The room was too hot from an overactive radiator. I opened the window of my Brighton seaside B&B, a pleasure not taken for granted for both the unseasonably warm weather but also the rarity you find that ability in hotels these days, and laid my pregnant body on the bed to rest.
Seagulls screamed and pigeons cooed, and with my eyes closed, I could pretend I was basking in the summer sun enjoying the breeze along a Spanish coastline. It was a welcome reprieve from what had been a long, grey winter.
An Elvis impersonator was singing somewhere close. His music drifting into the room along with the enthusiastic crowd’s encouragement and clapping. His voice, surprisingly spot-on, offered the comfort of being in the midst of happy activity without needing to engage with large groups of people.
I can’t pinpoint why, but in that moment I felt incredibly happy. Maybe it was the festive energy radiating from outside, and my luxurious spot in the sunshine with nowhere to be. Perhaps it was the freedom to pretend this was my life in a city without the commitment to the frantic pace.
All the while, my little baby boy moving and shifting in my belly as I stroked what I thought might be his tiny head, or maybe now, his tiny backside.
Life was pulsing both outside and within me. I gazed out a tiny slice of window, meditating on a strip of blue sky and layers of plaster and building corners visible from my position on the bed. The aroma of peanuts and peppers and smoke from the Thai food and barbecue take-away joints filled the room. My seaside Elvis serenading me with “It’s Now or Never” somewhere nearby.