Itchy and scratchy

What a strange day it has been and I apologise if this post is lowering the tone. Firstly, I don’t sleep at all but lie on the edge of sleep for 8 hours, willing myself to tip over the edge but not able to do so. It is a long night. The birds actually start singing around 4am at the moment and an hour later I am confused when our alarm goes off. It has the sound of a variety of songbirds and today it sounds like the thrush but it’s so loud and sudden that for a moment I think a bird has got into the room somehow.

Determined not to sit or lie around all day, I get up and colour my hair. I am very bad at remembering when I last coloured it. The date I don’t know but I tend to remember things by event. This leads to a text to Ms Marsden asking when we last ate at Patisserie Valerie as I remember colouring my hair on that day. This day I will remember for something quite different but more of that later.

It is raining as usual this morning but by the time I have faffed around, answering emails and tweeting, my hair has dried and so has the rain. This allows me to embark on my next quest which is to find disposable cameras for Ms Mason’s forthcoming nuptuals. Yes, I know it’s not until November but we like to be prepared and not leave things to the last minute. Going out without having had any sleep is a strange adventure. I feel I stagger about quite a bit and find myself almost dreaming as I walk along. I am a danger and shouldn’t be allowed out. However, I duly ask at every pound shop in West Ealing whether they have disposable cameras and am met with a lot of incredulity. ‘We stopped selling those a long time ago’ I am told in one shop, due to lack of demand. In another I am told they are always being asked for disposable cameras but have not rallied to the demand so also do not sell them. Sigh. Yes, I know you can get them in other shops but we need a lot so were investigating the cheaper option first. Following this disappointment, I buy myself some more hair colouring and retire to my favourite cafe. I had never realised there were so many hair colours and types of colouring on the market BC. If I had colour in my hair it was put there by my hairdresser using highlights and lowlights but now I have grasped the colouring bull by the horns and am throwing myself headfirst into a riot of colours. Mostly reds, so no need to imagine me with a blue rinse.

On entering the courageous 97p shop, a whole 2p cheaper than it’s nearest rival, I am treated to a blast of Motown and the sight of a shop assistant dancing down the aisle towards the back of the shop scratching his bottom. When I say ‘scratching his bottom’ this is the polite version as his hand had virtually disappeared in his vigorous efforts to stifle an itch or remove his underpants from where they had bunched up between his cheeks. Someone’s mother always used to call it ‘taking in washing’ and I have never forgotten that apt phrase. I cross the road and decide to check out one of the better charity shops in case someone had given them a load of disposable cameras to sell. The assistant says they did get them in but have none at the moment. I turn to go back through the shop doorway and am temporarily blocked by a woman giving herself a long and luxurious scratch. Her jumper is pulled half up revealing a fleshy back and she actually has her hand down the back of her trouser waistband. It is really quite unsettling. I manage to squeeze past so I can gulp in the toxic fumes of the Uxbridge Road to prevent myself hyperventilating. Not one bum scratcher but two! Would there be a hat trick, I wonder? What does one call a group of bum scratchers? An itch? It was quite an alarming morning.

In my favourite cafe, things are not going well. The man with few teeth and long hair is shouting at the man behind the counter about his tea. As far as I can see it is being made as quickly as possible but this is not good enough. It is the sort of argument I listen to but can still make no sense of. The man with few teeth and long hair seems to make his living working with the fruit and vegetable traders at the top of the road, unloading things from the lorry and in Summer, sitting in the cab drinking cider. He certainly isn’t going to be drinking tea today as he storms out shouting something intelligible. It is a grand exit but alas, the door fails to slam behind him. On the way home, it pours with rain again and I get soaked but manage to arrive home before the hail storm.

The afternoon I spend trying not to fall asleep and then waking myself by snoring and having terribly confused dreams. It’s a high powered life I live.


One of the lovely things on sale today. Enough to give me nightmares.

2 thoughts on “Itchy and scratchy

  1. 5.30 am sleep evades me yet again. Take Valerian, feel even more wideawake, turn to pile of books, newspaper cuttings, notes to self on sundry matters, Holiday Which magazines and find photocopies of The Golden Years. Some book I discovered that had all the answers to life’s problems; then remember that it told me what to feed teenage boys when doing exams. Also remember that it worked, four course meals, boys eat all four, we only eat two above all they need fodder. Again I think of the success of the 40p suet mix. My friend introduced me to it one holiday. You take the packet, put into bowl, add egg and little milk, put jam in the bottom of a pyrex dish, add the mixture, microwave for 2 minutes. Whilst this occurs find Birds Eye Custard use at least a pint of milk. When all ready, devour. We would have a HUGE meal of soup, cheese and onion pie, baked potates and baked beans, stomachs would be groaning. Then the boys looked at one another and … you’ve guessed made themselves a suet pudding for dessert. OK so if the book was right for them maybe it’s got something for me. Well, well, well – CAN’T SLEEP? long quotation from Shakespeare which won’t quote (available on application). BUT malted-milk drinks help encourage better sleep. Starchy foods contain the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, which is why malted-milk drinks help encourage better sleep. It seems to work especially well for people who drop off easily, but wake in the small hours. If that describes you, then try a malted-milk drink half an hour before bedtime. Too late for today but tonight’s the night. Only problem is WHEN is my bedtime? variable would be the answer depending on state of fatigue. Feel very empowered until discover we have very little milk so can’t even go there until shop.
    How was your night Shelly? sweet birdless dreams I trust ciao marg

  2. have to say the photo + the things in the photo are not something I can bring myself to “like”. Have you been watching Hitchcock films lately; birds seem to feature a lot in your life and The Birds was one of the scariest movies even worse than Psyco especially the bit where she is trying to shut the door and the birds are pecking away at her hands. Perhaps we should change the subject as it is almost bedtime – well it is if you were up at 5am as you apparently were and so was I. No particular reason except I couldn’t sleep. Valerian, Nytol, more sheep than you can imagine, hot milk EVEN malted milk which I loathe – they all leave me as I was – wide awake but musing as to why malted milk which is revolting should be thought to send one to sleep. Must ask friendly chemist in Northfields Avenue, he knows the answer to most things although is a little harassed at present owing to the computerisation of his business to link with the doctors (only difference is he has to pay for his system and is up and running and ready and the doctors get theirs paid for by the NHS and have not reached a state of readiness. His son is equally knowledgeable and gave me my flu jab today although he did query why I was so late. His Dad said she forgot and I said she’s scatty. Turned out to be a delightful person who has seen the orang utans in Borneo when he studied in Malaysia for 6 months (presumably studied pharmacy). Thus ends my social life of today ciao marg

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