Sleepy Consolation

I’ve never been good at getting a good night’s sleep. It’s a cliché I know, but it really does apply to me: when I have to get up for work it’s a real struggle and then on weekends I seem to be unable to sleep past 7.30am… Well yesterday my body-clock decided to mix things up a bit.

I had a weird dream that my Dad and I were having a meal here in Brazil, but the chef was slightly posh and English (as is my Dad). The chef came over to ask how the food was and my Dad proceeded to detail all the ways in which it was sub-standard (this is quite realistic). An excruciatingly awkward silence descended on the restaurant after my father had delivered his verdict and at this point the social anxiety got to much for me  and I woke up with palpitations (you can tell I’m English right?).

Not exactly a life-changing trauma, but as I recovered I realised that I was now fully awake and it didn’t feel like I would get back to sleep. A glance at the clock told me it was just after 6am – a glance out of the window suggested it might be worth grabbing the camera!

How am I meant to go back to bed with this outside my window? In the centre of the frame you should just be able to make out an aeroplane on its approach to Santos Dumont Airport. (Herb fans will notice that the Oregano in the window-box is doing rather well)


I decided that now I was up I’d make some coffee, grab my camera and take a few snaps. I also put some laundry in the washing machine and felt the smug glow of someone who knows they have achieved several things before 7am – this was a novel experience for me…

We have a great view of the flightpath of planes as they come in to land at the airport in Guanabara Bay. And I’ve always wanted to catch this next shot – one of Rio’s most iconic landmarks, Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain), a plane bringing tourists and business people into the city, and a favela housing some of Rio’s poorest residents.

Plane and Pão de Açucar

A TAM jet straightening in front of the Sugarloaf. When I first saw the planes making their approach, I thought they were flying under the cables of the cable-car! Don't worry, they're not - it's just foreshortening and me having an over-active imagination!


When I say “a great view”, I mean a great view until just before they land – then there is a big ugly building in the way.

Planes and Cruise Ship

Two very different ways to arrive in Rio! As the plane is seconds away from touch-down, a massive cruise ship makes a more sedate entrance through the morning mist.


So these were my morning photos. I’ll file this post under ‘Musings’ (my euphemism for general waffle) though perhaps it could be viewed as Something To Do in Rio: wake up really early and watch the sunrise from somewhere with a good view. Alternatively you could just stay up all night partying…

I’ll leave you with a little ‘multiplicity’ shot of a plane as it makes its way over the bay.

Jet Multiplicity

Either air-traffic control had too much coffee this morning, or this is me messing about with four photos and Photoshop.

7 replies
  1. Richard Le Mesurier
    Richard Le Mesurier says:

    Hi Tom,
    Congratulations on the move to eatrio,net – really cool site.

    Not sure whether to apologize for being the cause of your gastro-cultural nightmare or congratulate you on the subsequent creativity; probably both. Terrific photos!

    Sunrise is a magic time because a) we don’t see them too often unless we live VERY far north or very far south, have a menial job or have to travel far to get to work or just have far too much work to do, b) because there are generally fewer people about, c) you are fresh after a night’s sleep so probably all the more appreciative and in your case creative and finally d) the experience is often accompanied by a sense of achievement not normally associated with that easy lay, the sunset.

    Sleep well in Rio tonight – after eating well of course 🙂 XX Dad

  2. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    Do you ever dream that you are back home talking to your friends as if you haven’t spoken to them in a long time and thinking of a place like a restaurant, bar, fair–whatever is familiar and dear– to visit and continue this very happy moment that you’re sharing with all these people, and then, suddenly, you wake up?
    I hate those dreams.

  3. tomlemes
    tomlemes says:

    You sound like someone who wants to go home Gritty!

    For me, the worst dreams are when I’ve had a little too much to drink the night before. At around 5 in the morning I start to get seriously thirsty and then I have dreams of ice cold glasses of orange juice. I am convinced it is there waiting for me on the bedside table, I can almost taste it. It’s really very disappointing to wake up and find nothing but a dusty book…

    Luckily I don’t get these so much anymore because I have learned to place a big glass of water next to bed before I go to sleep (=drinking pro!).

  4. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    Humn, in the language of dreams your orange juice equals my plane ticket.

    Funny how in a post about waking up early due to a disturbing dream you still manage to insert an update concerning the herb garden. Now *that* is English 🙂

  5. tomlemes
    tomlemes says:

    I imagine a legion of readers saying “OK fine, so you got up early and took some photos. But how is the basil coming along?!” – I gotta give the (imaginary) people what they want!


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