Tag Archives: clout-casting.


Sorry folks, I failed to post the next nailbiting episode. OK, where was I? Oh yes, hubby out of hospital and doing well, all set for our little holiday before Easter. The plan was that we would drive Genius Brat up to Northamptonshire where he was due to go to genius camp, and then continue on for a few miles to the lovely looking (and expensive) hotel I had finally booked online. Only it didn’t quite work out that way. On the day before we were due to go, I was sat (as we say in the Midlands) at our breakfast bar on a stool, when I leaned forward to take a spoonful of Healthy But Not Very Interesting Breakfast, and my lower back totally seized up, causing me to be unable to move from the spot. And I hadn’t done any of the packing yet either.

The upshot was that I spent the next 36 hours laid on one side in a bed of sickness (as it were) while issuing instructions to The Grouch to help him pack GB’s case, then he drove GB up to sunny Northamptonshire on his own and came straight back, while I phoned the hotel and told them we would be a day late. Meanwhile I saw the osteopath who lent me a sort of elastic corset effort with lots of Velcro to support my back. Wearing this, I managed to pack our case and was duly driven to Northants the next day, getting into and out of the car extremely carefully.

In spite of my walking and sitting extremely carefully for the entire four days, Northamptonshire turned out to be a suprisingly good, if unconventional, place to be a tourist. It abounds in stately homes including the very romantic Elizabethan semi-ruin, Kirby Hall, which had been substantially restored in the twenty plus years since I last saw it (and was consequently less romantic but more authentic). There are also lovely gardens: we discovered Coton Manor with its resident talking macaw (he mostly says ‘Good bye’) and its stunning bluebell wood, at  least it would have been stunning if the bluebells had been out yet. The highlight, on our one rainy day, was undoubtedly the Shoe Museum in Northampton’s Town Museum, with shoes dating back to prehistoric times, and shoes in good condition from the 17th century onwards, not to mention a fabulous 20th century collection. I was in shoe heaven, while The Grouch sat and drank coffee and read the paper, not being so much of a shoeaholic.

The hotel was as gorgeous as it had looked online, with surprisingly cheap and good food, and they looked after us like royalty (we were the only guests), giving us a downstairs room so I didn’t have to negotiate stairs, and removing the fluffy mattress topper to make the bed firmer for me. Altogether a very pleasant if brief few days, and GB seems to have had a great time at camp, and was already talking about the next camp on our way home.

So ends the saga of our very unwantedly exciting week before Easter; since then the back has been steadily improving, though I have had to go light on sitting at the computer (hence no blogging) and had a relapse in the middle of the night last week when I tried to get up to go to the loo and found I couldn’t get out of bed without excruciating pain. I think I’m really on the mend now, and hopefully will be blogging a bit more regularly.

In other news, May is out (or possibly in) and I have cast a clout. But I put it on again today cos it was colder.