Monday, July 12, 2010


For some reason this blog is getting over run with Chinese spambots. It's annoying. So I've decided to set up an alternative home... I'll still post (more personal) stuff here from time to time but will probably be more prolific (and professional) over on the other side.

Catch me at (not you spammers!)


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Country living

It happened. Much to my astonishment I am now a bona fide resident of a small town on the south coast of the UK. It is beautiful. There are however a few little culture shocks that I am still adjusting to.

1. Talking to strangers
When people pass you in the street, they smile and say hello regardless of whether you know them or not. The day after we moved in a woman practically threw herself in front of my car and banged frantically on the window. I thought I'd run over her and/or her cat. Turned out she "just wanted to say hello" to her new neighbours.

A lady in the local shop this morning shared her life history with me. I only went in for a pint of milk.

In London this sort of behaviour would get you stabbed/arrested/sectioned.

2. Shopping
The clothing stock does not change. Last week's maxi dresses (which are also in fact last season's) are still in stock. As they were the week before, and the week before that.

The bread and butter of the tourist town however is gifts. Candles, fudge, straw hats. And gollys. I thought they were illegal, but the little black teddy bears that I believe are almost universally offensive are still freely available here. Has nobody told them yet?

3. Hills
It doesn't matter that the fashion trade is so lacking because practically the only footwear I've worn since my arrival are my trainers. The hills are killers. We're talking full-on cliff-top peaks and troughs here, and there's no avoiding them. I have calves of steel already.

4. Driving
People down here don't drive - they meander from a-b at a pace so frustratingly leisurely that sometimes the transition from 2nd to 3rd gear feels like a Grand Prix moment. And that's without the tractors, farm lorries and occasional cattle that also get in the way.

I've already learned that a safe bet is to double whatever time the satnav suggests is the length of the journey. On the plus side, petrol goes a lot further when your average speed is about 20 miles an hour - and that's still more than I ever managed to reach along Marylebone High Street.

I do love it here though. There's so much space - and there is nothing more relaxing than a sunset stroll along the beach after work. Just as well really - it takes 11 hours to download stuff from the internet sometimes. Am quite sure there's not much piracy going on down here. Noone's got the time.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Party Jug Sundays

Today we revived an old tradition - one which began back in the days of flatshares and messy weekends.

Like all the best things, Party Jug Sunday was born out of necessity. Now we clear out our closets, back then we used to clear out our drinks cupboards, getting rid of old/random/disgusting booze in order to make room for more. Even the cheapest, nastiest sambucca or holiday banana liqueur could be rendered acceptable with the help of a bit of fruit juice and a straw, we discovered.

So we took it in turns to create ever more potent cocktails served in pink and blue plastic picnic jugs on the balcony... and Party Jug Sunday had arrived.

My best friend decided today that it was time to dust down the jugs one more time, after a break of about seven years. It's a sign of the times that, of the original party jug crowd, 2 of us are married, one is pregnant and only one still smokes (I still rue the day I gave up. A necessary evil, but a truly annoying one). Everybody avoided the Absinthe and one of the most popular ingredients was ginger ale.

Not entirely sure our twentysomething selves would have approved of any of it but it was lovely to float home on a cocktail fuelled high still sniggering over jokes about farts. Okay, some things never change.

Monday, May 10, 2010


The UK election has turned into an interminably relentless edition of The X Factor. Can somebody please just make a decision?

Such an anti-climax to what was orginally a genuinely exciting occasion. Like hosting a brilliant party only to find, 4 days later, that your guests are still there... and starting to smell.

I'm almost beyond caring - although it is a bit sneaky that all those people who voted Lib Dem may have actually been voting Tory by stealth, if the two parties do decide to team up.

It's quite odd, having nobody in charge. I remember being mildly alarmed when that chap who was supposed to be running the country was busy playing croquet at some rural mansion instead. But perhaps on a day-to-day basis, there's not that much to do, once you've checked your email and shouted at a few people.

I am also waiting on a result a bit closer to home that's a bit of a life-changer. Not the wee-on-a-stick result (I have so many pregnant friends at the moment. It is starting to have a serious impact on my opportunities to drink wine), but news on whether I'll be leaving London.

