How to spend the time between 2am and 5am – by Emma Tringham

Washing up’s good

Close the kitchen door

Mindfully scrub and stroke

Stretch it out

Make it a masterpiece

Or doing my nails

Nice and quiet

A focused, frivolous task

A neat result

Added sparkle to make up for my lack of lustre in the daylight

Put headphones on

Listen to the radio

Get lost in ‘Book At Bedtime’

‘Woman’s Hour’

I drift in and out of sleep with Jenny Murray’s rich tones in my ear

Jolt suddenly awake at the cooking segment

As the chef turns on the blender

Perhaps chat to people, online

There are so many insomniacs out there

Or people from other time zones

There’s a strange camaraderie

I am unexpectedly moved by the kind words of advice

From across oceans

But writing… here’s a real escape

Just letting the words pour out

Or dribble, splutter, drip onto the page

Now it’s 5.26am

Not long to go

I can do it

Face the day

Well, until lunchtime at least

Then I’ll crawl back here again


And enjoy the solitude.


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