Sliding down the bed from a position of comfort to what can only be hoped is an entrance to sleep. Muscles grown used to semi-reclined posture signal their momentary discomfort, but whether in hope of a ceasing or completion of the maneuver is harder to say.

A book read, now ended, rests on the bedside table. It’s cover gleams in the illumination of the small lamp beside it, beckoning just one more caress of the spine and a turning of its pages. Its siren call of ‘one more chapter’ is now a whisper of ‘what comes next?’

Sleep beckons, but the stimulated mind resists, churning and coiling with words and phrases seeking each other’s meaning and completion; repetition battles a growing weariness until it itself ceases to have meaning and becomes thumping noise rattling inside my skull.

I should be sleeping, but instead my muse is calling. Instead of flutes and flowers and the promise of sweet caresses however, she has her hobnail boots on, and is thoughtfully swinging a snooker ball in a sock.

Body aching and protesting before I’ve even settled, with a brain on fire and babbling nonsense, I know when I’m beaten – and so to my notebook I must turn