If my new rural life gets the go-ahead I might need a new blog. There'll be no more impromptu visits to Jimmy Choo and pornstar martinis after work - i'll be racing home to feed the chickens and do long coastal walks in floating maxi dresses and designer wellies. You can take the girl out of the city... but the city doesn't leave the girl so easily.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bridal bitchery

If I'd known then what I know now I would not have had any married guests at my wedding. Because once you've done it yourself, you can't help but float through the day mentally making comparisons, and whichever way it goes you end up hating yourself. Either because you wish you'd done your own wedding their way, or because you're feeling sickeningly superior that you had a prettier cake.

The Boy and I were at a wedding do yesterday. The bride looked stunning in a satin gown with a white fur stole (I wish i hadn't worn a veil, said my inner monologue). The first reading was a sonnet which the reader had learned by heart (shit, ours had scripts. But fuck, who has a sonnet on the tip of their tongue in case the occasion arises?).

There were no discernible bridesmaids (I had two. Not that this is a popularity contest. ahem) and apart from the bridal bouquet, no flowers or decorations. The champagne flowed extremely freely (we didn't supply enough at ours)... and there was no cake (our cupcakes went down a treat).

The weirdest thing of all was the lack of after-dinner party. There was no band, no DJ, no dancing. Ergo, no first dance, no bouquet throwing, no embarrassing manoeuvres. I'm not religious but I clearly am quite traditional because I was completely thrown by that. So, in the interests of normality, at the end we jumped in a cab to the Dirty Karaoke bar. I sang Big Spender twice, and all was right with the world once more.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jimmy Choo liked my shoes

My short-lived career as an accidental fashionista is complete.

I'm still not sure how I ended up in the Choo emporium (chooporium?) in the first place. Suffice it to say that after six hours of solid shopping I was delirious.

Not to mention skint. Nothing was safe from my credit card today. I even managed to spend £40 on a pair of pants. This is a record high, even for me. To think that a pack of six M&S briefs for a fiver was once considered perfectly acceptable.

They're bloody hand wash only as well - but they are also, unarguably, beyond beautiful. Silky and soft with lace in all the right places. Putting them on made me feel like Elle McPherson... until I looked in the mirror.

Anyway enough of Plato's pants. I was standing in Jimmy Choo in desperation because I had just searched the whole of London in vain for a pair of red shoes to wear with an outfit that has to survive three weddings in the next six weeks.

The fact that an average pair of Choos costs three times more than my entire outfit combined was no longer an issue. I would have given my firstborn if they'd had something that worked.

They didn't, which was probably for the best. But, just as I was leaving, the shop manager came over and admired my shoes. Where could she get a pair, she asked?

I was wearing a pair of ballet pumps that cost me £15 in a high street sale. They were almost certainly mass produced, and do not contain a shred of soft leather or any other remotely high end material. They have never been strutted down a catwalk or seen on TV.

They are however green and sparkling, and very comfortable.

I would have swapped them then and there for the right pair of reds. Maybe I should go back...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Witty women and ghostly goings-on

Am well and truly in touch with my feminine side after a hen do weekend away in the country with 14 women and not a single man. The only testosterone I encountered in 72 hours was that of the groundsman, a spritely septagenarian who turned up at 10am this morning riding a lawnmower twice the size of my car.

We had taken over a sprawling country mansion hidden away in the Lake District and surrounded by sheep and lambs roaming free on the moors. Behind the house's sturdy thick-set greystone walls lay a cosy interior of giant fireplaces and candlelit passages.

It is of course said to be haunted - although if there was a spirit there he/she kept a low profile during our stay, even when the electricity went out at 10.30pm on Saturday night, half way through an 80s-themed disco we threw for the bride-to-be in the lounge. Unless that is, the reason for the powercut was that Mr/Mrs Ghost needed a bit of peace and quiet.

At the best of times I do not always fare well in all-female groups, and I was apprehensive about spending the weekend with a feisty group composed almost entirely of journalists and ex-journalists, most of whom I hadn't met before.

But cocktails are a great equaliser and before long we were all happily exchanging life stories over increasingly potent concoctions mixed in ancient Wedgewood milk jugs.

We must have seemed a daunting prospect for the young beautician who came along to give us all manicures - city slicker that I am I opted for a French Polish that promptly chipped off as I scraped candle wax off various surfaces and polished the aga before we left.

