Jan 21 2014

Old houses have lots of creaks and groans in the middle of the night

Our farmhouseI survived another night and I’m even getting used to the bumps, creaks and groans. And believe me, in an old house there are many.

And so many of them sound like footsteps.

Logically, there’s no reason I should be scared. In all the years Doc has been coming out here, only once has somebody turned up unannounced and unexpected. And that turned out to be somebody he knew anyway, not a stray.

Admittedly, we did lose a few things out of the house not long ago, but that was really a one off due to exceptional circumstances at the time.

So I’m starting to get used to it. Besides, we have a very dominant sleep gene in my family, so very little keeps me awake. My oldest was sleeping through the night at 5 weeks of age, and my youngest would sleep anywhere, anytime. I remember one time when he was going to bed when he was about 4 years old. I was following him into his bedroom, about 5 steps behind him, and by the time I walked through the door he was face down on the bed, fast asleep where he fell. As I said – a very dominant sleep gene.

But still ….

Full moonI had to get up in the middle of the night last night and go outside. It was a gorgeous night lit only by the moon and stars. I looked around, admiring the peace, serenity and beauty. There was very little stirring anywhere, even all the animals appeared to be asleep. But when I went back inside I still had that unreasonable fear that somebody had snuck in while I wasn’t looking and was lying in wait. A fear probably compounded by reading the hashtag unreasonablefearsnight on twitter before going to sleep!

Before I went back to bed I shone the torch around the whole house, just to make sure.

Nope, nobody there. Not hiding in a cupboard, or behind a door, or under a bed, or even up the chimney (I told you it was unreasonable), so back to bed I went, and contemplated tweeting “Somebody sneaking into the house while I’m outside having a wee #unreasonablefearsnight”, but I thought it was too unreasonable.

I was almost asleep again when I heard a sudden, loud noise. And this time it was INSIDE MY BEDROOM.

Eastern brown snakeI was almost hoping it was an intruder because the other possibilities going through my head were worse – a rat or snake was inside and crawling towards my bed. If I fell asleep a snake would get into bed with me for the warmth, or rats would start crawling across my face. In brown snake country that is a terrifying thought!

I grabbed one of the two torches I sleep with under the pillow (just in case the battery goes dead on one) and looked around. Nothing there – just more settling from the house.

So I lay down again, staring at the ceiling, eyes gradually getting used to the dark again. Looking around, wondering what was next … and the next thing I knew it was 8am and I’d missed the sunrise, again.

I told you we have a dominant sleep gene!

 

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