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.

westering sun

Evening light, Beaumaris (c. 1925) by Clarice Beckett. Painting held in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Public domain.

I’ve been reading a couple more Garry Disher books this summer: Day’s End and The Way it is Now. I enjoy Disher’s books because, although they are relatively light reading, the author paints beautiful images and depicts recognisable humans. Occasionally, he uses words I haven’t heard or read before.

Like the verb ‘to wester’, for example in ‘the westering sun’. It can not only be used for the sun travelling west and the wind blowing more strongly from the west but also for people who move westward.