It's the kind of place I dream of disappearing off to write novels in - my imagination fuelled by long windswept country walks and brandy-laced cream teas.

Except there is no internet or mobile phone service, and it nearly killed me. The nearest cashpoint was a 20 minute drive away and that was nowhere near the nearest town. It would have been a very short novel.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More podcasting

If you want to know what I sound like, have a listen to the podcasts I'm doing with a friend. Unfortunately we've accidentally chosen a rubbish hosting site which doesn't seem to want to embed itself onto my blog. Bastard.

So you have to click here.

The new one is about dodgy internet dating and the worst pub in the world. Imagine a dodgy date in that. Eugh.

Thank you please.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

clever clogs

My office is an unofficial branch of MENSA. I am surrounded by people who know everything there is to know about science, technology, economics... you name it. They are, in a nutshell, incredibly fucking clever. I think the least educated of all of them has a PhD in nuclear physics.

On paper, I am one of their peers. Unbelievably some people genuinely believe this. Just last week a PR sent me a press release about developments in the heady world of quantum cryptography. Whatever the hell that is.

The sad reality is that I'm a lowly arts graduate who has somehow landed among them. I am always asking them stuff - stuff they probably learned at the age of nine. Stuff that, without the aid of Google and Bing, I wouldn't even be able to spell.

They have journals, research papers and computer chips on their desks. I have a wind-up penguin and a mug bearing the slogan "help - feed me chocolate".

However, there's one thing that even I understand. I've seen Avenue Q - the internet was created for porn. So when I stumbled upon a story involving porn, blackmail and the web, I knew I was onto a winner.

It's caused quite a stir, for which I am proud. Much more interesting than quantum whateveritwas, no?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Note to self: I am not Lady GaGa

But it doesn't stop me from trying to sing like her - especially when I'm drunk in charge of a karaoke machine.

Last night started out as a low-key pub gathering and ended with eggs benedict in a 24 hour bar at 3am. This followed our impromptu singing session in a place affectionately known (by us) as the Dirty Karaoke club. Because that's exactly it is.

The entrance to Dirty Karaoke is unsurprisingly through a grubby little doorway in Soho. The rooms are small, the seats are beer stained and the equipment is ancient. But it's considerably cheaper than its posher cousins, with their shiny flatscreens and fancy dress boxes.

It's a proper little den of iniquity. And the best thing about it is that there is almost always a room available, although one has to wonder whether a quick rendition of Pokerface is necessarily the primary motivation of some of its clientele.

I have never been to Dirty Karaoke when sober. I'm not even sure that it exists during the day - I imagine it's hidden away like Harry Potter's Diagon Ally to all but the alcohol-fuelled. You probably need to fail a breath test in order to get in.

I can't even remember the name of the street it's in now, although I find my way there like a pissed-up homing pigeon whenever I need to.

So that's how I ended up there with my husband and our renegade friends, screeching along to Bad Romance in the wee hours and quaffing champagne (I'm quite sure it wasn't but by that stage I really didn't care).

Our voices are several octaves deeper today and I have a nasty feeling the worst of the hangover is yet to come. Oh, and by the way, I really can't sing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The bar that lied

The Boy and I have taken ourselves off for a quintessentially English mini break.

We are hiding out in deepest, darkest Surrey (where they filmed The Holiday and Bridget Jones 2, chick flick fans).

We have indulged in big cooked breakfasts followed by long country walks and mountain biking (I do not remember saddle soreness being this, well, sore, as an adolescent, which is probably the last time i rode a bike).

Needless to say there has also been the odd pint or five of country scrumpy on the days when we have been physically able to drag ourselves to the pubs for booze rather than chickening out and taking the car down narrow tracks and hairpin bends between the ancient, picturesque villages in the pitch black (streetlamps are a luxury here for some reason).

There is one pub that we have been saving as a treat all week. It's really near where we are staying. It's a 14th century converted farmhouse packed to its wooden rafters with olde worlde charm.

Except it has the worst reviews either of us have ever seen online. Everybody screams about the terrible service, the appalling "ping and fling" (ie microwave) food and the leary clientele.

