I am running away to the National Library to read one of my MSS, so today's post will be short. And it is a paeon to the Single Bed, which is not terrifically original, as there is one in my book, as you will see.
When you are Single it is very, very important to have a nice, comfortable bed. Since you don't get to share it with anyone, it can get a bit lonely unless you make it just perfect for your own sleeping needs. When as a Single woman I had a bed that was too big, too cold and too clammy, it made the loneliness seem all the more acute.
Therefore, the bed I loved best was a single bed, meaning a nice narrow bed with a semi-firm mattress. Single beds are no-nonsense. They are made for Single people. They don't expect you to have a bedmate. They expect you to snuggle in, switch on a lamp, and have a cozy read before saying your prayers and drifting off into chaste slumber. Their mattresses say, "Never mind futons. They're for crazy college kids. You're beyond all that now."
My ideal single bed has clean, lavender-smelling sheets, wool blankets and a comfy comforter. I write in my book about the potential horrors of having to give up sheets and blankets for a European spouse's duvet. It's all true. I'm condemned to duvets for the duration of my marriage, except when home in Canada where my mother doesn't put up with such nonsense.
If a single bed isn't warm enough on its own, I absolutely require either a hot water bottle or woolly socks. The problem with hot water bottles is that after awhile, the joins weaken and they begin to leak. So I recommend buying only the finest quality water bottle. If your feet are cold, you begin to think about other people's legs and how nice it would be to warm your feet on them. And this leads to either impure thoughts, gnawing the blankets in frustration, or both. In the absence of a hot water bottle, bed socks are an aid to chastity
My ideal single bed also features pillows both firm and squish and perhaps a totemistic stuffed animal. The most important stuffed animal of my Single life was a brown teddy bear named Edward Sebastian, christened after the two most influential crush objects of my childhood: H.R.H. The Prince Edward and Anthony Andrews as Sebastian in Brideshead Revisited. There was also a giant blue whale until he sagged and leaked beans. Dear me, how I loved that whale. Anyway, although I enjoyed having a whole regiment of woolly toys on my bed when I was a child, as a teenager I got tired of them hogging all the room.
The ideal single bed also has a lamp and a bookshelf within easy reach. The bookshelf should have room for a tissue box, for there are few ordinary evening things worse than having to get out of bed to blow one's nose.
Then there should be a crucifix or holy picture over the bed. This is in case one dies in the night. If one is found, one wants to be found picturesquely under a crucifix or holy picture, hands folded peacefully on one's bosom. I imagine there are other reasons for wanting to sleep under a crucifix or holy picture. Possibly it is because when we are asleep we are vulnerable, and we hope the crucifix or holy picture will scare away evil influences. And then there is the symbolism (and therefore psychology) of prostrating oneself at the foot of the cross for at least 8 hours a night.
Now, what does your ideal Single person bed look like? What do you need to get a good night's refreshing sleep?