The arms of Morpheus


It’s the season for coughs and colds so I have been rootling out a very specific set of items.  At first sight this is a diverse group of entertainments:

But they are all stories to sleep by, and share important criteria:

  1. Familiarity:  so you can sleep and rejoin the story without wondering what was happening
  2. Heavy reliance on words, so you can ‘watch’ with your eyes closed when your head aches
  3. A limited dynamic range – no explosions or sudden bursts of loud music or shouting which would wake you up
  4. Long, so you don’t have to hop up and down changing discs or tapes
  5. Cheerful (ish), to make you feel happy in your sleep

The best of all is David Attenborough’s series about fossils, mercifully devoid of the dramatic orchestral scores attached to some of his other series, and no loud roars or stampings from CGI dinosaurs.  Sir David’s voice flows through it, modulated, unemphatic, fascinated, occasionally conversing with palaeontologists who can be enthusiastic without being loud.  It’s a comfort blanket without parallel:  six minutes from pressing ‘play’ to profound slumber, which includes taking the paracetamol, putting on the nightdress and arranging the pillows.  And always something interesting going on when you surface for a few minutes to cough.

(Perhaps I should say that it also makes excellent watching when awake.)



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