All posts for the month February, 2012


Published February 27, 2012 by Catherine

Always amazed, when researching family history, at the size of families – way, way back… with such tiring working lives, crowded sleeping arrangements etc….

The explanation came today  🙂 ….

“Ekirch relates, in perhaps his most fascinating revelation, pre-industrial man slept a segmented sleep.

He has found more than 500 references, from Homer onwards, to a ‘first sleep’ that lasted until maybe midnight, and was followed by ‘second sleep’.

In between the two, people routinely got up, peed, smoked, read, chatted, had friends round, or simply reflected on the events of the previous day – and on their dreams. (Plenty also had sex, by all accounts far more satisfactorily than at the end of a hard day’s labouring. Couples who copulated ‘after the first sleep, wrote a 16th-century French doctor, ‘have more enjoyment, and do it better’.) 

Experiments by Dr Thomas Wehr at America’s National Institute of Mental Health appear to bear out the theory that this two-part slumber is man’s natural sleeping pattern: a group of young male volunteers deprived of light at night for weeks at a time rapidly fell into the segmented sleep routine described in so many of Ekirch’s documentary sources. It could even be, Wehr has theorised, that many of today’s common sleeping disorders are essentially the result of our older, primal habits “breaking through into today’s artificial world.’”
– Jon Henley, “The Dark Ages,” The Guardian (London), October 24, 2009




Fairy Wishes …

Published February 19, 2012 by Catherine

40 years of marriage…



A married couple in their early 60s was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant.
Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table. She said, ‘For being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish.’
The wife answered, ‘Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband’.
The fairy waved her magic wand and – poof! – two tickets for the Queen Mary II appeared in her hands.
The husband thought for a moment: ‘Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I’m sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me’.
The wife, and the fairy, were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish.
So the fairy waved her magic wand and poof!…the husband became 92 years old.
The moral of this story: Men who are ungrateful bastards should remember fairies are female…..

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