When Australia was founded as a penal colony by the First Fleet in 1788, little did the motherland know that a lasting punishment for those in chains was the prospect of their distant progeny (or, as in my case, those married to them) having to endure sleep deprivation to watch major sporting events far, far away.
I have tried to catch as much as I can of Euro 2012 live from my armchair in Sydney, but after a week I had to be more discerning about which games to wake up for. Punishing kick-off times of 2am and 4.45am ultimately did me in and thus the likes of Greece vs. Czech Republic and Croatia vs. Ireland were cruelly jettisoned in my Setanta online scheduling. The experience has confirmed to me that I’m not ready for parenthood – though I find it hard to believe that changing nappies in the wee small hours isn’t more enjoyable than watching Ireland park the combine harvester.
Yesterday I hit my tiredness peak. A weekend of staying up late (F1 qually and GP) and getting up early (Euro 2012), on top of the midweek coverage, really caught up with me. I’ve never been able to nap during the day so there wasn’t much sleep to be had. Then someone told me about the unfortunate case of the Chinese man who died after staying up 11 nights to watch the Euros, admittedly in a booze and smoke-filled environment. To survive future events I now know I need a stratagem.
A couple of years ago, The Guardian published a guide on how to watch the 2010/2011 Ashes down under. Sensible advice included eating plenty of protein and not binge sleeping to make up for time spent awake. But watching five days (nights) of cricket straight off the bat is still not recommended.
I have short-term tactics to deal with both Wimbledon (I don’t care) and the London Olympics (go to London). Neither of these solutions will work next year during the Ashes, nor during next month’s Tour de France which, after years of resisting, I plan to take up the advice from those I trust and actually get in to (not just because Bradders is favourite).
Protein shakes and vitamin supplements, here I come!