After the last Christmas Eve service, in church rectories and manses across the world, many clergy will sit down and pour themselves a glass of single malt whisky, take a photo and post it to social media with the hashtag #clergymaltclub.
One of the items that I inherited after Mum died was her old laptop, an Asus X551CA that I bought her for Christmas 2013. This month I replaced the battery, upgraded the hard drive and installed Linux.
Probably like many, I went to sleep the other night with the radio on so that I could follow the progress of the American presidential election through the night. Only, what actually happened was what happens every time I fall asleep with the radio on: I had a restless night’s sleep.
Each time I woke I also reached for my mobile phone which was lying face down on my bedside table, I turned it over, brushed my finger across the fingerprint reader to unlock it and tapped at the BBC News app as my face lit up from its feint glow. One question: who is winning? Please let it be Biden.
Of course, two days later and we’re still waiting.
Every election night I am reminded of that general election night in 1997, the one where Labour overturned the Conservative government and put Tony Blair into Number 10.
It’s now late October, the clocks have gone back an hour to GMT. In Scotland the nights are fair drawin’ in—it is getting dark earlier. All the more important then to make sure I look after my sleep hygiene.
For the last 14 years I have been working mostly sitting in front of a PC. I’m also a bit of a geek so I find myself sitting in front of a PC even when I’m not being paid to do so.
For years I found it hard to get to sleep at night. It turns out that staring at computer monitor for hours is not great for your sleep. The blue light emitted by a screen affects our attention, reaction times and mood (Source) and, crucially, our sleep.
In 2009, I discovered an application called F.lux that detects where you are in the world and automatically adjusts the screen colour temperature to gradually remove the blue as the sun is setting.