I am not a morning person. My idea of hell is the latest fashion for breakfast meetings. Late at night I become creative, I can read and write with heightened concentration. Mornings are for prevarication. The worst thing about my tendency towards nocturnal habits is that the rest of the country does not operate in that way, and, even worse, feels morally superior about being up bright and early.
My first meeting of today was at 10.00 am. I got in at 10.02. This time, rather than feeling rushed and harassed, I felt calm and confident. As a result of my late arrival, I had caught a gem of a broadcast on Radio 4. It was a celebration of being a night person, an 'owl', as opposed to the 90% who are 'larks', up in the morning and horribly efficient at an unearthly hour. It made me feel good about myself.
The programme was a reading from the Book of the Week, "At Large and at Small: Confessions of a Literary Hedonist", a collection of essays by Anne Fadiman. You can listen to the broadcast here for the next seven days. There were many gems as she confronted the "powerful pro-lark tradition". The one I liked most was her description of her snatched, late night childhood reading. I too remember huddling under the bedclothes with my torch and book, deep into the night. I was always late for school the next day. Being a fat child, teachers put my bad timekeeping down to sloth. They did not realise that it was simply because I had been enthralled by the stories unfolding in the secret cocoon of my bed until the early hours. Fadiman says, "The child who reads at night is likely to become the adult who writes at night". She's right, I do.
It sounds like a super little book about the everyday pleasures of reading and writing. I might buy a copy; ideal for bed time - and later.