Having had a cold all last week, looking like death warmed up, and having difficulty lying down, it’s maybe it’s little surprise I should recall a snippet of information once told to me by a National Trust volunteer. I cannot recall which property we were in, but we lingered to look at a rather short double bed.
“How many people do you think slept in that?” the volunteer asked us.
Aware this must be a question with an unusual answer, we suggested, “Four?” Our thinking was that perhaps as there were no other sleeping arrangements and for warmth, the parents kept their children in the bed with them.
I have to admit I blinked at the bed, mentally trying to calculate the extraordinary positions or height variations required to make them all fit, but failed to come up with anything short of a nocturnal game of Twister. “Six?”
“Yes. How did they all fit?” She echoed the question revolving in my head. The answer is simple and one that explains why this sprang to mind last week.
They sat up because only the dead lay down.
Such was their belief but forced to sit to sleep all last week — the risk of drowning in unspeakable fluids while I slept too great — all I could do was to grumble at the idea. I hate having to sleep sitting up; the thought of doing it voluntarily makes me shiver with more dread than the notion ‘only the dead’ take up a horizontal position.