Night owls, early risers, insomnia and a very moist apple cake to sweeten up your days (or nights!)
I have always been a bit of a night owl, as far as I can recall. I remember being seven and staying up late on Wednesdays because Blake's Seven was on at ten p.m or thereabouts and I had to watch it. I'd be fine for school the next day, so I was allowed to sit up and enjoy the show. If I was sent to bed I would cry for a whole hour, wake my sister up and still not sleep, so all facts pointed to how much better it would be for all involved if I were to just watch the darn show. And how I did love that show. Bit like some kids are hooked on Dr. Who - can't see the point on that one, though.
A couple of years later I was sitting up well into midnight on Fridays to join my father in watching horror shows like Thriller and Tales From the Crypt or whatever it was, and the occasional night time movie on Saturdays, if it was something worth my while - that usually meant horror or old Poirots and Miss Marples . After I turned twelve, I could be found reading into the wee hours of the night, driving my mother furious that I wasn't yet sleeping. I promised her to turn off the lights, instead got my self a small flashlight that allowed me to read with my head under my covers without her seeing my light from the hallway. Anne McAffrey's dragon world was a lot more important than sleep, as was knowing what would happen to the Ice Queen on Joan D. Vinge's particularly good story.
During highschool, it was the same thing, though I did try to go to bed at "normal", regular hours. I remember that on Wednesday evenings it was movie night on one of the only two TV channels we had in Portugal back in the days, and though I went to bed at ten thirty, I would eventually get sick in my stomach and found myself unable to sleep, thus having to get up so I could make myself some tea. Siting down on the sofa watching the late night movie, waiting for my stomach to settle and render me able to sleep, seemed only fitting. Saw an awful lot of good cinema, back in the day.
Then college came along, and we all know how that one goes, what with the all nighters, the late night studying - more like late night listening to FNM and daydreaming of Mike Patton and what I'd do if I ever came across him, which I did and did nothing about, as expected - the nights out on town, the clubbing and bar hopping and dancing the night away at my favourite spot. I'd be alright to get up at half past six and go to college the next day, and there were plenty of Tuesday nights that saw me at a certain club for their thematic evenings only to go to class straight after, still reeking of smoke and booze - ah, the days of yonder where you could still smoke inside bars and clubs!
When I finished college and later on go a job, I began to find myself tired in the evenings, and going off to bed earlier than I was used to, but I was still capable of wild nighting away every Friday and Saturday, at the local goth and metal spots, headbanging with the best of them, or witch dancing the night away to the sound of LAM or ToT - witch dancing was a thing back in those days - drinking and smoking my fill, enjoying myself, only to spend Sundays in a zombie like state that I actually loved, the laying low of drowsy Sundays in bed with a good book were a treat I do miss.
But with time, my night owl activities began to dwindle, and Friday nights at home became the norm, with Saturday evenings reserved for dinner with friends that would stretch into the wee hours with laughter and drinks and good food. Economy was the first to put a stop to those regular dinner parties, then motherhood helped as well. I was a late mother, so my energy levels were reserved for my son, not for wild partying. Still, no regrets there, my son's first year of life was truly a blessed year in my life, where I feel like I created a bond with him and his father that had I been younger, and a working mom who also required a "social life", I wouldn't have managed to.
Nowadays, though I do wish I could still stay up all night and be none the worst for it next morning, I find it impossible. Somedays I fall asleep on the couch while watching my favourite shows, only to be wide eyed and alert as soon as I get in bed and turn off the lights. This will have me tired and listless the next day, straining hard to concentrate and do my chores. Insomnia has become my worst enemy, and I used to revel in it, getting up silently at the witching hour to sit down to write all night long or until sleep finally came. Now I just lie in bed wide eyed, furiously willing sleep to come. And I wake up with the sunrise, too. I used to be able to sleep 'till noon, in my teen years. Now, if I manage to get up after nine, I find it a miracle, and I don't even care for that particular miracle, as I find myself thinking there's the best part of the day gone and I've done nothing!
When I happen to wake up at such ungodly hours over the weekend as I did today, what I usually do is have my breakfast in peaceful silence - oh, bliss! - and then work on my blog or write some. So today I put down this post, with this very moist apple cake my hubby invented just a couple of weeks ago and that I had a blast photographing with a set of vintage playing cards that belonged to my grandparents. I had more of a blast afterwards, eating the cake, but that's another story. Here's how you can eat it, too:
- 200 gr of light muscovado sugar and a bit more to be reserved
- 200 gr flour
- 3 eggs
- 150 gr butter, at room temperature
- 25 ml olive oil or any other vegetable oil
- 5 medium sized apples, grated
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp soda bicarbonate
- cinammon to taste