This time last week I was sleeping on a beach….on purpose you realise, not just homeless or hungover or anything!
It was in Spain, snoozing under a wonderfully hot, china blue sky, occasionally waking to dip into the clear cool diamondly freckled sea.
From our balcony we'd scouted the regimentally placed sun beds, a platoon of blue and white uniformed plastic beneath the matching caps of fringed parasols. Closer to, the choice was to be made…
Would it be a bed on the shoreline, to be buffeted by the cooling sea fret and an unrivalled view of a limitless horizon….the pro's already mentioned….the con's, well… You had to tiptoe between an almost unbroken barrage of sandcastles constantly being repaired and fortified by deceptively deepening moats, as well as snooze with one eye open as the bat and ballers took to the shallows and 'kthunk', kthunked' with amazingly sustained levels of patience….
Or would it be further back, where the breeze had had time to be warmed by the sun, the sand was soft, the beach towels fluffy, unsandy and draped to perfection and the community more like minded in their pursuit of tans and time out….the region of the beach I shall forever rename KindleLand……Ahhhh Bliss!
The cons were outweighed, in fact the con's were unseen or unfelt until midmorning, heading to noon time as the post full English nap time demanded a dip before weighing up the prospect of a light lunch.
The sand soft and yielding, now, bit the tenderest of pedicures with a ferociousness born of Hell, flip flops a flimsy defence, the lava like heat melting skin and a willingness to move…..the sea stretched painfully too far from reach, the cool firm sand a distant sanctuary….all of which heralded the start of the middle-aged dash. You must have seen them, even participated as I did…the top half jigging at twice the rate of the bottom half, skittering from one patch of shade to the next as, in-between, poise and composure evaporates into screechy little embarrassing sounds as you grimace apologetically under your KindleLand neighbours brolly.
One of the highlights for us all holidaying in KindleLand last week was the unfortunate tale of the Stupid Stag.
Way to the back of the beach was a bar, cool and inviting, the stags and hens had pegged the place as a fantabulous place to stake out day and night. The beer was obviously good, the shots vividly coloured and sweet and the music pumping….rousing choruses of clubbers belting out "Sweet Caroline, da, da, daaaaaah….good times never felt so gooooood!!!" brought a smirk to the face whenever they played it 10 times a day.
So it was mid afternoon, and I can only imagine the conversation that had taken place before the event we witnessed, must have gone down something like….
"Haha, go on then Gazza, you're the best man, your turn for a dare and we dare you to put that lasses pink sombrero on your head and run naked down the beach and jump into the sea, ha ha ha ha" Or something along those lines.
And Gazza into his umpteenth pint of the day squished against the shady bar in amongst the relative safety of his peers all egging him on was probably thinking something like… "Yeah yeah leave it up to me lads, you can count on me, the joker of the pack, I'll give you a story to tell all the poor saps back home who had to work this week, yeah ha ha I'll be dining out on this escapade for weeks to come ha ha!"
So stripped and with his sombrero on his head, out he dashes, full pelt down the wooden walkway that stretches halfway down the sand….now, theres a queer moment when you emerge from the shadows into bright sunlight, you cannot see a thing till your eyes adjust and that little pink man was to enjoy that short moment of sun blindness as he heehawed his way towards the sea…..
…..a great roar of "Go on Gazza!!!" erupted from the bar interrupting us KindleLanders mauray into the latest Stephen Kings and Martina Coles and as one we turned to see the galloping white body with a pink sombrero on his head, looking like a pimple, first skips onto the white hot melting glass sand…..we, like a flock of meercats raised ourselves to seating position as his feet and eyes smacked him right back into daytime reality…."Ha ha" turned to "AAAAAHHHH, AAAAHHHH!" and his mates laughed even louder….
Now its amazing how much body language you can read from a person uncovered, as theres so much more to read, and his wistful look back at his gurning mates and the realisation that a beachful of gleeful meercats were enraptured by his burgeouning pain gave him pause for 'about blinkin' time' thought.
To go back was wussy, to plough on now an almost medical emergency as his little tootsies were burning bright and torturous. He lowered his sombrero to cover his nether regions and dashed on, falling sombrero first into the sea. He emerged sober…..Ive never seen such a painful expression as that sobriety as the lifeguard rushed from his highchair shouting and whistling at the 'eejit' clutching that drippy pink sombrero.
Us meercats were all on our feet watching the spectacle as befits people of our age with no kids to protect from the lewd goings on. Pulling some shorts from his backpack the lifeguard made him dress then hustled him red faced off the beach.
Mother opened an eye on hearing the collective creak as the meercats settled back down to e-read, "Whats happened, Trace, what you looking at?" "Oh, nothing really Mam, just admiring the sandcastles" She'd have been gutted to have missed that.
Looking back I realised I strayed far from the point I was going to make……well I'll just make it a link instead.
Insomnia study published 7th June 2014
Slow-wave sleep improved with hypnosis, study suggests