There can be very few things that Winston Churchill and I would have ever agreed upon. My mother called him a ‘drunken warmonger’ to his face and I have considered him a proto fascist ever since he publicly proposed the gassing of dissident tribes in the Yemen in the 1920’s. One thing tho, surprisingly, we both came to the same conclusion about was the day being divided into 24 hours. Churchill, in his youth, and during the war years of WW2, was a proponent of the 12 hour day. He would be awake for eight hours and then sleep for four, and repeat this in his daily life ad infinitum. He insisted on getting undressed and preparing himself for bed and wore silk pyjamas to sleep. I also get undressed but prefer to sleep ‘as nature intended’.
There are advantages to sleeping every eight hours, as opposed to every sixteen. Sleep is twice as frequent and thus the mind is rested at shorter intervals and one can maintain a level of ‘alertness’ that is not available to those who live their lives in that quiet desperation that comes from feeling permanently tired. One also finds oneself in that slightly delicious position of being awake whilst most others are asleep which has the advantage of ‘resting’ oneself from the endless shennanigans of one’s fellow human beings. Conversly, of course, one is asleep whilst others continue with the motley, but as I spent the better part of my first three years on the planet fast asleep during WW2 I realized in later life that my being asleep had little or no effect on what was going on around me. Churchill learnt his unusual way of sleeping from his experiences in the Boer War at the end of the nineteenth century, and I learnt mine serving in the ‘trenches’ of rock and roll in the Twentieth. From wildly disparate backgrounds, we arrived at similar conclusions !
Agreement is possible even with those we are tempted to hate. There is always some form of common ground, even if it only be the common ground of this earth upon which we all exist. It only remains for me to observe that by agreeing with the ‘drunken warmonger’ on ONE thing I have managed my sleep needs more or less admirably and had that one thing in life a writer needs – substantial periods of peace and quiet ! It has also had some amazing effects upon my sex life but I wont go there – it would be simply too much information.
© sam cutler 2012