I didn’t sleep well on Sunday night, or Monday night, or Tuesday night. It was too hot. I was in two different kinds of pain. By Wednesday night, I was so deranged from lack of sleep that my mind was beginning to fray. L— was at a course in Oxford, so I went to bed early and looked forward to making up that sleep deficit.

But when you’re that tired, it’s hard to get to sleep. My brain felt like it had been propped open. After three hours, I remembered that I still had a few tablets of diazepam (aka valium) left from a prescription for a frozen neck a few years ago. Within half an hour, I was finally in a deep and refreshing sleep.

I love drugs. It’s a shame they make the good, effective ones so hard to get.

I didn’t really get any work done on Tuesday or Wednesday after such lack of sleep, so I didn’t achieve much last week at all.

I’ve been to hot places before, but I’ve never had to endure such heat without respite. In East Africa it was never that hot. Japan can get hot in the summer, but air conditioning is available in many places. Even where it isn’t, like in schools, the buildings are designed to facilitate a through breeze.

In our old flat, the bedrooms (one of which was my office) faced a cool inner courtyard. But our house is hellish in the heat, and there’s no escape. I’ve discovered new things that can go wrong when I’m exposed to heat for too long. My palms are covered in little bumps from heat rash. My face and neck have broken out in eczema. The soles of my feet had a heat rash so bad that the arch was one enormous blister. I drained the fluid (disgusting!) and that’s mostly recovered now. The skin of my toes has peeled as if I’m suffering from radiation poisoning.

One thing that I can recommend as a way to stay cool is to sit with your feet in cold water. I dug out an old washing up bowl and watched TV with my feet soaking, and it cooled me down and soothed my feet.

My entire week has been cursed when it comes to sleep. I went to bed early on Saturday night, and quickly sank into the sleep of the just. And there it should have ended until the next morning.

Around 00:45, a curious sound roused me, and I looked out the window to see what was going on. It was next door’s teenager, locked out, effecting ingress via an upstairs window.

Why not just ring the doorbell, you might wonder. So did I. He didn’t want to wake his little brother. I pointed out that the trade-off was waking us instead.

He succeeded in getting back in, and I got back to sleep, for half an hour, when the squawks of fighting cats (or foxes?) in a nearby garden woke me again.

The dxw summer party on Thursday was fun. I saw many old friends and colleagues from previous jobs. I’ve missed social events so much. I drank a sensible amount despite the free bar and didn’t stay out too late. Well done me.