I have to confess to being fairly useless without sleep. Any type of disruption to my 8 hours leaves me feeling nauseous, dizzy and incoherant (okay, so the dizziness and incoherance is standard - perhaps I should have just mentioned the nausea..)
My good friend GBM does not seem to have the same problem, appearing to survive quite happily on a tight ration of roughly six hours. How I envy him.
This morning I had agreed to attend the Kabbalah Centre for a meeting that started at 6am, which is impossible to do from my own house. The earliest train from Bishop's Stortford arrives in Liverpool Street at 6am, which is still a 15 minute journey from the centre. And as I said yesterday, I don't 'do' late.
But the tube ride from GBM's location arrives at Bond Street at 5:57, so I arranged to stop over at his. In fact, GBM and I are such close friends, that I hold a spare set of keys to his house and am trusted to come and go as I please. And if I had a spare set of keys to my house, I would be happy to entrust them with him, too.
But before arriving at his, I had my second date with Potential New Man in the centre of London, which consisted of two hours of decaf coffee, bottled water, pleasant conversation and a bit of flirting and hand holding, followed by a lift back to Chancery Lane tube and 5 minutes of tonsil hockey. In other words, it all went very well. So well, in fact, that I was prepared to let my travel deadlines slide in to my sleeping time, arriving at GBM's town at half ten at night.
I gave GBM a call from the top of his road to let him know where I was. Two minutes later I arrived at his front door and decide to let myself straight in. GBM emerged from the kitchen wearing headphones and nearly died of fright when he saw me in the hallway, despite my prior warning. But then, this is standard. Every time I stay at GBM's, I scare the living daylights out of him at least twice - he gets so absorbed in his groove that he forgets where he is, let alone where I am.
Wanting to spill all of the ins and outs of my date, I again forget the time and end up going to bed at midnight. Midnight is too early for GBM on any day of the week, but all the same, I was surprised that he planned to head out to Asda before he went to bed. I could never see myself doing the same.
I crawled in to bed and set my alarm for 3:50am - four hour's sleep. Four hours sleep less one hour's switch off time, where I allow my Geminian brains (I have enough mental activity for at least two) to analyse the evening's events in an attempt to somehow predict my future.
At half past twelve, I realise that GBM hasn't yet left the house, because I can hear him laughing out loud downstairs. It starts as a deep 'huh huh huh huh..........huh huh huh huh' and steadily evolves in to "BWAH HAH HAH BWAH HAH HAH HAAAAAAAAA........... BWAH HAH HAH.....HUH HUH huh huh huh......BWAH HAH HAH....BWAH HA BWAH HAH HAAAAAA"
which interupted my thoughts with "is he still going to go to Asda?" and "what on earth is he watching that could be so funny?"
At 1am I realise that I have forgotten to collect the hairdryer from his room and timed my bleary stumbling on to the landing with him coming up the stairs, making him jump out of his skin for the second time that evening.
"Forgot hairdryer" I mumbled "what were you watching?"
"Hidden camera show" he replied "very funny". I guessed the last part.
Shortly afterwards I heard him talking on the phone (to who? at that time of night?) and then leaving the house for his shopping expedition. It was a while before I fell in to a broken sleep and I didn't hear him come home.
So the alarm went off at 3:50 and I woke up surprisingly easily, showering, dressing and eating an almond croissant (purchased for me during last night's shopping trip - thank you thank you thank you) to the tune of GBM's intermittant snoring. I left the house just before 5am and caught the 5:09 tube which was surprisingly full - where were all of these people going at this time in the morning?!
The meeting at the centre finished at 7am and I caught the train home, popping to the supermarket for my own shopping trip. The lack of sleep was just starting to kick in, but I remembered to avoid buying anything dairy due to a recent breakout of eczema on my chin after a weekend consumption of ice-cream and cheese. Feeling pleased with myself for resisting all things dairy, I made my way to the coffee shop to buy breakfast as a rare treat as the almond croissant had all but worn off. I browsed the selection: cakes, cakes, pastries, soup (lunchtime only), flapjacks.... where are the bacon sarnies?
I asked the girl behind the counter
Me: Excuse me, do you have anything savoury?
Girl: We got paninis.
Me: No, not quite ready for a panini yet..
Girl: We got sandwiches.
Me: No, not ready for a sandwich either.
Girl: We got crisps.
She seemed to be operating on the same amount of sleep as me.
Oh sod it. A pot of tea and a cheese scone with butter. How's that for dairy free?
I somehow managed through my haze to spread the rock hard butter without snapping the flimsy plastic knife in two. And the milk for the tea? Dairystix - proudly advertised as though the manufacturers had invented a new wheel. I would have been impressed were it not for the fact that it was impossible to open. Perhaps the Universe is asking me to take this lactose intolerance thing more seriously....