Woman on Top

When I was a child, I begged my parents to get me a bunk bed. I remember we bought one second-hand and I was so excited to sleep on the top bunk. It was high up in the sky, far away from the real world. My own little personal sanctuary.

I’ve been on top three times this week. As a woman in her mid-thirties, this should definitely mean sex. But no. I’m still talking about bloody bunk beds.

Having run out of money, I could no longer afford the privacy of having my own little en-suite hotel room in Turnham Green, and had to go for the cheaper option: hostels.

“You can have a good meal, you can do whatever you feel,” sang The Village People in 1978, back in the year I was born (I think it’s a myth to be honest, much like The National Express, which certainly doesn’t sell crisps or tea). I’ve never been particularly fond of hostels. When I was travelling the States in 2011, I stayed in a few hostels but did more Couchsurfing, which is an organisation that links travellers with those who have a couch, bed or even floor spare. Couchsurfing is a cheaper option, with it being free, although the idea is that there is a mutual cultural exchange. I met some of my very good friends while Couchsurfing, one of whom lives right opposite the beach in Santa Monica. Find me a hostel in the same location and I’d take the Couchsurfing every time, because at least you don’t have to climb a ladder to get to bed.

I fell out of a bunk bed once, when I was a little girl. I was staying at a family friends’ house with my parents and brother, and in the middle of the night they all came running to see what the loud thumping noise was. It was me having fallen out of the top bunk, yet still fast asleep on the floor.

Life can drop us from a great height sometimes. Occasionally, we won’t feel a thing, and life will carry on regardless. In other circumstances we will end up bruised, and have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and put preventative measures to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen in future. My parent’s friends swiftly fitted a bar on the top bunk, and I quite happily went back to sleeping on top, while they slept a bit easier knowing it was now a no drop zone.

Climbing in and out of bunk beds at the age of 35 has been an interesting experience. Ive stayed in three different hostels this week and I’ve been quite lucky in that my fellow sharers have been fairly considerate. Although last night they left the light on all night, and being on the top bunk it was quite close to me and very bright, which led for a shit night’s sleep, hence the 6am blog.

I’m looking forward to getting away from the bunk beds, which were perfect when I was a child, but definitely something I have outgrown. I need my own bed, double-sized so that I can starfish or have my choice of sides. And somewhere I definitely won’t mind being on top.

YMCA – The Village People (1978)


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