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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 21st April 2021 8:00 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
Olive, Mabel and Me by Andrew Cotter. Now I've finished it I'm still not quite sure how to describe this book. It's about his dogs and hillwalking. It's very readable and it's funny the way he ascribes human thoughts to his dogs - I suppose in the same way as his videos.

The Ravenmaster by Christopher Skaife. This is by the Yeoman Warder who is the current Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. It's mostly about the ravens, but also has some of his background. It was really interesting all the stuff he says about ravens and it's interesting to hear what they get up to. He clearly really cares about them - he spent ages researching their enclosure to give them the best life possible. But basically, if you're there, don't let go of any food or take your eye off it, or the ravens'll have it!

What I'm Currently Reading
The Bloody Tower by Carola Dunn. A re-read, rather than a to read book I should get through. But it's set in the Tower of London, so I thought that now I've been there and watched the TV series it'll be interesting to read it again. I can't remember whodunnit - but then I also can't remember who was done in yet either.

What I'm Reading Next
Theoretically, something from my to read pile.


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It’s gone all police dramas around here
Saturday 17th April 2021 9:42 am

I completely missed out on The Line of Duty thing. I'd heard of it, knew it was a police drama and I like that sort of thing, but just had too much to watch to bother with something new. But now I don't have too much to watch and the whole thing is on the iPlayer. So I gave it a go. And nearly gave up halfway through the first episode.

It seems to be a thing about that era of telly where they can't keep the camera still even for a second. It makes it hard to tell what's going on and it's very distracting. It also makes me dizzy. I tried watching an episode after I'd been to the shops one evening and could only manage five minutes at a time.

It also took me until episode 3 to care about any of it at all. And then I didn't really care about AC-12, it was the other crimes that were keeping me interested. In fact the most interesting bit was the first 5 minutes of the first episode, which barely gets mentioned again. I carried on because it was all right and I hoped the camera work would improve in series 2 (it does) and because there wasn't much else on. And I wondered why people were so obsessed with it. I still don't know the answer to that.

I've also been watching The Bill from 1990, thanks to UKTV Play having all the episodes from the beginning to 1995 (when I'd definitely started watching it because some of the thumbnails have Jaye Griffths in and I remember her starting).

I have the DVDs with all the episodes from the beginning until halfway through 1990, so I started where they stopped. I am enjoying the nostalgia of a simpler time. And it's just easy watching. For one thing, they are yet to discover all the camera trickery.

If someone forced me to pick either The Line of Duty or the 1990s The Bill, I'd choose The Bill.


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Sleep
Saturday 10th April 2021 5:19 pm

I've sort of mentioned it before, but last autumn I did a Sleep CBT course.

My sleep has been a mess for years, really. I'd wake up really early, regardless of what time I'd been to bed, so I'd end up not getting enough sleep. All the advice about things you should do before bed never made any difference - but then I also had no trouble getting to sleep as soon as I went to bed because I was so tired. I realised I had a warped view of what a good night's sleep was when thinking back to a night when I'd been awake so long I was too hungry to go back to sleep. So as it was getting light (about 5am) I got up and had a bowl of cereal. And then went back to sleep when I went back to bed. The going back to sleep thing is good, but to have got hungry for breakfast I must have been awake for at least an hour before then.

The course involved some interesting maths to say it was six weeks (the week 1 session was at the beginning of week 1, the week 6 session where I was said to have graduated, was at the beginning of week 6). It involved mental techniques and ways to thinking to help you to get (back) to sleep. And set an evening routine that meant I actually watched some telly.

There's a couple of weeks in the middle that are hard because one of the ways to fix your sleep is to not get enough sleep, so you're tired enough to sleep. Once you're used to the idea of sleeping you can increase the amount of sleep you get.

The first night of that was the worst: the night before I'd finally been tired enough to get a good night's sleep. Then I had to stay up later than usual, so I'd gone through tired enough to sleep and back out, so I couldn't get to sleep. I was fine the next day until 2:30pm every part of me was so tired I couldn't move. They do warn you that people find that part of the course tough and they weren't wrong!

But, it worked. I say this having been awake for more than an hour before I'd usually get up and now I am tired. But that's not my usual sleep pattern any more. As the course points out, everyone has a bad night's sleep sometimes. And these days I can often see a reason why I've slept badly


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