Sunday, July 27, 2014

Things That Passed Through My Mind Today

The first thing was waking up with a song going round my head. This morning I woke and immediately started humming "I Feel Fine" by the Beatles. A bit of a random song seeing I can't remember the last time I heard it on the radio and I don't have it on any music in my collections. Apparently the term for this is an "earworm" and there are hypothesis for why this occurs. Here's a nice article about the subject at the Daily Mail, which explains in terms that even I understand what the issues are. For me, it is always the morning when I get that tune stuck in my head, so I guess it is something subconscious. So now all I have to do is start remembering my dreams. Which brings me to my next question

Why do only some people remember dreams? I have virtually no recollection of my dreams. I have often woken in fits of laughter and had no recollection of what I was dreaming about. It's a bit frustrating, while my wife, Caroline often remembers her dreams in vivid detail. To be fair, if my dreams are anything like hers, then I'm glad I can't remember them :D

This article has some pretty good explanations, and in the case of Caroline and I, she definitely wakes more during the night, whereas I tend to sleep solidly through so that part of the theory is borne out by our behaviour. I also like the part about dream recallers being more responsive to outside stimuli during wakefulness, like when their name is being called. It seems therefore only natural to me that husbands like me, who rarely respond to their name being spoken during wakefulness should not recall dreams much!

Maybe to recall dreams I need to drink more coffee, and drink it later in the day?

I have limited myself to coffee early in the day, and 2 coffee's a day (usually!). I was toying with the idea of buying a coffee machine, an espresso maker or cafetiere or something, but I realised that what I really like is having coffee at a cafe. I enjoy the Melbourne cafe culture (I enjoyed European cafe culture when I was living there) and sitting at a cafe, people watching, and reading a good book....actually, I don't mind whether the book is that good or not. I've recently started reading more than one book at a time and I very much enjoy this. It's a bit like following your favourite TV series week after week, and I dip into books as and when I feel like it. Besides books about chess, I'm currently reading a set of fantasy novels by Markus Heitz, "Perfect" by Rachel Joyce, the follow up to the magnificent "Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry", and "Narrow Road to the Deep North" by Richard Flanagan which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize a few days ago. They are very different books, which place different demands on their readers and I enjoy being able to pick a book up, or put one down as I fancy. I do find that at some stage in a novel there is a point where the book has to be finished to the end, while the others are left for a while. But this is ok, and I have no trouble picking up the books that have been left. Next on my reading list is the book with one of the best names I've seen for a long time:

I've just found a really nice blog which has a post on exactly the subject of reading more than one novel at a time. Check it out.

I wonder if reading before sleep will deter people from dreaming? I guess not, because Caroline also reads before sleep. The only other external factor that we don't share is a love of whiskey. Actually, Caroline does like single malts, but she doesn't drink much, whereas I....Well, I don't drink much, perhaps a shot or 2 a couple of times a week and I tend to drink more in the winter than in the summer. As I drink so little over the course of the year, I tend to treat myself to whiskey's that are quite expensive and that I enjoy. I have a copy of Ian Buxton's "100 Whiskey's to try Before You Die" on my bookshelf, and I'm surprised by how many I've already tasted. Today I went to look for a whiskey, and came away with one I'd never heard of, let alone tried before. According to Whiskey Exchange, Glen Moray 16 Year Old is "Sweet, full and exceptionally well rounded. The flavour is initially of toffee, progressing to mint humbugs and barley sugar and followed by a hint of smoke and peat flavours." I have to admit that I love the blurb on whiskey bottles, and can be tempted into buying a whiskey just based on the story and descriptions of their products. Try it. Go to any whiskey site and you'll find  no end of descriptive prose about their products and their history. One of my favourites is Laphroiag!

Glen Moray 16 Year Old with it's attractive case. 
It's getting a bit late here now, so I'd better try a shot to help me sleep! Now that I think about it, does alcohol help you sleep or not? I'll go find out and report back on whether this whiskey should be one of the 100 to try before dying in a later blog post.

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