Sleepless In Sussex The Rugby World Cup

Nessun dorma’ (‘None Shall Sleep’) is an aria from the final act of my favourite composer, Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot, and is one of the best known tenor arias.

The aria is sung by Calaf, Il principe ignoto (The unknown prince). In the preceding act, Calaf had challenged Princess Turandot to guess his name by dawn. If she did, she could execute him, but if she did not she would have to marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decreed that none of her subjects was to sleep that night until his name was discovered. If they failed, all would be killed.

The Rugby World Cup in New Zealand has been a bit of a Nessun Dorma experience for those of us left stranded in the Northern Hemisphere.

The brief restless sleep we have experienced during the last three weekends has been fitful at best. Waking up with Nolli Waterman or Debs McCormack on ITV could never be described as an unpleasant experience, but it has still been tough going.

My coffee machine has been put under more pressure than the Japanese scrum, I bet George Clooney’s Nespresso machine has had nothing like the workload mine has had to endure since the start of the tournament.

So now that the Pool stages are coming to a close the big burning question is do I switch coffee pods for the knock out stages, or stay with the tried and trusted formula that has proved effective.

The Altissio blend has served me well, roasted and Smokey like Portia Woodman burning down the wing for the Black Ferns, it has perked me up at those flagging moments, but as the cumulative affects of sleep deprivation take hold it may be a wise decision to switch to the Double Espresso Chiaro described as dense and wild, which is also the perfect description of how I look after three weekends without sleep.

There are still another three weekends to go, and as Autumn turns to winter here in the North, the nights lengthen and the days shorten, plus when you add in the changing of the clocks next Sunday, we still have some tricky nocturnal battles to negotiate.

There are of course certain individuals who have benefited enormously from these early mornings, the canine community have never had it so good, half time tummy rubs and charcoal bones are being accepted with glee in our household as a certain black Labrador has managed to turn the tournament into an all you can eat buffet.

Back to Puccini and after that sleepless night had passed, Calàf, impetuously kisses Turnadot who experiences emotion for the first time, she weeps with joy and they all lived happily ever after, for the rest of us it’s Nessun Dorma for a little while longer I’m afraid, now where are those charcoal bones ?


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