Like thousands of others I have tinnitus and it seems to be getting worse as I grow older. I'm most conscious of it at night, probably because, in this neck of the woods, silence reigns between midnight and dawn (apart from the occasional cacophonous outburst from our local gulls which would drown the racket made by any number of testosterone-fuelled town centre teenage drunks).
I've devised a little trick to help me get to sleep. I noticed that the pitch of the noise in my head is much the same as that made by the millions of insects which start singing in all the world's tropical zones every evening from dusk until first light. When I go to bed I simply convince myself that I've returned to my African childhood and I manage to drop off almost at once.
There is, however, an unexpected side effect. Every morning when I wake up I automatically shake out my shoes in case some peripatetic scorpion has made one of them its temporary overnight lodging-house. And the other day I managed, for a moment, to convince myself that the black dressing-gown belt in the middle of my bedroom floor was, in fact, a cobra and I'd plotted my escape through the window before reality set in!