Surely, we thought, the place is too beautiful for this to be true. So tonight we ventured in, past the antique darken wooden furniture and (unlit) sculpted hearth, towards an old oak bar.

Where we were ignored for about 10 minutes by a bored and distinctly 21st century barmaid.

We just wanted a nightcap so settled on Baileys, much to the openly snide amusement of the 2 oiks propping up the bar beside us. At least we distracted them from their drunken quarrel as to who had purchased their last round of wifebeater.

Desperately channelling Jude Law (The Holiday again, sorry, I was desperate) I chose us a cosy corner table with comfy cushions on an old settle. Unfortunately it was right by a large group who all seemed to be related, not to mention extremely pissed.

They cackled endlessly about various nights out and drunken exploits while we sat sipping our Baileys feeling like the 2 tourist twats we so obviously resembled.

Feel so cheated. Where was our crackling open fire, friendly staff and goblets of mulled wine?

Surely this is against the Trade Descriptions Act - a chain pub of the very lowest level masquerading as a country inn. I would sue, if I had the guts to go back.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not one for the foot fetishists

Despite being outwardly a cynical journalist and borderline hypochondriac, I am such a sucker for old wives tales and home remedies. The more ridiculous, the better.

I'm currently battling a really ugly infection under one of my toenails. I've had it for ages and my GP's medication, some poxy little clear nail polish that I'm supposed to use once a week, has achieved nada. If anything it's made the thing worse.

So I hit google, happily grossed myself out with pictures of other people's manky feet and then discovered an alternative cure - vinegar baths and Vicks vapour rub. Needless to say I am now sitting here with my toe in an empty pot of moisturiser filled with rather expensive balsamic (poncy I know but it's all we had to hand). I don't have any Vicks but perhaps Vaseline will do the job.

Oh, the glamour.

The Boy and I are morbidly fascinated by my horrible toenail. He thinks it should somehow be scraped out. I am beginning to wish the nail would just fall off so I can start over. I don't think I can bear a second summer without open-toed shoes (in the unlikely event that it ever stops raining, of course).

There's an episode in Sex and the City where Charlotte gets free designer shoes in exchange for indulging the shop manager's fetish for looking at feet. Definitely wouldn't work for me right now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Someone wrote a tweet that's given me food for thought all day. OK, he's an author so he's biased, but John Graham Cumming wrote that despite loving his e-reader, he misses the exchange of books between friends.

I think choosing a book for someone is up there with making them a mixtape (yup, showing my age now - and by the way there's another dying tradition). You have to really know someone well and scrutinise their tastes in order to get the perfect book.

I can map out my life in book gifts.

The first book anyone ever gave me was an illustrated hardback of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It was a gift from my dad in 1981, and it became my favourite bed time story. I still have it and the best thing about it is the message he wrote on the flyleaf.

Aged 11, I got a proper dictionary (which is still the designated Scrabble dictionary chez-nous... I really should update that).

At 15 Wuthering Heights made me yearn for a Heathcliff of my very own.

At 29 a dear friend gave me Wrong Rooms, the memoir of a journalist called Mark Sanderson who describes the incredibly harrowing way in which he lost his partner to AIDS. It is still the most unflichingly unflinchingly candid yet eloquent account of love and grief in my possession.

Before we married my husband gave me a limited edition, handprinted book of poetry by a British Northerner called Hovis Presley. His beautifully gruff poem I Rely On You was one of the readings at our wedding.

For Christmas in 2006 I gave my mum a book of haikus and it inspired her to write one a day for the entire year of 2007.

I could carry all of these treasures around with me on one e-reader but somehow it's the smell of the paper, the inscriptions and, as Mr Graham Cumming says, the physical act of giving that makes them special.

What's your booklife?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Love me... or else

I'm generally vaguely amused by the things people say on mobile phones in public places but the girl sitting behind me on the bus today had me spitting feathers within 3 minutes of taking my seat.

"I'm on a hunger strike until you say what you know I want to hear," she wailed down the line in all seriousness.

"I'll starve - I'll probably die - but I won't eat until you've said it."

If I'd had a lighter on me I would have set fire to my (expensive) bra then and there. I looked around at her in disbelief.

