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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

It's Been A Hard Days Night

When we are kids staying up late is an aspiration. I remember when I was a student the first time I stayed up all night. The mixture of exhilaration and exhausation mingled together. I've since learnt that lack of sleep isn't big and isn't clever.

On exercise and operations sentry duty, or stagging on in the colloquial, is an onerous duty. Woken out of a deep sleep, already tired. Leaving the warmth and comfort of a sleeping bag and venturing out to the sentry post. The cold rapidly draining the warmth from your body. A swift handover from the outgoing sentry - eager to retreat to his own sanctuary. Lying down and feeling the tiredness already. Looking out into the nothingness that is the countryside at sleep. Constant checking of the watch and realising how slowly time can move when it wants to. Battling against sleep - the head drooping and then snapping back up again as it touches the top of the rifle. Any noise or movement inducing a short burst of adrenaline - is something about to happen - and then the slow drift back to exhaustion. The hour dragging so slowly. Approaching the time for your relief. The glorious moment when it's time to leave. Suddenly finding yourself wide awake now that you are back in your sleeping bag and can relax. Fighting to sleep and eventually achieving it. To be woken again in hours few for a repeat performance............


Anonymous Mrs Soldier said...

You are right when you are younger it is good fun to stay up late but when you know you have to do it when your working it doesn't seem fun.We both know what its like when you get woke up in the middle of the night by the kids and they don't want to go back to sleep. You feel like total shit so having to stag on and off sounds worse to me. Not my idea of fun. Your a better person than me.

4:28 pm  
Anonymous arrazello said...

There was a time, not so long back when I slept 4-6 hours a day. I had to do that for five years. And I wasn't even Primeminister. I seem to remember Mrs Thatcher slept 4 hours a day during her reign - it obviously made her cranky ;)

2:23 pm  

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