This week the topic is ‘What keeps you up at night?’

I can answer this one straight away, as it’s usually one of two things, or maybe both at the same time.

The first and most frequent cause of sleeplessness is our neighbours’ television.  They are old, both quite deaf, and are often asleep in their armchairs all day. Therefore, like a hamster, they now seem to come alive at night and operate nocturnally.  They go to bed at least 2 hours after we do, but for those two hours have their TV blaring against the party wall.  I’ve sometimes phoned them in desperation about 1am and asked them to turn it down, but to no avail.  The TV is so loud that they cannot hear their phone.  I’ve mentioned it to them over the garden wall, but so far no joy.  I think, just like my mother whose TV could be heard down the street, they do not think it is loud at all as their hearing is impaired.

This has caused us to have to uproot the bedroom that we’ve used for 28 years and move further along the landing to what used to be our eldest son’s bedroom.  I can still hear their TV, but now it isn’t so loud.  The most frustrating thing is that you never hear a peep out of them during the day!

Another cause of nightly wanderings is chronic lymphoedema, which I now suffer from due to having had 30 sessions of radiotherapy to the neck and 4 radioiodine doses.  Sometimes it feels like I’m carrying a bucket of water around my neck and shoulder areas, which when serious enough causes me to not be able to swallow.  This calls for much neck and shoulder exercise to be undertaken, sometimes in the spare room to the tune of whatever’s playing on next door’s TV…

It’s a wonder I get any bloody sleep at all!

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