Flip Flop Flying


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The number 300,000, for some reason, is in my head.

Nothing to do with the kilometers per second that light travels; nothing to do with the temperature (in Celsius) 17 metres from the centre of a nuclear explosion; nothing to do with the number of Australians that the Royal Blind Society estimate have difficulty reading ordinary print; nothing to do with the width (in kilometers) of Ring E of Saturn; nothing to do with the estimated number of Iraqis killed and buried in mass graves during Saddam Hussein’s reign; nothing to do with the 300,000 Mile Pickup Truck Club; and nothing to do with 100 Andre 3000s.

At the moment, I’m going through a period of not being able to sleep easily. It’s not insomnia, but I have to read a book for a good couple of hours before my eye lids start to close. This, of course, is a vicious circle, as it means I wake up later than I normally would.

Not sleeping well isn’t a new thing. It happens now and again, and eventually, I get back on track. And I have my own version of counting sheep to get me drifting off into my pillow. The most frequent one I use is building a village. I’ve been doing this for about 10 years now. I began with imagining a patch of empty land on the Lincolnshire bank of the River Humber. Then building a few homes all around a central sort-of picnic area. Around the back of the homes is a nice river, like a moat, so that the back of all the houses have a nice place to paddle. I’ve never really got much further than this with the village. I just think about the details of the house. They’d be like small, bungalow-sized aircraft hanger-shaped things that flatten out a bit into a semi-oval at the back, with a nice terrace for breakfasts in the sun.

Recently, though, 300,000 is a number that pops into my head virtually every night as I lie in bed trying to sleep. I’m hoping that writing about it will exorcise the number. It comes into my head so often that whenever it does, it jerks me back up a bit and stops my slow drift to sleep. It’ll come into my head during that delicious half-dreaming period as I drift off. And it’ll be 300,000 anything. 300,000 people, soldiers, dogs, horses, umbrellas… 300,000 anything. And the thought never goes further. It just stops at 300,000 items. It’s frustrating.

So we’ll see, after this totally self-absorbed post, if it has worked. Hopefully I won’t be thinking about 300,000 at all.
Hopefully, I’ll be falling asleep at a reasonable hour, rather than wanting to go back to sleep right now.

Written by Craig

July 6th, 2005 at 9:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses to '300,000'

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  1. blimey, that sounds irritating. can you turn it into a positive thing? like your village building. if you maybe welcome the 300,000 dalmatian-riding monkeys into your head, and get them to perform for you, they might help you drift off… maybe.


    6 Jul 05 at 11:14

  2. I try counting sheep when I can’t sleep but they always end up doing their own thing and not falling in to line for me to count in an orderly fashion. Damn my sub-conscious!


    6 Jul 05 at 11:28

  3. This is kind of weird – for a long time when I was a kid, the number 113 kept cropping up. I had one of those model Tamiya kits of an M113 personnel carrier (the type they used in Vietnam), and all of a sudden I kept seeing that number everywhere – friends lived at that number in their street, I’d get stuck on that page in a book, etc.
    Erm, The End.


    6 Jul 05 at 11:59

  4. Hi Craig, please see my comment for yesterday’s 9 and how it sort of conveniently links into this…


    6 Jul 05 at 15:07

  5. Well, Dave, what a coincidence. 5 years ago I, too, actually lived in a house number 113 here in Cologne, GER.

    Okay, I have to admit this is not very special at all, and perhaps a bored mathematics guy could put up some astonishing numbers to show how BIG a chance this is.

    Anyway, just wanted to contribute…


    6 Jul 05 at 15:48

  6. Ever since i can remember i often have before i go to sleep ,the shape of diamont like figure in front of me.Also with my eyes open.
    It looks a bit like a fragment of an old “glass in lead” window.
    Anyway it pops up whenever it likes and when I focus on it , it starts trembling really fast and then it becomes any shape i like also really fast..except its original shape.I have to shift my attention completely to get the first shape back.


    6 Jul 05 at 15:54

  7. thanks anonymous, it’s still quite spooky. The wierdest thing was I once lived at 58 Argyle Rd in Exeter and then moved to Harare in Zimbabwe – where my brother’s friend lived: at 58 Argyle Rd!!


    6 Jul 05 at 18:42

  8. Thats a bit pants. I don’t have trouble getting to sleep, but when I am stressed or under pressure I get recurring dreams where I am stuck in a corridor that has a black and white tiled floor. There are loads of doors and behind each one is a band or artist that I either adore or despise.

    Its like having my own surreal game show.

    Although I have no spooky comments to add… yet…


    6 Jul 05 at 20:17

  9. My version of counting sheep is to imagine myself on a deserted island and I have to figure out all the things I will need to do to survive long term and determine whether or not I am capable or believe myself capable of doing them. The tv LOST has been infinitely helpful in that, but has also made the process less effective as a means of actually achieving sleep.


    7 Jul 05 at 03:59

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