Woman lying in bed with hand against forehead (c. 1865–1913) by Bramine Hubrecht. Drawing held in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Public domain.

I’m practising platte rust. This is a Flemish-Dutch phrase that sprang to mind the other day. Standard Dutch would call it bedrust, ‘bed rest’. Platte rust literally means ‘flat rest’, a rest while lying down.

I’ve never been one for taking naps. At best, I’ll lie on the couch to read a book or watch TV. Even now, I wouldn’t call it napping. There is no sleep involved. My body just feels as if it can’t stay upright, so I have to take the weight off, take gravity out of the equation for a while.