Was I really listening to a twentysomething, 21st century city girl? Surely we ladies have a little more up our sleeves than emotional blackmail and the threat of self-harm to get what we want?

I'm not about to launch into the history of feminism (although I would have liked to have given this particular female a few URLs to browse) and I'm not of course suggesting that she was genuinely serious. But it angered me that she even thought this particular tactic worth saying out loud.

Maybe I've been out of the dating game for too long but "go out with me otherwise I'll kill myself" doesn't seem a particularly romantic or empowering proposition.

I know she was talking to her boyfriend by the way because in the next breath she told him that her mum believed him to be "the son she never had".

"She's so glad that I'm going out with you," she trilled. I bet she is darling. Probably takes the heat off her for a bit.

Something tells me that relationship is doomed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bills, bills, bills

Life is bleeding me dry. In the space of one week I've had a £300 garage bill, £200 gas, £100 water and £85 electricity. It's ok, utility companies, I wasn't planning on eating very much this month anyway.

I will however need to retain a small fund for my new favourite drink. Last night a girlfriend and I discovered the joys of the pornstar martini. This fruity yet potent little devil is served with a separate shot of champagne. How gloriously decadent is that?

After a couple of those I teetered home and watched six episodes of Sex and the City back to back. The Boy bought me the box set for Christmas (more fool him) and I think it's beginning to infect him too - he returned from a night in the pub with his mate with some skincare advice for me, much to my astonishment.

Over a pint they apparently concluded that I should be using Bio Oil on my operation scar. I am hugely touched, if rather baffled. They're not exactly metrosexual types. If word of Bio Oil has reached them, it really must be good stuff.

At £9 for a teeny weeny bottle it better had be. That's almost 2 pornstar martinis during happy hour.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back to the grindstone

It's my first day back at work and I'm bewildered.

I've already put my foot in it by accidentally printing out an intensely embarrassing email exchange between my sister and I. I wasn't even aware that I'd hit print until a male colleague sheepishly handed me our correspondence in full.

The topic of our conversation was mooncups, those strange little acorn-shaped things that are marketed as an environmentally friendly alternative to tampons and towels.

We were contemplating who uses them, how one knows when one's mooncup is full, how one removes said cup without splattering the entire bathroom with its contents... you get the drift.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All clear and the patter of little feet

The lump on my thyroid was benign. I feel like the luckiest lady in London. Life is fantastic. Weirdly this also means that, strictly speaking, I have just had my first bit of cosmetic surgery as it now turns out that the lump could have remained after all.

Not the most glamorous of beginnings and I can't say I feel the need to repeat the experience in a hurry. Which I guess rules out a career as a footballer's wife. Damn.

Anyway it means the end of the whole sorry chapter. Of course now I'm cursing the fact that I got so upset about the lump in the first place but seven months of wondering on a daily basis whether one has cancer is not conducive to sanity.

I haven't really had a chance to digest any of it yet however because for the last 48 hours I have been surrounded by toddlers. Two adorable little girls under the age of 3 took over my entire world.

Yesterday I had imaginary tea parties with my little niece. Within an hour most of her toy collection was spread all over the lounge floor and she wanted to get out her 48-piece wooden train set.

Today I played My Little Pony (I had no idea they still existed) with my friend's 2 year old in a coffee shop in Hampstead Heath while she guzzled ridiculously overpriced apple juice and taught me about Peppa Pig.

It was exhausting and, at times, relentless. But I was still putty in their hands every time they flashed me one of those million dollar toddler smiles.

Broody, moi?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's a small world after all

Mine at any rate is shrinking rapidly. It now consists of my flat, the local park and the supermarket. Today I lounged around until 2.30pm in my pajamas reading a splendid spine-chiller of a ghost story (The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters). Then migrated to the kitchen to bake banana bread with all the bananas I've been given as some sort of weird get-well-soon ritual.

Yes, I baked.

I haven't baked since I was about five years old, with my mother.

I think I've burned the top of the loaf and I'm almost reassured by that. Of all the adjectives i use to describe myself, home-baker has never been one of them. No offence - it has just not been part of my world for rather a long time. It's simple and therapeutic, I enjoy it. I find myself thinking that I must invest in a food processor.

