Four In the Morning

I’m lying awake thinking of all the things that seem so frightening in the dark. Nothing honourable, alas, it’s nearly all self-preservation rather than world preservation. And it’s not as if fretting is going to make anything better; as I used to tell Lily and Rose, ‘Get it right, do it by light’ which is a rather crap way of trying to make them see that most of those night fears don’t look so big and scary during the day.

Anyway, I have an eye test coming up, and even though I have the best optometrist in the world, my dear friend Jill (who is also Optometrist To The Stars, since her practice is in a rather swanky part of Surrey – no don’t ask, my lips are sealed. All right, she did once arrange for me to be hanging around at the same time as a Famous Rock Star I’d had a huge crush on at school only Lily and Rose were with me and even though they were quite small, Rose said she would never talk to me again if I made an exhibition of myself.) I am still rather nervous. I’m very short-sighted with a wonky ‘blind’ spot, so Jill and I are always quite relieved when it’s over.

Once I’d had a good worry about bits of my body falling apart, I started on those of my nearest and dearest. Then I realised I couldn’t hear Tom breathing and had a fret that he might have died while I was worrying about myself. Fortunately, once I’d bounced around to wake him up, he did some huffing and puffing so I knew he was fine. Then I started on the children, wishing them all health, happiness and the means to pay a mortgage. Of course, that led to me thinking about all the worries I’d caused the girls. After Natasha Richardson’s tragic death, Rose was on the phone the next day telling me to, ‘NEVER, EVER go skiing again. And don’t let Tom, either!’. Then Lily sent me a text which read, ‘I’m worried that sailing couple who got kidnapped in Thailand will be you and Tom! As well as not skiing could you not go there if u ever do ur world sail x’

My final worry, as the dawn chorus got into full gear, was for Michelle Obama’s shoulders. Now I am a tough cookie, but I had a tear in my eye seeing her hug all the girls at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School yesterday (so refreshing after Ms Bruni in her butter-wouldn’t-melt Christian Dior. Hmm, ‘nuff said). But, Michelle, please, if you are going to hug the world, mind your shoulders, believe me, you don’t want either of them to freeze!

And finally...
My urgent referral to a physio came through yesterday. No, they hadn’t forgotten me, but they’ve only just got on to the urgent referrals from December, so there was a bit of juggling to see me, a January referral! Unlike the consultants who can apparently see through clothing, the wonderful physio told me to take my jumper off and spotted the problem straight away. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘Good muscle tone this side. No muscle tone the other side.’ (Haven’t I been telling everyone I have one kimono arm?). Even better news is that he thinks he can sort it out for me and I don’t need surgery. Hurray. Well, at least my arm should be one thing that doesn’t keep me awake at night for much longer.

Image is 'Night Thoughts' by Tom Tomos
Stop press! Tom is working on a new 'affordable art' project. Further details to follow.


Pipany said…
Oh Chris, isn't it awful when your mind won't stop at night. I swear I have entire conversations with the 'inner me' sometimes and frankly she isn't really mcuh of a mate! Hope you sleep better tonight x
Debs said…
It's amazing how terrifying some thoughts can be in the middle of the night.

Glad to hear they will be able to help you with your shoulder without surgery.
JJ Beattie said…
Chris, I'm genuinely sorry about all your worries... but....
1. What couple that got kidnapped in Thailand? and
2. I've just sent my daughter to Switzerland to ski... tonight.

Oh dear. Please worry for me tonight!
JJ Beattie said…
Chris, I got your message over at mine and I've just came back to say please don't worry. Then your email came... NO don't worry. The company make them wear helmets; I know accidents happen, but I don't want to stop her living! (What a horrible story about the sailing people!)
Faith said…
We were two of a kind last night, but I was sleepless over a pair of baby doves. Worrying doesnt get us anywhere does it, but seemingly impossible to stop. Hopefully you will get a better night tonight.
Pondside said…
Oooh I hate that night time monkey-mind!
I'm glad you were able to see the physiotherapist. I have great faith in physios. The structure of the body is their business and they don't rely on drugs and surgery. My horrid back has been strong for nearly two years now - I have been doing the exercises prescribed by the physio on a regular basis. I'll bet your shoulder will improve rapidly.
Elizabethd said…
Night time is the worst for problems....they become a million times bigger than they really are.
I do hope the physiotherapy will be helpful, it has made such a difference to my husband.
The darkest hour is just before the dawn - we might as well get on the phone I reckon!
elizabethm said…
Oh yes, I know. Sleep well and deeply tonight. xx
ChrisH said…
Thanks all, just one of those nights that I had to get off my chest!

Pip, at least your mate has lots of tranquil scenes and sewing ideas to talk about, my inner me is like some warty old witch, well, so the outer me, too really.

Debs, yes, shoulder news is good, phew!

JJ! Hope daughter has arrived in one piece and she has a great time.

Pondside, good news about your back. I'm certainly going to do the exercises like billy-yo - I just want to get over this now.

Faith, but you were doing altruistic sleeplessness - I was just feeling sorry for myself. Fingers crossed for your doves and well done.

Elizabeth, thanks. I'm so pleased to read about your husband's progress. Such good news.

SBS, we could do a few small hour kimono waving and bra twanging exercises!

