I’m having a bad night. It’s nearly 3am and I’ve been trying to get to sleep for four hours. Even listening to ‘Yesterday in Parliament’ on Radio 4 LW didn’t do the trick today, which shows how bad things are!

Since midnight I’ve read four chapters of Bryce Corbett’s ‘A Town Like Paris’ (review coming soon – very soon at this rate!), raided the fridge twice (yum), drunk herbal tea (yuk), been back to bed twice and inevitably disturbed long suffering but luckily doting husband, trodden on the dog’s tail and done some writing. I’ve also had a rummage through the medicine store. Caiti was prescribed some gentle sleeping tablets a year or so back. Now, I’m a great believer in misguided self-medication so I was going to give them a shot but can’t find them. I do, however, have some cat tranquillisers which are becoming increasingly tempting.

We have a large supply of medicines, thanks to French doctors’ habits of prescribing at least three sets of potions for each visit you make. I have two large plastic containers of past prescriptions here in front of me, and I frankly haven’t got a clue what most of them were for now. But one thing is certain – they all have grim names. Migrpiv, Exomuc (one of the catchiest), Spasfon, Ketum, Zomigoro, Urgo Vital, Sanmigran … Enough to make you feel ill!

So what’s  the solution for my night-time wakefulness? Websites suggest exercising more. If I did I think I’d fall apart. Srsly. As I’ve mentioned before, we lead very physical lives on our farm, plus we’re cycling fanatics and are out on our bikes every day. Another idea is to limit alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. But I don’t smoke, hardly drink and avoid caffeine like the plague anyway. It’s not looking too hopeful.

Never mind. There are far worse things to suffer from than a spot of sleeplessness. I’ll hit the fridge again (good job I’m skinny) and go outside and listen to all the sounds of a rural Creuse nighttime – night jars, owls, deer, foxes and crickets.

And if all else fails, I may even get some housework done. Please let me fall asleep!

Daily snippets for 10 May

Today’s saint: St Solange

Famous French person born this day: in 1747 Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune, economist and politician

Famous French person who died this day: in 1774, King Louis XV

Today’s words: dormir – to sleep; ordonnance – prescription