No-one does guilt as well as the Jews

It’s a bit odd this mask thing and the ensuing reluctance that people have to don one.  I don’t get it. If it helps in any way to reduce the spread why not? Michael Grove this morning said that he does not think face coverings should be compulsory in shops and that he trusts people’s common sense.  Really you mean the Brits have common sense. Did he not see the beaches? or the Pubs in Soho? I guess they will prevaricate for the next few weeks, the numbers of dead will increase and then masks will become mandatory like most of the other European countries.  As always two steps behind the virus. Too little too late.

But not going there. Moving swiftly on.  New research has shown that couples who share a bed sleep better and have better mental health.  Oh, bugger it – that’s another thing to feel guilty about.  Is it a female Jewish thing – guilt?  Do we come out apologising to our mothers for causing so much pain? Is that where it all starts? Molly Jong-Fast, Erica Jong’s daughter said that “we suffer two great inheritances of the Jewish people: irritable bowel syndrome and guilt,” and deemed our quintessential Jewish way of life as “praying on a shrink’s sofa”. The joke ‘What’s Jewish Alzheimer’s disease? It’s when you forget everything but the guilt.’  is really true.  My mother used to say many times that she felt guilty, but she forgot what she felt guilty about.

Intellectually I understand that guilt does no one any good and is a complete waste of energy but emotionally it is hard to shift.

I digress back to the sleep stuff.  Apparently, humans sleep in cycles, shifting between rapid-eye-movement REM – sleep which is when the vivid dreams occur and non-REM periods. My REM sleep takes me on wild and crazy adventures – and thank goodness for that because it is the only place I am going at the moment.

Researchers in Germany found that in their study of 12 heterosexual couples when they shared a bed, they experienced 10% more REM sleep.  They think that physical proximity to a loved one promotes certain sleep-boosting hormones.

So, here’s the guilt Tod and I didn’t sleep together for the last 5 years of our lives. I so wish we could have been the image on the left but sadly we were the image on the right. He was a snorer and not just any old snorer – a snorer par excellence. Tod could have won prizes for the most deafening snores. I kid you not. I still have a recording on my phone of his snores.  When he visited middle son Jake in Mexico where he was teaching, they had to share a room.  Jake messaged me. “Mum how can you stand it. The snoring. It’s impossible. What should I do? Do you think Dad will be upset if I suggest he gets a hotel room.”?  At least he now understood that it wasn’t that I didn’t love his father.

Remember the post about my mother’s Heath Robinson’s contraption to escape from my father’s snoring – which didn’t work.  She used to take a Mogadon (sleeping tablet) on a Friday night so she could have at least one good night’s sleep a week.



I decided that sleeping tablets were not the answer so in an attempt of having a modicum of snoring reprieve after years of sneaking off in the middle of the night to the couch, I suggested we have separate rooms.  Now I wonder did I deprive Tod of the much-needed sleep boosting hormone?  What if this exacerbated Tod’s mental health. What if it bought on the Glioblastoma?  In all honesty I would give anything to hear those bellowing snores again.

Not to belittle this research but there has been many many more research projects into the detrimental effects of snoring on relationships.  Just 5 minutes on google and there is page after page on the topic vis a vis relationship.  So, boosting hormone or not at least we stayed together for 35 years.

I do wonder sometimes about all these research projects.  I mean why do we need to know, for instance, that the horses that were bought to the UK in the 18th century were not Arabian as previously thought but Turkomans. Why spend huge amounts of money on a study at Cornell University to examine the DNA of 378 Arabian horses to find this out.  Arabian or Turkoman so what? What difference does that make to the equine industry?


I have never been a great one for research which is ironical seeing as though it was Tod’s business and what paid our bills. I remember when I was working at BSB and the BBC   and focus groups were in vogue. BBH the Ad agency did very well out of our focus groups.  Thousands and thousands of pounds spent on them which only confirmed what I  already knew.  If only they had listened to me!!!!

I left the house last night – it felt wonderful.  Had a drink in the garden of a girlfriend. A bit of normality.  And we planned an adventure  – Island hopping in Greece next September.   A girl has to have something to look forward to.

“Let’s be careful out there”


Author: ladyserendipidy

Journalist, event planner, mother, animal lover, not very good bridge or scrabble player, hopeless housekeeper, ex social worker, radio producer, tv executive, hater of almost all insects especially the eight legged ones. And if I am ever allowed out of my house, intrepid traveler.

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