Friday, December 09, 2005


Ah sleep! It is amazing what a difference a good nights’ sleep will make to my outlook on the world. From the time that we left the company accommodation (where we were put up for free for our first month here) to the night before last, I have been sleeping poorly. It has been having an adverse effect.

To bore you with the details: the apartment provided by the company was small enough that if we left the aircon on in the lounge room, we would stay cool enough to sleep through the night and wake up fresh and early the next morning. When our month of free rent ran out, we went to stay in the Spanish Horseshoe Holiday Flats; a bunch of bungalows built in a U-shape (sorry, horseshoe shape) and joined by a covered walk way with arches (arches = Spanish; hence, Spanish Horseshoe). The Spanish Horseshoe Flats are not air-conditioned, and worse, because they are built around a courtyard none of the doors or windows face the breeze. I slept so badly the week that we stayed there that I was really quite ill (not to say bad-tempered) by the end of it. Through that whole week I was busting to move into our own place, our place with air-conditioning and a balcony that faces east to catch the morning and afternoon breezes.

However, on our first night in our new place I still couldn’t sleep! I was getting quite distressed by this time, especially as I was so tired after a hard day’s moving house. The nights here are getting quite warm: the temperature only gets down to around 26°, which I remember fondly as a warm spring day in Melbourne. My mother reckons that as soon as it’s 27°, it’s warm enough to go swimming. That night I ended up sleeping on a mattress on the lounge room floor, which is the coolest room in our place. I slept there for the next couple of nights, because the bedroom, down at the western end of the apartment, is quite stuffy and hot. And the air-conditioner in there is an ancient rumbly monster that conspires to keep me awake first with blasts of its freezing air and then by the noise of its rumbly rumbly fan.

But now I have tamed the rumbly monster! I bought a timer switch from Dick Smith and I got Hayden to work out how to use it, and now it’s set to go off and on at various times in the night. It’s timed so that it never gets too noisy or too freezing, and it wakes me with a gentle breeze in the morning when it comes on at around 5am. Much nicer than an alarm clock. I got up this morning feeling fresh and alive; I went for a delightful stroll along the beach and on my way home stopped in at the corner shop to get an iced coffee. Our corner shop is the best; it has every single drink you could ever want on your way home from a stroll, plus it is run by a wonderful lady who I secretly call Esmerelda. When I went up to the counter to pay for my iced coffee, I interrupted her impromptu dance lesson from the local salsa teacher. Smiling and without a hair of her coiffeur out of place, Esmerelda stopped dancing, rang up the price of the salsa teacher’s cigarettes and my iced coffee, and sent us both on our way. I love today already; I can’t wait to find out what else I’m going to do with it.

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