Elizabethm, many thanks dear heart, I will certainly try.
Cait O'Connor said…
I feel the same as you about those wee small hours when worries loom large.
Glad you are getting physio at last.
Frances said…
Chris, I am so happy that you did finally get to see that physio-therapist. This was the one recommended by that top shoulder doc, right? How wonderful that no operation happened prematurely, and that you've now got a new couse set.

Could write lots more, but will refrain. As always, best wishes to you and to Tom whose paintings continue to remind me that I want to return to painting.

lampworkbeader said…
Good news about the shoulder. I know that 'witching hour' so well, and it reallly is true that things look better in the morning.
Tam said…
I woke up from a bad dream this week convinced the man who came to read the electric meter was actually a vampire and I'd invited him into my house...

I try not to watch the news - I think I'd be too scared to do anything and don't get me started about my teenager. Glad you got your eye appointment out of the way and that the physio was helpful.
Calico Kate said…
Why do horrid thoughts happen in the middle of the night, makes ones feel like a wet flannel all the following day. Hope your sleep is easier now you have 'dumped' the horrid thoughts out.
Pat Posner said…
A lavender pillow is good for calming those early morning worries.
Great news on not needing surgery for the shoulder.

Un Peu Loufoque said…
Blimey your wonderful physio sound horribly like my Wii fit trainer who is constanlty telling me my side of me has stronger muscles that the other!
Ah yes, tis amazing what keeps one awake at night as we spin alone in the darkness...then morning comes and it's all seems a little less alarming.

I was so very sad about Natasha Richardson too. I picked the newspaper off the doormat and read the headline ('Natasha Richardson 1963 - 2009') literally as I was walking out of the house to go off for 3 days' skiing. Not a great juxtaposition! I think what made it worse was that she was born in the same year as me so it hit home even more. One can't imagine what they've all been going through. 'There but for the Grace of God' echoes through my head as I go about my mundane daily business...

And talking of 'echoes', I was so sad too, watching the Grand National yesterday that the horse whose name we'd commented on at the beginning of the race as rather lovely i.e 'Hear the Echo' ran a blinder of a race, with a big weight on his back, then collapsed and died within sight of the winning post. A horse with a big heart whose physical heart actually couldn't take the pace or the weight he was carrying...

And, talking of 'Grace': I read your previous post, and you can ignore their scoffs over Jeff Buckley. Anyone who likes the Kinks clearly has no taste in music at all!! And I'm with your daughter on Keira Knightley. It could just be jealousy, but there is something about her which I do find indefinably annoying...!
Ps: hope the physio works - but if you still have problems, have you considered having a chiropractor check you out? Mine restores me to comfort on a regular basis.
LittleBrownDog said…
Oooh, caught me off guard there, Chris, blogging on a Friday. And, yes, I know those night thoughts only too well, running on ahead of themselves, tripping over their feet. If it's any consolation, I'm usually so knackered the following night that I sleep like the proverbial baby. (Well, either that, or I get an enormous headache.)

Sounds like good news on the shoulder. And another fab picture by Tom.
ChrisH said…
Cait, thank you and at least I've now seen the physio which takes something off my mind.

Frances, thank you for your kind words, I've passed the painting comments on to Tom and look forwards to seeing more of your work.

Lampie, thanks - it is awful that problems seem so much worse at night.

Tam, don't open the door to any meter reader like that, will you? :)

Kate, yes not only do you have a bad night but to feel grizzley about it the next day rubs salt in the wound... hence my whiney post!

Pat, that is a very good idea, thank you... I've got some lavender oil somewhere which I'll dig out.

UPL.. yes, but does your virtual trainer twist your arm up your back, too?

Her on the Hill, Welcome! Not a nice feeling to read those headlines just as you were off. What a terrible shock for her family. Glad you are safe! Oh, gosh, the National, there's nothing like it is there? I mean there are so many stories around it which bring tears to my eyes but it was so sad that Hear the Echo didn't make it.

LBD, no I'm not usually here on a Friday, but I was just feeling grotty and sorry for myself and everyone has been so lovely and kind. Thank you for your comments about Tom's paintings which I will pass on too.
KAREN said…
So many things to worry about, and the wee small hours are definitely the worst time to do it! Hope the eye test and physio go well :o)
Lane said…
I am well acquainted with Mr Four in the Morning and I don't care for him much at all. He is the great distorter.

All the best with your eye test Chris and hurrah for no shoulder surgery!
Edward said…
Great news about the surgery, though I'd be intrigued to hear what your physio plans to do!
KittyB said…
Oh, Chris, what with eyes and shoulders and skiing and sailing (or not as the case may be) and husbands and children and ... how does it all seem so scary at 4am?
Good news about the shoulder. I still giggle about kimono arms. Brilliant.
Flowerpot said…
I've been having those nights recently too Chris - I do hope you are not worrying so much now. (Are we twins?!!)
ChrisH said…
Karen, thanks for your good wishes, eye test is next week so will need them.

Lane, than you, too. Yes, distortion is the right word, it's not easy to get those thoughts in proportion.

Edward, yes, I'm pleased to be spared all the post op period as well. Physio's plan is to bukld up all the wasted muscles, with me doing quite a bit of weightlifting!

Kitty, I think what's missing is more running, then I'll be too tired to worry! Oh, and some weightlifting!

Flowerpot, there is a lot of 'separated at birth' stuff going on, isn't there?!

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