day I try to have lots of exercise and daylight outside to reset my clock and no screen time before bed. I hope you rest better tonight.

  13. i have a cd of a thunderstorm in the rain forest.
    no music (very important)
    simply rain.
    first the birds
    then distant thunder and sprinkles
    then closer thunder and rain....
    blessed cooling soothing rain
    (c d being the only kind we get where i am now... 2 year drought.)
    then the lessening of the rain and
    more distant thunder as it moves on. it ends with birds once again, now joined by little tree frogs singing too... and very light rain.
    it always does the trick for me.
    i love your pinterest board!!!
    thank you for another lovely post.
    tammy j

  14. I'll tell you what always works for me.....I try to see images when I close my eyes as if there is a dream or a story going on, or perhaps a movie running behind closed lids. I relax into it and this always seems to work. Perhaps it encourages the brain to shut off and something else to take over. Try it....

  15. No suggestions for 3 am insomnia - I am a fellow sufferer at times.
    I am so pleased someone else hates the term 'bump' for a baby.
    Never mind, your thoughts are inspiring as ever.

  16. Have been there many a time. My mind just whirls and I can't stop it. I do a lot of designing in my head then and I'll tell myself to stop but it keeps on turning even though I forget where I was starting from I'm so tired. I've found if I get up and take a melatonin tablet I almost always fall asleep. I don't know if it's the melatonin or my subconscious expectation and allowing myself to shut down.

  17. The infamous 'They" say if you can like yourself at three in the morning, your soul is at peace.
    I have been stirring at 3.33 am quite regularly of late - what is that about?
    Now I'm off to find you on Pinterest If dinner is late, it will be your fault!

  18. P.S. Love your Pinterest boards! We so love the same things, which I had gathered from reading your blog. Nice to find someone so sympatico. Don't know if you're on Goodreads (definitely recommend), but they're having a video chat with Erin Morgenstern on Monday at 5 p.m.

  19. I would certainly start by NOT reading anything too stimulating or rowdy. Tossing and turning is frustrating after more than a few minutes. I have read that one should get up for a bit, stay up till you can't bear it a moment longer, then fall gratefully into bed. It has worked for me, as long as I don't watch a movie.

  20. Next time I am lying awake in the dark, I won't feel so alone! Maybe counting insomniacs instead of sheep would help.

    I'm sorry you couldn't sleep, Pamela, but the phoenix from those ashes was a blog post I keep chuckling over. You are such a dear woman to share it with us.

  21. I love the photo of you and Edward in winter; very dramatic. My friend is in Vietnam right now, but not moving there. I am your newest follower.

  22. Next time you are awake at 3:00, you can email me! I haven't slept in years.

    I do recommend magnesium. It's a natural sleeping pill.


  23. Dear Pamela,
    I come from a family that would have no problem, sleeping on a log floating down the Amazon BUT, there is the odd time when sleep evades me and it is usually because my mind is so active. It's funny how you just manage to drop off 10 minutes before you have to get up, isn't it !!
    I have just left Jeanne a message on her recent post ...... she is such an incredilble woman and I have so much admiration for her. She deals with this great adventure with such wonderful demeanour and calm.
    ...... and thanks so much for your regular comments and support on my blog. I have just got a new MacBook Pro and am waiting for all of the information, photographs etc to be transfered from my old computer to this new one, but hope to be up and running on a more regular basis soon.
    I am SO excited about tonights Olympic Opening Ceremony ...... I have already cried at the sneak preview that we have had, shed many tears at the Torch Relay compelation that I watched last night and, have been glued to the television this morning to watch the torch taken up the Thames on the Royal boat the Gloriana, to the Tower of London, where it will stay until tonight, when it will be taken to the Stadium...... more tears !! We shall be sat down by 7.00 p.m this evening, for the big build up to 9.00 p.m, with wine, food and a large box of tissues !! The Opening Ceremony is supposed to be spectacular, spine-tingling, quirky, dark and very British.
    Much love and sorry about the long comment !! XXXX

  24. I read somewhere that if you inhale/exhale very deeply three times that will help you fall asleep. Quite often this works for me.

