The Landlady has no sleep ’til Brooklyn…

One thing that I really can’t do without is sleep. You only have to look at the list of house rules that I give to my lodgers when they first arrive, to realise how much I like my sleep.

All of the rules, bar the one that gives the Wifi access code, are concerned with being quiet around the house. Even the rule with the access code has an adjunct telling them not to type it in too loudly.

Although I could easily sleep for ten hours per day, I can content myself with eight. Any less than seven hours and I will be unbearable. Friends who have been on various holidays with me are irritated by the amount I sleep. For example, when I was in Jordan with my friend Anne, on the morning we were supposed to go to Petra, I slept in. While Anne paced up and down beside the bed desperate to see one of the Seven Wonders of the world, I snored away completely unaware that I was ruining her day.

“The barista looked at me as if I had just slaughtered her grandmother”

In New York recently, I didn’t get quite as much sleep as I would have liked on the first two nights, as I had a cold. I therefore – in the absence of Bloody Marys – drank as much coffee during the day as possible, which seemed to do the trick. One of my favourite things to do in New York is to stop off at Dean and Deluca – a posh deli-type shop on Broadway – and have coffee and a cake. I always drink plain coffee, white no sugar. The Big Daughter ordered a fancy latte with a caramel shot. When I tasted my coffee, it tasted as if it had a pound of sugar in it. I told the barista, who looked at me as if I’d just slaughtered her grandmother, and assured me that there was definitely no sugar in it. I suggested she taste it, but she refused, gave me a very disdainful look and glowered at me as she poured it away. She made me another coffee, then, as I tasted it, asked, not without a hefty slice of sarcasm, if it still tasted as if it had sugar in it. Containing my urge to slap her, I replied, in my best indignant Bridget Jones voice that indeed it didn’t, because this time, indeed it hadn’t, whereas previously, indeed it had. She snorted derisively. “What a b****,” said The Big Daughter, once we were out of earshot. And it’s not often TBD will side with me.

The caffeine perked me up just in time for my pre-arranged internet date later that evening.
How did it go? Well, suffice to say that I had to pay for an extra day in my hotel to sleep off the hangover and my earrings are in the mail. So pretty much standard, really.

Illustration: Jake McDonald

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