Our first night in Dartmouth, we were kept awake by the sounds of squabbling, squeaking, shrieking. We thought pigs were being slaughtered, or children were being murdered, and we started and sweated at every cry. There were squeals and sussurations and rasps, gurgles and drawn out screams. We thought these were revels in celebration of the Queen's Jubilee, but we were wrong. They were seagulls nesting.
Our second night in Dartmouth, we were kept awake by the sounds of yells and fizzes and hisses and wails. We thought the French had arrived to pillage these shores after the centuries, and we lay in our bed scarcely moving. There were blares and howls and a clamour of demons, and we thought these were those seagulls again, but we were wrong. There was a party next door, and they kept it up till the early hours until they woke the seagulls.
Our last night in Dartmouth, we were kept awake by sounds of rasping, moaning and a low roaring. We thought the revellers were hungover and suffering from their gambols. There were coughs and hisses and sibilant noises, and we yelled, 'Quiet, dammit.' There were puffs and whistles and we thought they were the wind through the eaves, but we were wrong. The boy had a bad cold and his nose was besieged and he could barely breathe, and he sniffed and snored and tossed and turned till the sun came up and woke the seagulls again.