|Written by Murphy Simmonds|
IT'S grim and grizzly outdoors. Perhaps this pillow with a speaker inside will make the long nights pass a little quicker.
It's dark out. It's cold too, and wet, and miserable, and depressing, but most of all it's really, really dark. There's barely time at the moment to wake up and wolf down some cereal before the sun plummets down a hillside and disappears for the next 23 hours. Was it like this last year? We can't remember. Perhaps our delicate minds have blanked out the entirety of the previous winter in a fit of retrospective mental hibernation. Once upon a time we could recall every Christmas and now we can't even pinpoint last December. Then again, once upon a time we could remember every last moment from school - now it's just a handful of faces and a few key beatings. We must be getting old."We're lucky enough to live alone in this shed, cuddling only our own legs for comfort and warmth and enjoying the company of dead craneflies"
We were sprightly once. We would leap around inside our shed, hopping from stool to shelf to lawnmower with a spring in our step and a youthful degree of flexibility and balance. These days we just sit in our rocking chair with a blanket over our knees, flicking bits of gravel at the pile of wood in the corner and reminiscing about the past. Sometimes we play the mouth organ. Sometimes we do a jigsaw. Often we just stare.
But in these dark winter nights, even a good stare can take it out of us. With around ten minutes of genuine sunlight per day, we find ourselves increasingly keen on simply lying down and closing our eyes. It might sound dull, and frankly it is, but we've not got the energy to do much else so we're stuck with it. Even so, there are ways to get by - and nothing beats a little audio to help pass the time between snoozes. Bing Crosby, or a spot of Radio 4, or that nice Alan Titchmarsh reading a talking book about the plants of Great Britain.
We're lucky enough to live alone in this shed, cuddling only our own legs for comfort and warmth and enjoying the company of dead craneflies, so we can turn the volume up as much as we like. But for those who share their sleeping quarters, headphones are normally the only option for bedtime listening - and that means instant irritation whenever you turn your head as the miniature ear speakers attempt to burrow deep into your skull.
But a solution is upon us. For an industrious team of slumber-based boffins have placed the humble pillow and the handy headphone into a conceptual blender to create the Sound Asleep Pillow. It's essentially a pillow with a speaker inside - allegedly quiet enough to only be heard by the user - which plugs into anything with a headphone jack, costs not very much at all and allows you to drift off with your favourite sounds ringing in your ears. Most important of all, there's some kind of useful fibre inside which means you don't notice the speaker bashing against your head. It's all awfully clever. Now if you'll excuse us, we're off for a nap. Wake us up around March.