There is something altogether enchanting and peaceful about the night-time hours, and as of late I’ve found myself sleeping much less and exploring the joys of the witching hours.
One of the things I enjoy is the lack of phone calls or knocks at the door. Radio and television become weird little versions of themselves, with the BBC Radio stations in particular having their own little sub-culture, including a BBC 2 Radio show where there is the 3.46 club for people up at that time in the morning to contact them and let them know why they’re up.
In my younger years, I would often sleep when the bird chorus was sounding for the break of dawn. Golden sun streamed through my windows in the summer, and a never-repeated song would lull me to sleep. I always would joke that being serenaded by the birds was preferable to being dragged from my dreams by their incessant chirping.
Of course, it being dark outside and quiet inside, the slightest noises and sounds of the house cooling work to make it sometimes frightening. I’ve prowled about the house checking on a noise I found particularly suspicious only to find nothing out of the ordinary.
Outside, the places you know well take on sinister mutations in shapes and shadow. One New Year’s Day, I walked from a friend’s house to my own at 5am. The chill of the night sunk deep into me, and even with the street lights there was an alien, secret feel to it.
As oppressive as it felt, it was liberating too. Maybe that is why I enjoy writing at night so much. Because it feels like my own time, free for most of what I wish to do.