Les nuits blanches

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Looks like another sleepless night, then… Velux blind

So, here we are again then: 3.53am. 

I’m often up at this time these days – another delightful effect of menopause. It’s probably five or six years at least since I got more than five hours a night, but when it gets down to two or three, then it really begins to bite.

From long experience, however, I now know better than to lie in bed hoping that I’ll finally get comfortable, or stop sweating like a pig, or that the cats will magically move over and give me some room. Instead, the best thing to do is get up, make a cup of camomile tea and do something quiet for an hour or so.

One reason I’m awake tonight is that the new Velux blind still hasn’t arrived, and the bedroom is flooded with moonlight, although there is only a half-moon. We switched the bedroom around this winter in order to be against the south wall rather than the north one, in the hopes of it being marginally warmer. Indeed it is, but we’re now lying in bed staring directly at the Velux.

But of course, ordering the blind was the usual comedy of errors. I first went onto Velux’s UK site, so that I could search in English, and quickly found the blind I wanted – the red and pink floral number shown above, which diffuses light, but should be dark enough to block out enough light so’s I don’t wake up at night, now the nights are getting shorter. Cost? £93. 

Then I went onto the Velux French site to actually order. But roller blinds on the French site are available only in plain white, cream, taupe and navy. That’s it. No other colours, and no patterns. Contrast this with the 37 different colours and patterns on the UK site. Also contrast the price: 130 euros – not exactly a fair exchange rate. 

This, sadly, seems par for the course in France – in many instances, there is massively less choice and things cost far more for no apparent reason (it’s cheaper, for instance, to order French fabric from the US and pay for delivery than it is to buy it in France). On the French Velux site, one is pushed towards a two-layer blind, half blackout, half pleated, which costs a packet and isn’t what I want anyway.

Oh la. So, I emailed Velux.co.uk and asked if they could deliver to France, and the answer was, of course, no. Very helpful. By this time infuriated, I therefore went onto a totally different blinds site, Blinds2Go, found what I wanted and ordered it from there for a cost of £61. So Velux, you’ve lost the sale, you silly arses. Even with the cost of courier-ing it to France, it still works out cheaper than buying from Velux direct, and they despatched it the same day.

And hopefully, when it arrives, I might have a bit more chance of making it through the night. For now, I console myself with Sara Sant’Ambrogio’s masterly renditions of Bach’s cello suites, and Bembo’s paws on my computer, feeling for the music. 

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