Five Beds

I took a tour of the United Kingdom over the Christmas period, and was offered no fewer than five different beds to sleep in. Here’s a little about each of them:

Robin’s Bed

The first bed belonged to Robin, (Ruth‘s little brother) at their mother’s house. Robin wasn’t with us for the entire period that Ruth, JTA and I spent visiting Ruth’s mother, so I was able to annex his bed for much of the time.

Robin, his boss, and his boss's dog turned up in a rental van: "The only vehicle they could get hold of at short notice on Christmas Eve."

While at first it appeared to be just a regular single bed, closer investigation revealed that the entire headboard was hinged, with radial bolts to hold it upright during normal use. Opening these bolts allowed the headboard to tilt forward and lie down on the bed. I have no idea what purpose this mechanism was supposed to serve, but it was very useful for getting my hand down the back to plug my mobile phone charger in to the otherwise-inaccessible sockets behind.

Owen’s Folding Mattress

While Robin and his boss were around, though, I was relegated to the living room floor, and given a folding mattress that Owen (Ruth’s older brother) used to keep in his van as a crash-space. Unfolded and then wrapped in a blanket and sheet for comfort, it didn’t look like much except a quick way to consume floor space.

But damned if it wasn’t the most comfortable thing I slept on all week. I’d jarred my back in some awkward way (probably lugging my enormous suitcase and a stack of presents around the country!), and a low, firm mattress on a hard floor turns out to have been exactly what it needed to speed my recovery.

If this kind of futon looks familiar, then like me you probably used to volunteer somewhere that owned one. This one's a single, which is significantly less-awkward to fold and unfold.

My Mother’s Futon

My next overnight stop was in Preston, visiting my family. My mother keeps a futon in her study, a room barely bigger than the bed when fully deployed, which made getting into and out of the room more than a little challenging, but only marginally less-difficult than re-folding it back into a chair every time.

The futon itself was comfortable enough, but the room was extremely nippy. After a particular cold snap one day, I began taking not one but two hot water bottles to bed, and running an electric heater for an hour or so beforehand. I suppose the main problem was the tiny 4.5-tog “summer” duvet I was using, which I’m sure would have delightful if I were in, say, Egypt. Still: I got to rediscover quite how delightfully opulent it is to get into a bed that’s been freshly warmed by a pair of hot water bottles, which was nice (albeit also necessary).

My Dad’s Bed

When he left Preston to go and finish his final few days with Go North East, he offered me the use of his bed, which – given the temperatures on my mother’s futon – I should have taken.

But I didn’t, so this bed is the bed that wasn’t. Five just seemed like a better number than four for the article title. And no, “five beds” isn’t a metaphor for something (which I feel the need to say after some of the feedback I got to my apparently-too-mysterious earlier post, “Marmite“).

The beds might be cold, but this photo shows a few dozen great things about Christmas at my mother's. When drinking, stop before you get as far back as the cooking oil.

Liz & Simon’s Massage Mattress

I saw the New Year in at Liz and Simon‘s house in Macclesfield, where I was given the choice between the couch and a “massage mattress”. Naturally, I opted for the latter – one doesn’t turn down a strange-looking, vibrating sleeping partner without good cause!

Unfortunately, I never got to try it out! After a copious quantity of alcohol and a handful of other substances, my one-day-only roommate Alex collapsed onto the sofa and fell asleep within seconds. Not wanting to wake him, I left the mattress off and just, y’know, slept on it (how old-fashioned). It was still a great night’s rest after a fantastic party, though.

So there we are – a round-up review of my sleeping arrangements. Apparently I’m in a slightly off-the-wall blogging mood so far this year. Because sleeping on-the-wall… would be weird.

3 replies to Five Beds

  1. Dear me – you are getting soft. I blame that swanky southern place you inhabit where you probably have that new fangled thing called ‘central heating’. Should have taken a dog or two to bed with you, those buggars warm up the place.

    At least you got to sleep INSIDE the house, which is a step higher than your littl(est) sister. Arf arf!

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