    I am terribly afraid to go to Pinterest. I do not need another rabbit hole...

  25. I have those awake nights often and decided to not drink anything with caffeine, not even coca cola, after dinner time.
    I also stopped eating chocolate at night, I wept.
    But as busy as we are and as much walking and fresh air as we get each day, there are just nights that I am awake all night.
    I can't read a book before bed, that wakes my mind up more.
    So when it happens, I lie there and close my eyes and decorate the imaginary rooms in my new imaginary house.
    It works almost every time.
    I never seem to get out of the living room, before I am fast asleep :)

  26. Ahhh. Hormones.

    Aren't they a

    in the pants!

    Go to your local health food/whole food/ or reallllly good grocery store and buy this:

    Sleep the makers of rescue remedy.

    Works beautifully for me.

  27. i am 47 and i just started going to the gym. i dread it sometimes but i am starting to see definition and when it becomes too tedious i go to the pool for laps! i definitely sleep through the night now! your post reminded me of this song :-)

  28. Greetings Pamela ~ at least when you are awake @ 3 am you think of wonderful things. I tend to worry about things I cannot control. I am fascinated by Landyburn. It sounds like a marvelous place that we should take advantage of as it's really not all that far away from Aberdeen.

    I too so admire Jeanne and her love of adventure. So much easier when it's just you, but when it's a whole family you must move and transition and a beloved dog too! Let's just say Jeanne makes it seem so effortless. Her experiences will be a thrill to follow.

    Now I'm off to read about that 600 year old bra. Who knew?!!

    Have a lovely evening and all my best to you.
    x Deb

  29. Only once in a blue moon does sleep evade me....and then I understand how awful it is for those who cannot get a good night's sleep. I do nothing special - but am a night person and don't usually go to bed until around midnight - then I almost always read a while, then turn out the light and must immediately fall asleep, rarely waking until around 7 am.

    I know I'm only problem is that I do feel sleep is such a waste of time, there are so many other things I could be doing, ha! ha!

    Hugs - Mary

    P.S. Love that sweater jacket - wish I know how to use circular needles - perhaps I'll stay up later and teach myself!

  30. When I have insomnia...I go onto Twitter and looks to see what you are thinking! You are so kind Pamela...I read this post a while back and thought I had commented...I must have read it in the wee hours..after following your tweets in the dark of the night. Mr. H can actually hear me tap away on my phone..big ears!

    Thank you kindly for your well are with me in spirit every step of the way, I can feel it!!

    Jeanne xx

  31. Oh I have a suggestion!!

    When I was a freshman in college (very funny long story)!

    I had to have this awful test that involved needles on my entire left side of my body! hundreds of needle pricks testing my muscles. My doctor taught me something that has served me well through hormone disruptions.....and has cured insomnia!
    If I thought he was still alive; I would send him a thank-you note!

    He taught me this, not for insomnia; but for the pain!

    Here it is:

    think of your weight. (130 pounds) start counting backwards from 100. at 99; double your weight in your mind and "feel it". (260) (the imagination is very important here.....FEEL IT!

    Keep going. at 98, picture and feel your weight at 520 pounds. I have never gotten to 95!
    This was a "relaxation technique" taught to me before very painful tests! It works for sleep!

    (You won't like it when you weigh 520); but if you can really feel will be off to snoozeland pretty soon! Heavy; very very heavy!

    I hope you try it! Let me know if it works!


  32. Vicki, I always think that darkest hour of the night as the most magical. Anything seems possible and within reach... Anything but sleep.

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  35. Happily discovered your blog a while back and have thoroughly enjoyed catching up. I like to read all the posts from the month we are in because you describe the pleasures of the seasons so well it makes me recognize how brief each month is and relish each day. When I read your list of random thoughts popping in and out of your head and got to the "dreadful moniker baby bump" I laughed out loud! I too detest that term and the unattractive tight clothing that has become the fashion for expectant mothers. I think pregnancy is lovely and certainly nothing to be ashamed of (after all I experienced it myself three times) but could we please have some discretion? Sometimes I long for the days when a woman was said to be "with child" and treated delicately.

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