John McCullagh December 8, 2004
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 Dear Agnes,
 
I must write to ask how you go about getting a good night’s sleep.
 
I have tried everything from counting sheep to decorating the house.  I even transformed the garden but despite these strenuous activities I cannot find sleep.
 
I am under the attention of my G.P. who diagnosed me as an insomniac.  Flattered as I am that she thinks me so intelligent, it doesn’t help my rest. 
 
Now as I lie awake when all around me are snoring their heads off, marvelling at how clever I am, I wonder will I ever again need to sleep at all?  Or is this just a phase I’m going through?
 
Yours desperately
 
Drooping Eyelids.
 
__
 
 
Dear Sir or Madam (your nom-de-plume doesn’t determine which!)
 
I’m not confident that Drooping anything is the real problem here!  Indeed I was slightly alarmed to read that ‘in the middle of the night, all around you were snoring their heads off!’.   Just how many people are you sleeping with at the one time??  Is this a harem of yours that you refer to as ‘sheep’? 
 
And in the night hours you still find time to decorate the house and transform the garden?  You want to take yourself in hand! 
 
No, on second thoughts, that’s not a good idea!  Perhaps you can get someone else to do just that!
 
I was glad to learn you were under the doctor!  I advise you to stay right there.  She may provide the physical exercise required to induce sweet slumber. 
 
That’s what works for oul’ Dayee and me!  Not the doctor, of course, but the bedroom exercises.  Despite his name – like the Tory leader Michael Howard – he has ‘something of the night’ in him.  And thank heavens for it!
 
Agnes
 

… Tommy Jones’s last walk …

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