A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
Room 111. The Clifton Hotel overlooking the English Channel in the seaside town of Folkestone. If you’ve read my blog from early days you know all about this place. Given the news of the demise of Euro it seemed fitting to mention my old haunt this week.
Despite appearances, this is a magical place. What I find curious about this photo in this moment is a personal item. Nothing special. Yet it is. It’s as precious as any possession I have. A hairbrush. Yes a hairbrush. I bought it in a Boots in Victoria Station in 2010. I still use it to this day, Twelve years on.
This photo is from Euro Militaire 2012. This Euro marked a return to a form of normalcy familiar to me. I had attended Euro since 2003 but the collapse of the economy and my marriage in 2008 caused me to miss Euro in ’09 and ’11. By the time Euro Militaire 2012 neared I had ended a relationship in England and moved house to the Costa Brava, Spain. Euro ’12 was the culmination of taking my life back. Liberation and liberty. Free to breath without permission or judgement. When I look at this photo I don’t just see a room. I see the future past. At Euro 2010 I stayed in this room with my ex. It wasn’t the best of Euros. In fact I arrived to Folkestone on the 2nd of September and spent a delightful two weeks in Folkestone before she followed after me. I changed rooms several times due to other guest reservations before landing in room 111.
When I returned to 111 two years later, I found myself thinking about the challenges of being at Euro with such a difficult person. It was the past now. And the future for me was Tank Art books, modelling, and attending every modelling concorso I could as I had essentially missed out on three years of the life I wanted.
And so, the room remains. When I visited in 2021 the room was a bit manky. The hotel manager told me they were about to begin renovating the bedrooms so little maintenance was being done. I must admit the room was falling to bits. Still though, lovely to be there again. Nothing changed. Even my hairbrush.