Instead of an irritating buzzing sound going off in my ear, the sunshine and fresh air coming through the windows of the beach hut greeted us and reminded everyone that there was no early morning London commute to deal with.
After climbing out of bed feeling rather refreshed, I gathered my bearings, chucked on some shorts and a vest, and joined the other early morning risers outside for breakfast. No-one had looked at the time, there was no need to when you have a beach hut, the sea, and nowhere urgent to be. The locals go by their day to day business with no urgency, and this is how our day would be spent.
With the recent Ashes taking place, some of the group went for a walk to try and grab a tiny bit of signal and check the scores. For those who stayed back, we decided to create our own Portland Ashes contest with a cricket bat and ball, a chair as a stump, and two teams.
My team narrowly lost, just like the fate of the cricket ball in a nearby hedge.
When the rest of the group had come back with the scores (England were leading), we changed into our swimwear, grabbed the portable speakers, and headed to the beach. Jack has been coming to Portland since he was a small child, and knows the island off the back of his hand. Over the years he has shown us the different beaches and caves the island has to offer, as well as the perfect suntraps for tanning.
We wandered along the cliff-edge saying hello to the locals and morning-walkers, before dropping down to the pebble beach.
Not without noticing the large fossil that had found its place in the rock on our route down.
Swimwear from Bershka.
Some of the guys decided to boost their testosterone and throw a few rocks into the sea, whilst the rest of us laid back and enjoyed the sunshine, before jumping into the sea to cool down!
The sea was a perfect temperature to swim in. You would imagine the English Channel to be cold and uninviting, but once you were in you didn't want to get out. With the water clear enough to see what wildlife was below us, we swam out to the rocks and found ledges to stand on.
Some of the group were more daring than others, swimming out far to take in the shoreline, whilst the rest stayed back and explored the nearby caves. We watched the sun move from east to west along the skyline, diving in and out of the sea exploring the hidden places Portland had to offer.
Once we returned from our aquatic adventure, we sunbathed until we were dry, then grabbed our belongings and headed back up to the beach huts.
Sun-kissed, refreshed and a little hungry, we grabbed the disposable BBQ's and prepped the food for that evenings dinner. We had brought every piece of BBQ food you can imagine with us for the feast. Burgers, sausages, kebabs, chicken, steaks, and all the sides to feed an army. This was the perfect dinner for the hungry swimmers.
However, we didn't get a chance to taste the majority of the food. We quickly found out that Tesco disposable BBQ's are not the greatest, with all 6 of them not heating up properly. Moving them to less-windy spots didn't ignite them either. We persevered with the remaining Asda BBQ's for a couple of burgers and sausages, but in the end it was a quick dash to the local Chinese that saved our stomachs.
As the evening cooled down and the sun began to set, we made our way back down to the beach for a bonfire night. This is part of the traditions we have kept going over the years, and were sure to keep it alive this time. We would go get some wood from a local yard, and build a fire on the cliff edge, ready for the evening.
Walking down to the bonfire, it felt like we had transported ourselves back to 2007 again. Time had frozen on Portland and the island remained the same, but our lives had moved forwards. It is a great feeling to know that everyone around you are still as close as we were back then.
The opposite feeling was knowing that your flip flops could fall off at any moment when you are sat on the cliff edge, with the sea lashing against the rocks below you.
With a full moon above us and the stars gazing away, the fire was lit and everyone gathered around for warmth. Keeping with tradition, Tim started the singalong for everyone to join in with. Ranging from old school classics to this years latest songs, it was perfect for everyone to showcased their improved singing skills over the years, or lack of!
As the night went on into the early hours the sing-song quietened, everyone grabbed their blankets and found spots to stargaze. Being away from the big smokey city of London meant that the sky was crystal clear, letting us point out the different consolations and a few shooting stars dashing across the black sky.
Slowly, the fire died down, leaving just the embers and a group of very tipsy friend stargazing into the night sky. The perfect end to a great day.