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I wake up suddenly, eyes wide open, limbs cramped, and it feels like I had been sleeping on a water bed that’s accidentally sprung a leak. My body is acting as though it’s been awake for ages, but my poor tired brain is still in sleep mode. I peep at the clock through squinted eyes, mind you it’s not a digital clock and my tired brain is struggling to work out if it’s the long hand that is near to the 12 of if it’s the short hand, and if so, then which hand is at the 4.

Through my daze they both look the same size. I blink a few times but still can’t focus and then I remember the phone – that very useful piece of modern equipment. Just a slight touch of the button at the base of the phone displays the time, so I roll over with arms outstretched to reach for it. Ah, such wonderful dryness.

But the euphoria is short-lived as I get entangled in the damp pyjamas and head scarf I somehow managed to disrobe from during the night. It must have been when I had the last heat burst, but I vaguely recollect it happening, mainly because I have become so used to a routine of heat burst followed by pyjamas and head scarf off, then as I cool down I put them back on, then off again, and on again rotating through the extra set of night clothes on the bedside.

I still want to know the time, so my hand reaches for the phone – it’s 4.02am which for most people is considered quite early. Then almost as suddenly as the heat came, the cold shivers start and goosebumps take over every pore.

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