72. Ten Weeks. Sort of.


As most of you know by now, I’m doing 100 posts in 100 days. Or at least that was the plan. Two weeks ago, I buggered it up. Completely. I went away on holiday. Had I been going to most places, I suppose I could have carried on posting, but I’m not sure that watching their father type away on a netbook would have constituted a treasured memory for the kids.

Let the good times roll!

Let the good times roll!

But I wasn’t going to most places. I went down to a private nature reserve called Ntsiri. And Ntsiri has no power. Everything runs on gas. And even if my netbook had been powered up, it’s not like they have Wi-Fi there either.

Which is quite nice, since it took the decision out of my hands. I simply could not post from the bush. Yay.

But I’m back now, hammering away again. And I must confess that for the first time, I’m finding it heavy going. It’s all Mrs 23thorns’ fault. She has, you see, abandoned me to the tender mercies of our offspring while she goes off gallivanting in the Antipodes.

I hope she doesn't gallivant too much. I would hate for any of her high-jinks to result in any shenanigans.

I hope she doesn’t gallivant too much. I would hate for any of her high-jinks to result in any shenanigans.

I happen to be doing hard physical labour all day every day. It’s a bit tiring. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that Mrs 23thorns is keeping me awake all night with her absence. I’m shattered. Broken. I can only open one eye at a time. Driving is an adventure, and I’ve stabbed myself in the eye with a fork three times due to depth perception problems.

On the plus side, this eliminated the time-consuming process of choosing a favourite blogging eye.

On the plus side, this eliminated the time-consuming process of choosing a favourite blogging eye.

So how is she keeping me awake if she’s not even there? We are creatures of habit, us humans, and Mrs 23thorns has her routines. I am a light sleeper. I cannot sleep until Mrs 23thorns has turned off the light and gone to sleep, no matter how tired I am. We sit outside and chat for a while after the kids have gone to bed. Then we might watch some TV if there’s something watchable on.

Then we go to bed. But not to sleep. Mrs 23thorns has to read a few chapters of her book. Then, at last, the lights will go off. But I’m still not free to sleep. First, she needs to lie on her left side for five minutes. Then on her right side. Another five minutes.  And then, finally, her breathing will change and I am free to slip off to sleep myself.

Although for some reason I often feel like a snack at this point.

Although for some reason I often feel like a snack at this point.

Now that I am temporarily free of this routine, I cannot go to sleep at all. I don’t mean that I’m lying wide eyed in the dark- I can’t even go to bed. I wander around from room to room, picking up shiny things, testing out random pieces of furniture, and seeing what the sticky stuff on the carpet tastes like ‘til way past my bedtime. It turns out that I need my routines as well.

I’m getting about four hours of sleep a night. Which makes writing kind of tricky. The actual writing is as easy as ever, albeit one-eyed. But when I go back to proof read it, it turns out to be written in Swahili. It’s all a bit trying.

Although the guys down at the museum said this one was quite good.

Although the guys down at the museum said this one was quite good.

But never fear, I’ve been getting them out there. And there’s only another week to go before she’s back and lulling me to sleep with her dramatic re-enactment of a rotisserie chicken. Before I went away, I wrote about homicidal giraffes and wild animal attacks, and people who live in tiny houses.

Once I got back I got some people’s backs up by writing about the luxury safari industry. Then it was Christmas in July. I wrote about some animals we had seen on our holiday, and some animals we hadn’t. I wrote about Mrs 23thorns’ idiosyncratic approach to international travel and rounded off with a piece about inflatable boobs.



Just another 28 days to go! Stick with me; we’ll be doing human sacrifice tomorrow. Time to vote.

32 thoughts on “72. Ten Weeks. Sort of.

  1. Jim Morrison says:

    I was going to let you know on the next post that you really are losing it as you numbered this one and the next one, #72. But then I read your next post and realized I couldn’t possibly be facetious in my comments on that #72. So I came back here. Now your 100 in 100 days is really buggered up. Do you skip #73? Do you edit the post title in #72.2? Good luck with this.

  2. narf77 says:

    You just hit “the wall” Mr 23Thorns, nothing unusual there. Mrs 23Thorns is your rock (and your roll apparently…) and you just found out that those irritating little annoyances are, indeed from a distance, endearing and necessary. Thats love for you Mr 23Thorns, it sneaks up on you and pokes you in the eye and demands that you make sense out of tasting things on carpets in the name of sanity and holding it together. 10 weeks of racking your brain and forcing it to conform to the narrow constraints of what you have obviously perceived as “normal human interests” have started to take their toll. It might be time to dial up your mum and casually mention that you are toying with having a nervous breakdown and could she see her way clear to sending you off to the Seychelles again just so that you could dig for treasure with your mini pirates and head off your blogging crisis. She might be affable to the idea… she might not. Worth a try methinks 😉

    • 23thorns says:

      I think I’ll have a better chance if I have the breakdown first. All I have to do is find out how to do it. Any suggestions? You could send me Earl and a brace of possums, for a start, just so I could see what the effects of sustained and intolerable provocation are.

