Beds of 2017
In 2017 I slept in a total of 79 different beds. I just went back through my calendar and counted them. One night I didn't go to sleep, so I didn't include that. This photo project documents some of those beds with a single, unplanned shot and a little background insight.
If you're into the pictures, check out my Instagram feed for more.
The brown couch, the sofa-bed at Seb's, this furniture monstrosity has a certain 'propped up by a keyboard case', '30° angle', 'slides away when you sit on it' sensibility and belongs in a rock 'n' roll hall of fame somewhere.
Though not fit for purpose since its arrival four or five years ago, @sebobysebo loves it and virtually every great band passing through London in that time has slept on it. It's also been generously offered to every member of the Elephant Riders team, frequently helping us through tricky times.
Sometimes I'll politely refuse and take the concrete floor instead, but the unrelenting loyalty, love and support that Sebby gives is unique and invaluable to me. Here is a glorious picture of him preparing the infamous sofa-bed in Mid-November.
I had this one printed and framed for all @elephant_riders as a Christmas gift. They get it.
Second in the series is this cracker from Oslo in early December.
@mattcoxonline and @ine.elisabeth (Wonderful hosts, especially given we'd invited ourselves to visit them) inflated an airbed that filled the entire living room, causing confusion and outright disgust among feline residents Harold and Madge.
Worth noting that I slept better on this bed than any other bed in the previous six months or more, even with giant cat eyes wishing death upon me.
A state owned, barely furbished, bungalow cabin/hostel in a one road town at the foot of two mountains in South Eastern Poland with nobody on front desk, no visible cleaning, a single shared bathroom subject to flagrant floor pissing and the kind of mystery smell that hangs in the air and cloaks your hair and skin, so that two days after you've left, it's still all you can smell. Part three of Beds of 2017 brings us to Kremenaros in Ustrzyki Górne, mid-August.
I lay on this wafer thin mattress listening to big rain hitting sodden soil outside, knowing that every other cabin in the area was fully booked and wondering how far the front seats in the car would recline. We left at 5am the following morning and climbed two peaks.
The drive from Brighton to Oxford was easy. We were deep into the Matthew E. White tour so the Oxford show that night was no sweat. At 10pm we finished, frantically loaded out and drove to Liverpool ferry terminal for the 2am crossing to Dublin. Potentially tricky but the excellent company made it fly by. Then we boarded the ferry.
Bedouine opened the door to her cabin and sighed, "So this is where I die"
Beds of 2017 number four comes from Cabin 18, on the Irish Sea, where bleach befriends decades of seasickness and sheets are laundered to sandpaper. Seven years ago I did this crossing with Darwin Deez and we slept on the floor by the canteen, so I say nothing and have a go at gratitude.
Unwilling to pay the fee for the 'guided' wild animal tours of the Białowieża forest, @igasiemiga and I decided to go rogue. We booked a cabin on the North West corner of the reservation, near Janowo and mapped a nine hour trail along the north perimeter.
Outside the Białowieska Polana cabin there was a low wall topped with a neat line of heavily burnt toast, a miniature barbecue, a half-mowed lawn and a high volume dog. It turned out our room was actually just the corner of someone's attic and outside our door a man sat drinking summer fruits cider from the can and staring downwards, not once looking up or acknowledging our presence. Vibey.
Volume five of Beds of 2017 was there, in early August. We set an alarm for 4am so as to avoid seeing anyone as we left and in the hope of seeing some wild bison, bears, deer, boar etc. on our hike. When the alarm went off I researched what to do if you meet wild animals in the woods. One hour later I forgot.
The bed was fine.
We lived for almost six months with this bed, fully disassembled and stacked under the combined sofa/bed/dining chair and around the edges of the room, like a real life walls-closing-in horror scene, because it was free and we hoped to one day live somewhere bigger than a closet.
The sixth and final bed of Beds of 2017 is this bed, fully assembled and East facing in our new Poznan apartment, mid-October. I was born patient.
BONUS SHOT: Nothing at all of note about this bed from our Katowice hotel on the Vök tour, but I'm pretty sure that William Shakespeare didn't say that.