Saturday, October 15, 2011

Top five naps

The drunken nap When occasionally asked when I was happiest, I routinely describe a moment at the Brecon Jazz Festival almost twenty years ago. Invariably people don't believe that I can pinpoint an exact moment of pure happiness, but that's their problem. It was a beautiful sunny day, I was drunk, jazz music was wafting gently in the breeze and I had a little lie down on a lawn. I was woken up some time later by a beautiful woman.

The post-sex nap (also known as the naked nap) These are always good; impossible to name a best. For atmospherics, perhaps it helps if it's raining outside. Alternatively, if it's daytime and sunny, with the sun shining through the window onto naked bodies…

The travel nap This is a nap on any form of transport conducive to napping, such as plane, train, bus or car; so most forms of transport apart from a bike. As with the post-sex nap, the steady patter of rain usually helps to send me to napland. But then again the sun does likewise.

The bored nap This is one you probably shouldn't do, but can't help. Life gets so boring napping is sometimes the only temporary way out. You feel so drowsy it's like a drug. This may include during work sitting at your desk, at a meeting or a lecture, or at the cinema or theatre, say. Or just from having nothing else to do.

The exhausted nap (also known as the nap attack) This can be after work, after the gym, after a long walk or bike ride, perhaps after looking after a child all day. It usually happens in front of the TV, or after a large meal, maybe.

(But of course, whilst a nap doesn't really need a category, it does need the right elements. Yesterday afternoon, after a large lunch, feeling a little drowsy, I went for a little lie down. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining through the windows, and a little breeze blowing through a slightly open one. My neighbour, an opera singer, was practicing her scales. Children could be heard playing in the distance. Occasionally I'd hear a distant train or plane pass by; or a duck quacking – there were no other noises. There was no use fighting it; this was naptime.)

The only nap I really don't like is the bath nap – which usually involves waking up in a bath full of cold water. Mostly, though, naps are great and some of my best memories are of napping. Napping is said to be beneficial for both mind and body. In Spain and some Latin American countries a nap is called a siesta, which for some reason has a more exotic and less lazy ring to it than napping. Siestas are an accepted, common tradition in these countries where the temperature is hot and lunch consists of more than a sausage roll from Greggs. In England, unfortunately, there's always something more boring to do than nap.

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