I actually wrote this on Saturday October 1st, but only got round to posting today. I also realise I need to do my recap on Brighton…working on it, I promise.
Sexterruptions & sleep deprivation
After being awake for nearly 29 hours, I can tell that getting to the beach, lying down and knowing there was nowhere I needed to be was the best and greatest feeling of relief my sleep deprived mind could handle.
I’d been awake for so long because I’d gone down to London from Birmingham on Thursday evening for a conference on Friday. Thursday evening was a meetup of my fellow ProductTank organisers. It was great to meet like minded product folk and shares ideas and experiences about running the meetup.
So that night, I got back to my EasyHotel, with its weird airplane plastic walls and orange highlighting, it felt like I was on a plane. I’m not sure if it was a weird psychological thing, but I thought it smelled like a plane as well. Anyway, I got back at a reasonable hour as I knew I needed a decent night’s sleep for a very long day ahead of me.
Imagine my horror when at around 2am, the neighbours to my right started playing incredibly loud reggaeton music (It took me a while to figure it out where it was coming from, it was so loud it felt like it was coming from inside my head and everywhere at the same time). I considered for about a second whether it was ignorable, it wasn’t, I banged on the wall…to no avail. So, there I was 2am, half asleep, put on some clothes, and then went outside to see a few other residents outside their doors, just looking at the offending door. Fine….I’ll be the bad guy then!
I knocked on the door, again to no avail, at which point, I noticed it wasn’t quite closed properly. I imagined, in my half asleep state that I would push it open to see some young folk having a drink/party, music too loud for them to hear me. I then pushed open the door quite violently as I was more awake and getting increasingly more pissed off, ready to give them a telling off…only to see a couple having sex.
This sexterruption was a moment where, we were all three of us, like deer caught in the headlights, the shock held us all in its palm, still and unmoving. I noticed on the floor the offending stereo and briefly contemplated running into the room and grabbing it, but the situation hit me then and intstead, I shouted at them, “TURN IT OFF!”, then escaped very quickly downstairs to the lobby to complain.
When I returned, it was still playing but at a much more reasonable (you could probably sleep through it), although still unreasonable because, you know…ITS A HOTEL AND ITS 2AM! I headed back to bed and shortly after heard the hotel staff coming to tell them off as well. And silence.
So that was the precursor to a very long day which involved going to THE BEST product conference, Mind The Product, hanging out with my product tribe, having some great conversations, drinking LOTS of coffee, learning some really insightful things (my mind is still ringing with it all) and of course, the legendary after party.
I booked a 6am flight, so I didn’t really intend on going back to the hotel. From previous experience, the after party has gone on til the wee hours. The first time I went, I intended on catching the train and going home, but ended up on someone’s couch. Last year, I knew better and got to my hotel around 5ish. This year, I figured I might as well go straight to the airport rather than get a flight later in the day and miss a whole day in Mallorca.
These things always sound great in theory until you are doing it. It wasn’t so bad actually, I only started flagging when I got to Liverpool Street Station a little early and was kindly pointed to an all night diner directly opposite by the security guard (I wish I remembered what it was called). I was rescued by a couple of really entertaining young ladies, Jess and Felicity, who were grabbing a bite after a night out. They needed a place to sit, I had some spare seats on my table…thank goodness for that! They’d obviouly known each other for years and were absolute besties, you could just tell. I wish I’d taken a picture with them and of our feast, they kept me company and in laughs until I had to go catch the Stansted express.
Things that made me smile today #1
So fast forward all the boring airport stuff, trying and not succeeding very well at sleeping on a plane and the poor kid who just hated being strapped in on take off and landing (Alison, if you’re reading this….yes, another one, screamed bloody murder). After a quick freshen up, and a spanish breakfast of coffee and tostada tomate at the cheap as fuck little cafe up the road, off to the beach I went. I was definitely running on pure fumes & bravado by this point.
Almost anything on the beach makes me happy, but sleeping on the beach made me very happy. Followed by reading on the beach, drinking a beer on the beach. Listening to the waves, I just love that sound so much. And that sweet, salty, cleansing air, it really is good for the mind and soul.
Once I had caught a couple of hours sleep and was awake and resting, I was able to observe and appreciate my surroundings and a few little things did make me smile.
Imagining what my face must have looked like when I interrupted the couple having sex, made me smile.
There was an old couple on the beach “playing catch” with a weird little missile thing. She’s a much better throw than him, but not quite as good a catcher, but mainly because his throws go all over the place. I’ve always been a firm believer that as adults, we should retain the simple art of play as we did as children. Not for competition or sport or even exercise (which can be a natural byproduct), but just for the simple pleasure and production of smiles. When they were done with their game of catch, they sat down and played cards. Later on he has a kip on his stomach and she uses him as a back pillow whilst she reads her book. I hope someday I’ve got someone to play catch with, have a quiet game of cards with and use as a back pillow in our latter years. I wanted to go talk to them and ask them who they are and what their throwing thing is called so I could include it in this description, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to go interrupt them. I was a bit hesitant not knowing whether there would be a language barrier and also didn’t want to intrude.
A family having a put together paella brought with them at the beach cafe (which is now closed). They set up some fold up tables and chairs to make a dining table. It was a loud, raucous affair filled with the sounds of conversation, laughter and inquisitive children.
The kids playing with their lovely black and genteel looking labrador, who barks every now and then when they confuse him by burying a ball which he then tries to dig out of the sand, or chase him with their toy dinosaur. Again, I wanted to introduce myself and ask them what they were celebrating, but once again put off by language barrier and the prospect of intrusion.
Must get braver and learn Spanish.