17/02/2014 07:29 GMT | Updated 19/04/2014 06:59 BST


It's late, the room is warm and dark, the bed soft, my eyes are closed. I can hear little freckles of rain tapping on the window and the house settling down for the night like an old dog: gentle groans from rheumatic floorboards and the rhythmic breathing of the boiler. In the bowels of the house the dishwasher beeps, another cycle finished, it's been a long day but now everything is done. The oblivion of sleep welcomes me like a long-lost lover.........

'Are you awake?' whispers my wife


'Are you awake?'


'Jay you'll never grow a beard will you?'


'You'll never grow a beard will you?'

'What are you saying to me?'

'A beard. You'll never grow a beard will you?'

'No, I will never grow a beard. Sleeptime now.'

'It's just I had a patient in today who had a beard and it was horrible.'

'Let's talk about beards in the morning okay. Sleeptime.'

'He had really long hair too, he looked like Ciabatta.'


'He looked like Ciabatta.'



'How can a human being possibly resemble Ciabatta?'

'This one did!'

'Italian flatbread ciabatta?'

'No you idiot! Ciabatta - from StarWars'

'Ah Chewbacca.'

'That's the one. Anyway don't grow a beard.'

And with that she is asleep, instantly.

Leaving me alone with the night rain, scanning the ether for oblivion, sadly sleep is now in a galaxy far far away........