Well. October happened.
But before October, there was September and that month was filled with travel and adventure.
Sometime over the summer, Tessa and I decided we'd be joining a few other YA writers on a retreat in the wilds of the French countryside. However, we seem incapable of hopping the pond without also stopping in the UK, so the trip quickly morphed into a two-week, two-country extravaganza. And it was brilliant.
In England alone, we met editors, agents, writers, bloggers, and family members. We rode the London Eye (after multiple trips to England, it was high time we knocked that one off our list), visited the Rosetta stone, got gouged by the Tube, walked miles and miles and miles, had a pint at The Anchor (which boasts many a debaucherous night with Charles Dickens), happened upon Douglas Adams' grave (as well as many cats), and more.
But it's the hotel room I really want to talk about. The sink inside it, to be more precise.
You see, I'm convinced it was a practical joke. It was not meant to be used by anyone sporting a head.
It's worth noting that Tessa and I have traveled together a lot. Not to and from Mississippi to visit my family, but all over Japan, Bali, and Europe. We backpacked through eight countries when we were sophomores in college. We're practiced travelers. We've managed crises in countries where neither of us spoke the language and returned with all our limbs in tact.
And England defeated us with a sink.
The bathroom in this establishment had clearly been a closet once upon a time, but as space is at a premium in London, it was converted into a bathroom with a toilet crammed in one end and a shower stall in the other. In the middle was a sink no wider than a loaf of bread and no longer than the same. It was petite. Adorable even, and smart given the restraints of the room.
Clever, I thought, to make a sink small enough that the door can still close!
I was so charmed by it's size, that it didn't occur to me that the shelf above the sink, of approximately the same dimensions, would be a problem.
Until I brushed my teeth and leaning down to spit found only the shelf and not the sink staring back at me.
I stopped. Considered. Bent my knees to see if it would be possible to hit the sink from a shorter height. (It is not). Then, I tried to squish my head between the shelf and the sink and be very careful with my aim. This....was only partly successful.
The floor got messy. I got messy. Tessa giggled. I giggled. I looked for some explanation. Some clue that I was doing it wrong, that in my travels, I'd forgotten how to sink. But no. This was THE sink. There was no way to push the shelf out of the way, flip it up or down. Clearly, I was supposed to be capable of using this travesty of a sink.
I eventually gave up. A shower works just as well as a sink and one of our precious towels had already been sacrificed to this great international practical joke.
And every single time I or Tessa went to use the sink, we had to relive the humiliation ALL OVER AGAIN. Half of the time, we knocked our heads against the shelf before remembering. Then there was the half-blind swivel between the sink and shower as we tried to wash our faces - that was an entirely different sort of crazy. Four days we were there and we left feeling relieved and confused.
Thankfully, our apartment in Paris greeted us with not one, but TWO unchallenging sinks.
I still don't understand how that happened. It was more a gesture at a sink than a sink. I wish I had a picture to share. Alas, I was laughing too hard to snap one.
Well played, England. Well played.