WHISPERING SMITH: My restless nights with one eye on the spider

THE after-midnight blues. I awaken regularly at around four o’clock every morning, whether or not the cock croweth or the pigeon cooeth...

Too weary to get up and make a cup of tea, too restless to go back to sleep. I watch the black spider on the streetlight lit white ceiling above my head and wonder if it’s one of the venomous type. I read somewhere they all have a bite, so I assume it best to keep my eye on it. The spider gets larger or smaller, depending on how long I stare at it.

My mood gets darker and life’s little difficulties, like the spider, seem to change in size depending on how much consideration I give them.

At my age, I know/knew a lot of dead people, loved ones, friends and I then wonder about all of the live ones I don’t remember and whether they ever lie awake and think of me and I doubt they do.

I doze, then, quite suddenly it is Tuesday morning. The refuse collectors rattle the bins and chatter me awake and I roll over and sleep like a baby for a couple of hours. So why do I wake up at four and whatever happened to the spider no longer clinging to my ceiling?

NOT really wanting to go on about the Stage by the Sea, but observations show it to be the white elephant some of us feared that it would be, an animal with a high maintenance value.

Removing graffiti and mowing the grass, among other things, mean the initial cost of around £120,000 is ever expanding. Several weekends ago, the TLA Steel Band played a super session in their own portable marquee on the East Green only yards from the stage, which itself was occupied by cheerful picnickers.

The visitors’ presence did not really matter as the band, with 25 or so musicians, was far too large to fit onto the space provided. To date, I am not aware of any actual performances and even on the busy Armed Forces’ Day it remained unused.

BLOOPER of the year! I named the mayor as Jill Brown when, of course, it should have been Jill Long. My sincere apologies, ma’am.

EVER wondered who wakes up the old red rooster every morning and encourages him to sing? Worth thinking about offending a Higher Power before you complain….