Ok, so this week we learned that insomnia is not, as previously thought, linked to early death. This is great news for people like me who don’t sleep well.

And I really don’t sleep well.

Until recently I didn’t believe I had anything more in common with Mrs Thatcher beyond our both being blondes.

Now it seems, I’m following her sleep pattern. Four hours a night if I’m lucky.

I mean, I can get off to sleep ok. Ten minutes reading ‘Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism and Identity Politics is destroying American Politics’ is enough to overwhelm me into oblivion.

It’s staying asleep that’s the problem.

I think my brain has a serious FOMO issue. It clearly thinks that stuff is going on which demands its attention.

And so it swings into action and there I am, trying to solve the Brexit crisis, or arguing with gun enthusiasts in Utah on Twitter at 2am.

I have tried to find other things to think about: which eight discs would I choose when Radio 4 sends the car for me to appear on Desert Island Discs; my favourite books from the Richard and Judy Book Club in order of preference; remembering the names of every man who’s seen me naked.

But these all turn out to be much more stressful than you’d imagine.

You end up in a state of permanent conflict: do you take The Bee Gees or Take That?

Should Jodi Picoult come before Maggie O’Farrell?

And who the hell was that guy you spent two days with in Weston-Super-Mare in 1992?

The good news is that this stuff may send me insane and may cause me to be drowsy when operating machinery – I think the juicer counts here – but, it isn’t going to kill me.

Silver linings, right?



When I do sleep, one of my least favourite dreams is the one where I have to come out of a loo to a waiting queue, look the next woman in the eye and say, “Sorry, it won’t flush.”

All my friends know I need a reliable flush. I mean, actually, who doesn’t?

I have learnt from the experience of wild camping (something I thought I’d never do) that I would actually rather bury my own waste than fail to flush it in a public loo.

When it comes to loos there should be lots of them and they should all be state of the art.

This week, Joanna Lumley has launched the More Loos campaign with the aim of raising £100,000 to pay for more loos at the theatre, and the Old Vic theatre in particular. It has only ten ladies’ loos to serve a full house of more than a thousand.

A friend and I went to the Old Vic last year to see Woyzeck, a German play about a bloke who has a break down after eating nothing but peas.

I’ll admit the reason I went to see it was not because I want to explore the relationship between peas and mental health, but because the rather lovely John Boyega was in the title role.

So here’s my experience of the Old Vic.

  1. John Boyega was off sick and an understudy was eating the peas.
  2. There are genuinely only ten loos for women and the queue at the interval was so long that I gave up on my gin and tonic and my bladder health.

Absolutely the only peas I ended up being interested in for the whole of the second half were the ones we had to hold until we got back to Waterloo (was ever a station better named in this instance) where we had to pay 30p each to relieve ourselves.

So I am totally behind Joanna Lumley’s latest campaign.

Go, go, go Jo! (But not there. Cross your legs, girl.)


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1 comment

  1. Although not a wheelchair user, when away from home I must use disabled loos on a four-hourly cycle to spend a penny.

    The number of times I stand outside the door of the only disabled loo around until someone clearly able-bodied emerges.

    Yesterday at Waitrose out came a healthy-looking, eight-year-old girl who skipped away without a care. Gave me the smart-arse smirk, the little so-and-so. Say something in mild reproof and the risk of an outraged parent bearing down is not far away. So keep quiet and shrug . . .

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