Posted by: chptr37 | 05/05/2009

Pg. 35: Knackered


The view from the top of the hill behind the flat. It’s pretty when it’s not pouring. Which, so far, hasn’t been often.



  • Weather: Oh, pleasepleaseplease, stop raining…
  • Mileage: Rain drop dodging. Again. I’m going to have to suck it up and just plan on getting wet.
  • Discovery: The swans swimming in the moat around the castle. A gorgeous pair, tucked beneath an overhanging tree. I realized on closer look (I was searching for my friend, the Koi, to be honest), that they were accompanied by three little grey and fluffy goslings.
  • Media: Margaret Atwood’s Good Bones.
  • Worst Thing: The chill in my bones.
  • Best Thing: I got my library card! I won’t put you through the litany of books I took out, but suffice to say the librarian’s pretty sure I’m not gonna’ be able read them all.
  • Quote of the Day: “I’m a Raider’s fan myself. If I hadn’t spent ten-thousand pounds on that machine–” (pointing to an slushie machine), “I’d have gone to California to watch them play.”
  • Word of the Day: Stoat (verb). Meaning to bounce, usually used with rain. As in, “That rain’s stoating off my face at about a hundred miles an hour.”


I’ve never been much of a napper. In fact, I’ve always believed naps to be a serious waste of time. If I was up, I was up. And if I was down, I wanted to go to bed. To sleep a real sleep. Eight hours worth, with dreams and REM and all that fancy eyeball movement that happens when you’re truly down and out.

In fact, I was so adamant against naps that I went so far as to put people into two categories: Those who nap, and those who don’t. I, as you might have guessed, have always been in the second category.

Part of the reason for this, I’m sure, is because I’m a very bad napper. I’ve always envied those people who could crash out for fifteen or twenty minutes, then wake up all bright and chipper, with that irritatingly refreshed tone in their voice. Okay, perhaps ‘envied’ isn’t the right word. In truth, I’ve wanted to punch their lights out. “Here’s your nap, now stop twittering at me.” (Which, of course, is only fair. After all, I’m a morning person myself – which isn’t to say that I wake up early by any stretch, but when I do wake up, I’m awake. My mind is sharpest first thing in the morning, and I feel the need to share all that sharpness with the world. Which means some stranger is glaring at me over the paper or across the coffee bar, wanting to punch my lights out as well. Or at the very least, crumble their paper up and stuff it in my yapping mouth.).

But, back to naps, since there is no paper here and no coffee bars, and thus, no strangers to piss off with my inane and cheerleader-like rambles upon my awakening. In the past, when I would attempt to nap, it would go like this: I’d lay around moaning for a while about how stupid naps were, berating anything and everything that napped, hibernated or otherwise laid around during the day, I’d debate getting up, I’d think about what I should and could be doing, and then, just as I had some brilliant insight or thought, I would finally pass out, only to wake up some five hours later miserable, cranky and sore at the world. By that point, it would be to late to do anything productive and too early to go back to sleep, so I’d wander around in my miserable state, trying to poke everyone else’s sore spots until they too, were in a similar miserable state. Naps made me feel sweaty, ill-at-ease, dangerously dopey (like I imagine bears would be if you woke them up half-way through hibernation), and mostly, as though I’d missed something rapturous and exciting in the time that my eyes had been closed.

Not even Portland, with its day-to-day rain and grey skies (well known for inducing both Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression), could turn me into someone who believed in naps. And then… along comes Scotland.

Scotland is, I swear, a country that’s built for naps. In truth, I’m surprised people here don’t hibernate six months of the year (and maybe they do, and I’ve just not been told). It rains. It’s cold. It rains some more. And then if that’s not enough, it pours on you. Everything, it seems, makes me tired and cold. The sea air. The downpours. The puddles. The wet shoes. The walk up the four flights of stairs. The flat wondrously high ceilings and big windows. The gray skies.

I am like a bear stuffed full of berries and salmon. Like a woman bloated and pregnant with half-hatched ideas. I lumber to the couch and fall into the warmth of its blankets, its pillows. I close my eyes. I try to remember why I hate naps so much. I tell myself this will change when the weather gets nice. I tell myself to get up. I crash, hard, fall into a dreamless oblivion only to wake an hour later. Feeling warm and cocooned and well-rested.

I’m still pretty sure I missed something rapturous and exciting while I was down and out, but now I’m wide awake again and ready to go see if I can ramble in someone’s ear. At the very least, it might be a good way to get the paper.

Far and fast, s.



Smart birds — don’t hibernate. I don’t think. Anyone know what this is, by the way? It was singing to me while I was walking through the forest.


“A nap, my friend, is a brief period of sleep which overtakes superannuated persons when they endeavor to entertain unwelcome visitors or to listen to scientific lectures” ~George Bernard Shaw



  1. That’s a robin! Yup, the UK version is much different from the North American.

    Here’s a nice pic

    Robin (who’s always been fascinated with her namesake)

  2. There’s the Get Fuzzy cartoon where Rob (the owner of Satchel the dog and Bucky the cat) tells Bucky:

    When in doubt, nap.

    I think those are brilliant words to live by. I too am a morning person, that is – when the sun comes up, I’m up. When the sun goes down, I keep on going.

    I nap and it’s either the short nice ones or the long ones that make me wake up snarky and out of sorts.

    You’ll get all sorted out sweetheart, but in the meantime, enjoy your naps.


  3. Robin: A robin from a Robin… Thanks so much. I never would have guessed that’s what it was. His pictures are amazing though!

    Annie: I have to admit a certain weakness for Get Fuzzy. That strip always makes me laugh… I figure naps must be what I need right now. Maybe I’ll outgrow them when the weather warms up 🙂

  4. All this heat is making me wish for your weather. Seriously I actually going to miss coastal fog. And the green of the park a mile from my house. Oh well they say Monsoons will come soon but its not the same.

    Re naps I hate bone chilling wet cold too– or you could be getting old. Just kidding.

  5. Stacy: I can only imagine… I do love coastal fogs. They’re just the perfect thing to get lost in.

    And, yeah, I AM getting old! Hehe. More naps for me 🙂

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