At 12.00 noon every day on Signal Hill, a cannon is fired which can be heard all over central Cape Town. Similarly, at regular periods throughout the night a cannon is fired under the duvet in my bed which jerks me rudely from my slumber. As if there were not enough other causes of insomnia after menopause. My husband, gentleman though he is in the daytime, valiantly trying to muffle the unwelcome sounds of his own (ageing) digestive system, is blissfully unaware of the noisy eruptions which escape him during the night - except when they are loud enough to wake him up too - which is not often as he is lucky enough to be pretty deaf, having removed his hearing aids for the night. In all fairness, I have to admit that my own (similarly ageing) system is not innocent, but as I am usually awake I feel justified in asserting that my cannon ball blasts issue forth with as strong a silencer as I am able to muster. What to do? Nothing really. Separate bedrooms? Not a chance. The old man’s such a good stick otherwise and anyway he wouldn’t hear of it. In fact he’s recently taken the step of inserting ear plugs before he goes to sleep so now he’s deaf to the world. Which helps him but not me. I can't wear ear plugs myself - I find the noises inside my head then too deafening to manage to get to sleep. It’s not that bad. I can always get up, watch TV in the other room and catch up with my afternoon nap.