      • narf77 says:

        True…or you can take the resulting tangled mass of Earl and what is left of the possums from Customs and make possum biltong and release Earl for his own version of an African safari. It would be nice. We could read about it on the news 🙂

  3. albertine says:

    What made you choose 60,000 as your target number? I notice, though, that the stats line has embarked on a steeper curve. Could be good news.

  4. Spy Garden says:

    I just got back from a trip to southwest Florida with the kids to visit my parents and Mr. Spy stayed home. I couldn’t sleep either and only did a post once.The major benefit of the trip was I came up with the term “flogging” which is: garden blogging from Florida hahaha. Before I left, I built an obelisk out of bamboo which I believe rivals your pallet coffee table hahah I liked your thoughts about pictures. I always figure people are more likely to look at pictures than actually read anything haha.

    • 23thorns says:

      I like that. Obelisk is a nice, solid, meaty word. I’m going to have to make one, just so that, for a blessed week or two, when people ask me how I’m doing, I can square my shoulders and stare back at them with a steely glint in my eye.
      “I,” I will say, “am building an obelisk. And then I’m going to paint chevrons on it. Care for a lozenge?”

      • Spy Garden says:

        lol yeah in the Obelisk post I wrote that I built it for cucumbers but “mostly because saying the word “obelisk” is really fun. Obelisk, obelisk, obelisk.” haha

  5. Everyone takes breaks. Welcome to the world of blogging!

  6. Hank. says:

    …and now you’ve written a sweet, large-man-hands kind of love note. What woman would not find beauty in this lovely ode? No lady I’d want to poke my eyes out with, or rotisserie chickens alongside of, or any of those things you said back there. Shiny things.

  7. amithi says:

    Yep, totally creatures of habit.
    The Dearest works the occasional 24-hour-on-call, while I work the occasional nightshift. Unless they fall on the same night we’re both unable to sleep when the other is away. Although I frequently curse his snoring, at least then I get some sleep… Maybe I should record it and play it on a loop. 😀

    • 23thorns says:

      Yup. There was a strange case in New York a few years ago, where people kept phoning the police in the middle of the night to report that they had been woken by a mysterious disturbance. It turned out to be a train that was no longer running. People were being woken by its failure to come rattling past.

  8. sisteranan says:

    Here mate, i’ve got the solution to your problems. Just stand over there next to the bed. This? No, this positively is NOT an animal tranquilizer gun. No it isn’t. OK, turn around and count to five.

  9. What’s the bet that you learn to sleep alone just in time for her return! AND she will most likely be jetlagged too. Have fun there. 😉

  10. Aaaaaw, you’re *missing* her. And possibly also destabilized by single handed child wrangling. When my husband was away I used to hear myself on the phone saying through clenched teeth ‘drive safe. I MEAN IT. Don’t leave me all alone bringing up two teenage boys’, etc.

  11. albertine says:

    Hi there matey
    I suggest you invent a bedtime ritual all your own. Here’s a possible sequence to modify at will.
    1. enjoy a double whisky (if no whisky ask Mrs 23 to bring some duty-free) or equivalent while sitting in armchair.
    2. Go to bed with last of the whisky and an intellectual book (perhaps Montaigne’s essays?)
    3. Read one and a half chapters
    4. Put down book, specs, glass on table beside bed. Turn out light.
    5. Lie on right side contemplating information gained from book. Under no circumstances think about the blog.
    6. Lie on left side, thinking up names for any new offspring – whether planned or accidental.
    Still not asleep?
    OK – this one is foolproof –
    7. Attempt to name all nine Muses.
    Asleep yet?
    8. OK – get up and drink a camomile tea while reading more Montaigne. Relish the silence.

    repeat moves 5-7 incl.

    • 23thorns says:

      It worked! I’m not so good with lists, so I just repeated step 1 eight times. I slept like a baby! I don’t feel so good this morning though.

  12. Good luck with the rest of your posts! I’m going away for a week and I, too, post every day. I discovered, through another helpful blogger, that you can schedule posts to come up when you can’t post. I’ve set them up for the next 7 days and am really hoping that they really do work! At least that could stop you buggering up your plans next time!
    All the best

  13. Jocelyn Hers says:

    At the very least, your hieroglyphic Swahili is more legible (and enjoyable) than many a “literary” essay. But your last illustration was shudder inducing.

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