Sunday, 24 August 2014


People sometimes ask me why I go to bed so late. I lie. I tell them it’s because ‘I have dealings with America, and there’s a time difference, you know.’ I suppose it isn’t entirely untrue; there have been times when I’ve gone to bed at 5am because I’ve been having ‘dealings with America’ until 4.30, but it doesn’t happen often. Mostly, the reason I go to bed so late is that I dislike going to bed.

I always have, even as a child, and I suppose that’s where my antipathy first started – through being told what time I have to go to bed, with a special concession on Friday nights because tomorrow was Saturday. I’ve always disliked being told to do anything. Fridays were the exception, though. On all other nights, going to bed was about becoming unconscious, knowing that the next thing is having to get up when you don’t want to get up, and going out to do something you don’t want to do. That’s how life is for most people.

And there’s another reason for not liking going to bed. My life will have so many days in it, and going to bed is the final acceptance that another one is spent. How many more will there be? That’s why I need lots of scotch if I’m to forget the question.

And so we come to the two great mysteries of life: why is it that the years grow shorter the older you get, and why do you almost always get an itchy nose when you’ve got your hands full?

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