knitting “up the ravell’d sleave of care”

October 22, 2012

Just in case anyone is worried I'm not planning the death of a King, but it is a great quote (in full below).   When you travel a lot sleep is an issue.  Yesterday I was on a red eye from New York to London, tonight I will attempt to sleep knowing that the alarm will go off at 0430 as I have an early morning flight to Vienna.  The East Coast Red eyes are the worst and I really wish the earth rotated the other way, or whatever is necessary to make the flight from the US longer than the flight to it.   Half the time the plane gets in early so by the time you are on it, have the meal and fall asleep you have four hours tops.  OK its not as bad as Perth-Sydney which is the worst I have ever done but its bad.

There is a perversity that when you know you need to sleep you can't but I must admit I have trained my body to the point that when I get on a plane I tend to collapse to slumber even on short haul during the day time.  A G&T and a RomCom are also a good recipe.  The soporific effect of both, with the certain knowledge that both can be repeated with little variation is a part of that.  Of course it helps if you escape cattle class which thanks to American Airlines I always manage.  Most of my trans-atlantics are booked in economy but only once in the last decade have I ended up to the rear of the curtain.  

If course the seat makes a difference.  I actively dislike the new A380 in the Singapore Configuration which requires you to turn the seat on its head and literally make up your bed.  This has two problems:

  1. Making the bed wakes you up
  2. The bed is flat, so blood rushes to your head

Qantas in comparison, although its 2-2-2 configuration should be worse than Singapore 1-2-1 is actually better.  The seats are more womb like in design.  You simply gradually relax backwards with G&T and fall asleep.  The angle means blood stays in the right places, unless of course an aspirant to the Scottish Throne egged on by an ambitious wife comes calling.  In fact I really want to change my bed at home so that it manages the same angle.  Air New Zealand has the same problem, Air Canada not and so on.  Come to think of it Air Canada isn't bad in economy either.

The other advantage of a plane is that you don't get hungry cats seeking to wake you up in the early hours of the morning, mostly you are left to yourself.  Except on AIr Canada where they feel insulted if you fail to wake up two hours before landing to eat the food they have prepared.

The other tip by the way for recovering from jet lag is to but the BBC international news on.  It all repeats in quarter hour segments so if you wake up, instead of starting to think, and thereby not sleep, you listen, get bored and fall asleep.  I did make the mistake once in Chicago of doing this but selected Fox News by accident and was woken up by a visceral reaction of righteous indication to reports of the death panels that are (according to the word of Palin) an essential aspect of the NHS.   So choose your soporific with care.

I'm not sure what inspired this posting, probably I'm too tired to really think about boundaries!


That quote

Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
Macbeth (2.2.46-51)

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