After losing a night’s sleep on Monday, I approached “bed time” with some trepidation, knowing that I would fall asleep within minutes as I usually do but wondering whether there would be another early morning vigil. In the event I did wake at about 3.45am but decided I was going to try really hard not to think about “the mind map on the ceiling” and try to count sheep or something. It was also so cold last night that I just didn’t want to get out from under the duvet. The sheep failed to send me off – after all, they remind me too much of NHS dental patients – so after 30 minutes I turned on the light and started to read my latest novel, Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks. I enjoyed his First World War trilogy, Birdsong, and Charlotte Gray a few years ago (although The Girl at the Lion d’Or didn’t really do it for me) and when I discovered that Human Traces would use as its theme the development of psychiatry as a 19th Century profession, I was intrigued and curious. Reading the novel has been a test of my grit and determination, the subject matter is very heavy going and the writing style not exactly gripping – but I have persevered and at page 316 of 616 I am getting more interested. As a cure for insomnia I would recommend it – I fell back asleep after 20 minutes last night and woke at 7.30am this morning feeling as if somebody had hit me with a shovel overnight. Fortunately, today was supposed to be a dental practice visit in Liverpool but was cancelled at short notice due to illness, so I have a bonus business development day and I’m enjoying sitting here in my Marathon fleece and soccer shorts catching up on 101 strategic and tactical jobs.