Post image for Do you have to get up too early?

We’ve become well aware of many forms of discrimination and how to avoid them in the past few years, but there’s one I suffer from (besides, increasingly, ageism) that rarely gets any acknowledgement at all. Being that which is popularly known as a night owl.

I’ve become very conscious of this lately because we’re having building work done in the house. I am actually in the fortunate position normally of not only being able to get up later than the rest of the human race, but I start my day by working in bed. A laptop and the web are the liberating factors here, along with being self employed. I am even recorded in a book as a working in bed eccentric. (see here!)

Bedroom Copyright Anne Wareham

The enabling laptop and another nice loungy place..

But at the moment this is all very embarrassingly public and it is probably only because I am used to being identified as eccentric that I can cope with builders turning up every morning at some unknown hour while I’m asleep, and then having them (in large quantities) wander past my window as I answer my emails in bed.

I avoid waving, so’s not to draw attention to myself and generally no-one stares. I have noticed before now that one of the courtesies that our regular early starter, Jeff the Gardener, follows is that he never looks into the house. He is good at these kinds of thoughtfulnesses and I’ve often wondered whether other people in similar outside jobs are taught to do the same.

Bedroom Copyright Anne Wareham

Pleasure palace

Then today I needed an urgent dental appointment and was told to ring early on Monday morning. That means when I’m normally fast asleep. If I do force myself awake and into active contact of that sort with the world I will pay the price of feeling ill all day. It’s a cost, and I’m not sure yet whether I can face it.(Especially since I have another deplorable eccentricity – I loathe phone calls.)

Mouse copyright Anne Wareham

Happy – no dental appointment needed..

There must by now be some people reading this and swearing at me. People who are as early morning sensitive as I am but who are forced to get up early every day of their lives. For work, for the children or for someone they are caring for. I gather there may be as many as a third of us in the general population – judging by this research.

How on earth does everyone cope? And why aren’t there more protests about it? Why isn’t it a recognised issue, confronted by accommodations like flexible schooling? Why did my dental receptionist ask whether it would be possible to ring early morning and have another possibility for me if I couldn’t?

bed copyright Anne Wareham

Alternative retreat….

I suspect part of the reason is that the whole world (as far as I know) is organised to suit early risers. At one time, before affordable artificial light, they were the hands down winners. Like my builders, they had to work in daylight. Interestingly though, I understand that historically we used to have two sleeps in the night, waking up and re-engaging during the night for a while before having a second sleep. To destroy this habit to fit us into an industrial society we had to learn that it was bad to lie around in bed enjoying ourselves in a nice dozy way.

Bedroom Copyright Anne Wareham

The enabling laptop and another place to lounge around..

And somewhere in this whole process the early risers have gained and kept their moral superiority.  I believe that people like me are regarded as degenerate. I know I never really like to casually admit it. I couldn’t face asking the dental receptionist ‘would you get up in the middle of the night to ring someone up?’ Being a latey is a source of shame and subterfuge.

But there must be a lot of us, subterfuging away?

Or suffering from living in the early world?

And, anyway, who ever wanted to catch a worm?

Anne Xxx (best selling author of Outwitting Squirrels and The Bad Tempered Gardener)

Portrait Anne Wareham copyright Charles Hawes

Tea plate

We recently made two new friends (I hope… I trust..). We met them at supper at another friend’s house and since then we have all continued to meet as a group. This has been great.

But I think that you can’t really get to know someone and solidify a friendship within a group. Perhaps you could over years? But conversations amongst six or so people are different than one to ones or even between two couples. […continue reading…]

Once upon a time – no, this is true. Once I had a friend with a very sweet small boy, and I watched his mother bringing him up from when he was a baby.

She never, ever just said ‘no’. Everything he was to do or was not to do was carefully explained to him with the reasons. Everything had reasons. It was very tedious. But it was worse than that – this poor child was being brought up to be tyrannised by reasonableness. Somehow a great many of us have arrived at the conclusion that being reasonable is a total virtue and that everything we should do should be reasonable. […continue reading…]


November 5, 2012

in Home, Miscellaneous, Personal


fish on the kitchen cabinet

Being a good housekeeper was once a good thing to be. Something you might take a pride in. Or fail at. But we’ve grown out of all that and value ourselves on much better criteria now. Housewife, housekeeper, nah….

And you’d think we’d all be experts at doing the shopping; we seem to do an awful lot of it. How can we fail? […continue reading…]

We have just heard that Charles’ employer is planning to cut his salary (and hence his pension some day too…) very drastically in the name of cost cutting. We were just planning our holiday, and although this won’t affect that directly as it won’t happen for a little while, it cast a cloud.

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Cheese or pudding first??

October 2, 2012
Thumbnail image for Cheese or pudding first??

Charles has just been to France. One of the results is he has waved a flag for an old, not quite resolved tension. Which is: pudding or cheese first?? Understand: pudding is for guests and on normal days cheese

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Looking at Pictures

September 30, 2012

  There may be one thing worse than having to produce the happy surprise response to a surprise birthday or Christmas present (acting lessons, anyone? – I mean it doesn’t matter really whether you love it or not,

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Being a pleb.

September 24, 2012
Thumbnail image for Being a pleb.

I don’t know many people from the ruling class. I guess I am a pleb. I do bump up against a colleague occaisionally though who seems to come from a totally diffferent and quite bewildering world. I think he’s one of them.

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Alone – or lonely?

September 10, 2012

  People understand loneliness. If they know someone is alone they may respond by offering company for comfort and will almost certainly worry about them. People are not quite so clued up about those of us who suffer easily from over exposure to people. I don’t know how people have coped in the past, when privacy […]

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10 reasons why greed is good

August 13, 2012

OK – I confess, I’m not sure I’ll find 10. It’s just that thing about people loving lists and I expect that will bring hundreds of people flocking in… But greed and appetite haunt us, don’t they?

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