And this from someone who had a champagne dinner at The Ivy less than 2 weeks ago! This is all the more poignant for me as today I should have been flying out to Texas to report from the sxsw festival. Instead I am happily padding about in my kitchen and debating whether to pop to the store for extra milk.

Times are indeed a'changin.

I'm feeling a lot better one week after the op. It still hurts to swallow and, as I discovered when I absent-mindedly attempted to hum along to an old Queen track on the radio earlier, I can't really sing. I hope that comes back. The karaoke bars of London need me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 4 in the dodgy thyroid house

Milestone of the day was washing my hair. It hasn't seen shampoo since the day of the operation in the interests of keeping my neck dry... And it was pretty rank, frankly.

I was so delighted with my newly clean hair that I went the extra mile and put some mascara on too. Weirdly this made me feel a million times better too. Are there endorphins in make up and hair products? There should be. I felt like an annoying beauty advert with my newly swishy hair and voluptuous lashes.

My best friend came over and, armed (or should that be necked?) with trusty silk scarf disguise we ventured out for tea in poncy west London.

Back in the same park as yesterday, a pattern is definitely emerging. I saw the yummy mummies and their offspring - there's definitely an unofficial club that meets regularly around here. I wonder whether I'll ever be a part of it. Half of me hopes not.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I've decided to look at this period of recovery as something infinitely more glamorous than it really is. I plan to spend the next two weeks cocooned in a home made spa/relaxation zone - a bit like I imagine somewhere like The Priory to be, only without the attention-seeking celebrity contingent.

So today involved moisturising myself to within an inch of my life, followed by a little walk around the local park accessorized with big dark sunglasses and a floaty silk scarf (Puccini in my head).

After a large hot chocolate and a muffin it was time to head home for a disco nap (seem to be taking rather a lot of those at the moment. I blame the anaesthetic) before settling down to DVD One of the Sex and the City box set with herbal tea and smoked salmon bagels.

How am I doing so far? Still in a lot of pain but somehow this seems to be helping.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lumps and bumps

Woah. that was quite a cliffhanger to end on... apologies for the unnecessary drama. Needless to say MC and I have not killed each other in a drunken rage since then and married life meanders on at a very pleasant pace most of the time. We're both making concentrated efforts to drink less, which has definitely helped the mixture.

Now, I always promised myself I wouldn't write a blog about being ill (hangovers excluded). But having just had an operation for the first time I can't resist recording some of it so please humour me.

On Wednesday, seven months after my mother uttered the immortal line "what the hell is that on your neck?" just as a play was about to start at the theatre, I finally had a lump on my thyroid removed. Apparently it was the size of a plum (although they wouldn't let me see it, spoilsports). For the operation afficionados out there, the operation is called a hemithyroidectomy. Because yes, they took half my thyroid along with it.

My neck is now surprisingly dainty even if I do look a bit like Frankenstein. I thought I would enjoy the whole experience of being drugged up to the eyeballs for the operation but actually (and disappointingly) the thrill of a legal high turned out to be over-rated. I shivered, sweated and heart-pounded my way out of the anaesthetic like a bona fide crack addict on a comedown - just say no, kids.

And I had to resort to using a bedpan. Only once - but my god, never again i hope. The nurse was so lovely (and by some fantastic quirk of fate I ended up in a private room rather than a ward) but it just felt bitterly humiliating. I dragged myself and my drip to the bathroom next time round, I just couldn't face it. You really do leave your dignity at the door in hospital, however pleasant they make it.

The next step is to find out what said lump was. There's a small chance that it's something sinister, in which case I have to go through the whole palaver again to remove the rest of my thyroid. Perhaps I'll enjoy the drugs more second time around although I hope not to have to find that out.

In the meantime I have a rather sore neck. They have quite literally glued it together and it's not very happy. My vocal chords are still intact so i can still boss MC around, much to his delight. He has been amazing. He was up at 5.30am to come into hospital with me and didn't so much as flinch at the gorgeous hospital chic I was issued (those DVT stockings. sexy they ain't).

I am now back home and unable to stay awake for more than a couple of hours at a time. This apparently is quite normal. I feel like a teenager again. I thought the days when I could sleep for 13 hours at a stretch were behind me. I've got a Sex and the City box set and I intend to use it in earnest.... perhaps after a little mid morning nap.