Monday, February 2

Sleeping with your eyes open

A friend’s birthday this weekend saw me holed up in an idyllic and remote 17th century Welsh cottage/farmhouse.

As the pictures demonstrate, wood panelling and stone-flagged floor were in abundance – as was a massive open fire, which promptly became the focus of the weekends activities. The first evening was spent mainly in the enormous dining room as our eagerness to ‘play with the fire’ resulted in us utterly flooding the lounge with smoke. A note to all fire neophytes – DO NOT place more than three logs at once on an old open fire. You are inviting the firebrigade otherwise.

The most exciting part of the weekend I think, excepting the new found ‘cow-racing’ game on the Weeeeeee, was by sojourn in the most beautiful four poster bed i have ever had the opportunity to sleep in. It is/was ENORMOUS, an Empress I am guessing.. but I can never remember the names for bed sizes above King so I can’t be sure.

I was devastated to discover that I would not be inhibiting the double bed room – it was rightly reserved for the birthday boy and his wife. However, being the hippy-esque couple they are, at 3am in the morning as we all staggered into our respective rooms, Matthew kindly offered to allow me the opportunity to pass the night in the Wonder-bed. (No smutty thoughts please – we are all grown ups here...)

After an appropriate period of refusals with thanks, I gleefully relented and jumped in excitedly next to Claire.

Now ordinarily (that is in circumstances where one hasn’t imbibed several bottles of wine and glasses of port) the incident would have ended here. But naturally being drunk, I had to push my luck. As Matt turned out the lights and all went quiet, I began to moan loudly that things were not as they should be. That much as i appreciated the offer of spending the night in the Empress Four Poster and fantastically many-beamed room – there was simply no point in me being in it – if the room was so dark, I wasn’t aware I was indeed IN IT!

Matt – being of a most patient and quick-witted nature, and perhaps knowing that if he didn’t act quickly, I could continue in the same vein for hours, jumped out of the bed and rummaged through his rucsack.

Within moments a hend-held torch was on my bed-side table. Matt upended it and turned on the beam to reveal the full splendour of the old beams and tapestried bed roof.
To his question of whether this was ok – I could now go to sleep happily aware that I was in the Wonder-Room - I relied enthusiastically... that it was now perfect, my dream-bed experience was just as it should be.

I am sure the beam of light spent many an hour marvelling at the glint of the mahogany in the evening light. Shame that I could not enjoin as I have yet to discover how to sleep with my eyes open, indeed I was asleep before Matt returned to his side of the bed.