Is lunchtime too soon for me to have an early night?

The first hour is the rudder of the day', said 19th century American social reformist Henry Ward Beecher.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 6:02 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:51 am
Siri can be unwelcome

Well, that’s not encouraging for me today because so far I’ve managed to stumble out of bed like a heavily-tranquillised zoo animal, shut my finger in a drawer, flooded the Nespresso machine and tripped over the Hoover. And all before 7am.

The reason is good old-fashioned sleep deprivation.

I’m not a new mum, I didn’t eat a heavy meal last thing and my husband doesn’t snore (well, not unless he’s had a few drinks and a curry).

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But, for some unfathomable reason, Milly – whose basket is in our bedroom and normally sleeps like the proverbial baby – did!

I’m pretty sure she hadn’t partaken in a late-night chicken Madras and a few vodkas so the cause is unknown, but she sounded like Dynarod unblocking a drain.

There was little point in moving her on to the landing as she would’ve only started whining to be let back in or, worse, to be let out.

And I’m not standing on the doorstep at 3am shivering in a bathrobe while she trundles around the garden relishing the fun change in routine.

There’s not a lot worse than sleep deprivation. It makes you feel demented, virtually unable to string a sentence together.

If I’m asked any questions today, I’m going to need a pen and paper before I answer and if they involve numbers I can’t use fingers to count on, forget it.

When my daughter Eloise was tiny, she was a terrible sleeper so I have every sympathy for sleep-deprived parents.

She didn’t sleep properly for the first three years, but then, how things changed! I spent the majority of her teenage years performing entertaining mini nervous breakdowns, trying to haul her out of bed in time for school where she was always fashionably late (well, at least she showed consistency).

Milly’s just trotted downstairs, all bright-eyed, bouncy and vocal, ready for her walk.

Me? I’m trying to work out how ‘early’ an early night can legitimately be. Is lunchtime too soon?


I love technology. But I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to make your life easier, not embarrass you. Not always the case though.

Everyone has a predictive text story – it can be a nightmare. Siri on the iPhone is no better.

At a meeting I finished a complex presentation only to hear Siri rudely announce ‘sorry, I didn’t understand that!’

Auto-correct on e-mails can be frustrating too. Take today’s e-mail to a client. A professional ‘Hi Roger’ morphed into a rather flirtatious ‘Hi Tiger’! (I’m so glad I picked that one up).

Finally, spare a thought for a friend’s daughter who somehow advertised ‘raincoats with matching willies’ on eBay thanks to autocorrect. I think, on reflection, I’ve been lucky.


We’ve all been there. Gone to a coffee shop for a quiet sit-down, yet someone at a neighbouring table is loudly broadcasting their personal life for all and sundry to enjoy.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had no option other than to be force-fed someone’s bizarre medical history, love life or political views while I try to enjoy my latte.

Usually someone is delivering a monologue on their favourite subject, themselves, while a friend waits in vain to get a word in.

These people seem intent on spreading their unwanted personal details around like butter.

Keep the volume down guys.

Or at least make it about something really juicy and interesting I can write about later…