Monthly Archives: February 2006

Even more good news

The night at the Travelodge was far from lonely and deliciously decadent. I went to bed at 8pm with my book in my hand and the telly on…. and I missed the children, ooooh, about this much: || I’ll omit mentioning the bath as I don’t want to dampen my memory of the evening. I’ll also carefully omit the ever-so-healthy choice of meal at the Little Chef.. and my response to the waitress’s enquiry as to whether I wanted the “ordinary bog-standard hot chocolate” or the “Special calorific thick and chocolatey hot chocolate with lashings of cream and a chocolate flake”. And to continue the decadence, I opted for breakfast in bed.

Did you know you don’t have to vacate your room in a Travelodge until midday? Guess what time I finally decided to get up! 😀

More good news

The meet at Morley was wonderful and I was disappointed to have to leave early. Good company, loads to do, and peace and quite during the day when I could actually withdraw and get on with my studying. Two whole essays written! Thanks be to God!!! We played croquet, which was wonderful fun, especially when my team won. Cheat? Us? Surely not! It is a game which caters totally for my sadistic streak, although the croquet lawn itself posed a bit of a challenge. Naturally I wore a bustle – you have to have a bustle if you’re playing croquet. Fortunately I have one that’s inbuilt 😀

God certainly had his eye on me. I took with me a book that I was given at Christmas called Donkeys Still Talk which I read while I was away and it has totally refreshed me and built me up in an amazing way. Highly recommended. On the spa bookshelf there was a book about Grace which I bought to read, and amazingly at Morley, in their tiny bookshop, was THE book on a subject that I’d never seen a book written about before – a Christian approach to caring for an elderly parent through terminal illness and caring for children at the same time. Who would have thunk it? A book written just for me! And to top it all, as I settled down to bed feeling tearful, having had a good talk with a good friend, I looked up at the wall and saw a piece of calligraphy framed alongside the bed. “Let your tears flow. They wash the soul”. Just precisely what I needed to read at that moment… and sure enough, a good cry was just what I needed.

I managed to do my very first training walk too. Impressed? It was a good twelve miles and I felt quite refreshed by the end of it, though desperate for coffee and a chocolate biscuit. OK, so which killjoy was it who said it would have been twelve miles if we’d walked it twelve times?

Scroll up to go back in time….

The good news

Working backward.

We had a good journey home. It was lovely to see the Smudgelets again and to see them running towards me, arms open and faces beaming, and I’d swear they’d grown! They were so well behaved for my sister that she’s offered to have them again, whenever I want. Wonder how long she’ll hold to that offer 😉 We had a lovely time at the garden centre where we met, culminating in my sister and brother in law buying the most wonderful antique chest for the space in their living room where the piano used to stand.

Scroll up to move back in time 😀

The bad news

I have decided to post the bad news first, so that I can go to bed remembering the good news only 😉

Mind you, one bit of good news is that we caught the 7.50 ferry and I made it to the health spa having missed only 20 minutes of my first day. Not too bad at all. And so far the only missing items from the Smudgelets’ belongings seem to be the cameras which they successfully left in Ferijen’s car. Typical.

Remember the story of the princess and the pea? Well, in the luxurious mattressy heaven of two days at a health spa it wasn’t a pea that got me, it was a fish bone. Why do I always fall foul of fish bones? The meal was so scrumptious – so utterly scrumptious. I mean, I’d rather the carrots had been a little more cooked – too many vitamins still in them for my liking – but when I felt something hard against my tongue I decided it was just a bit of al dente carrot as the seabass had been so lovingly prepared that there couldn’t possibly have been a bone in it. There couldn’t possibly. Surely? And besides, the apple strudel seemed to push it down if there was anything in my throat. Didn’t it? Oh no, it didn’t. Cue rapid exit from the dining room, leaving my coffee steaming by the side of my abandoned plate. I couldn’t find the toilets in the main part of the building at all and certainly wasn’t in a position to enquire without depositing the entire contents of my meal on the pristine plush carpet, so it was a mad dash along the corridor and up the stairs to my room. Blooming key cards, how on earth do you get those doors open in an emergency? But I made it… well, at least as far as the waste paper bin! And the manager did send up a massive bottle of beautiful mineral water with the cleaner who came to rectify the damage. It decided me on whether I wanted another swim before bed or not… but sadly it’s left me with a rather scratched back of the throat.

At the travelodge the next evening I was racking my brain to remember what it was I didn’t like about having a bath in the en suites in travelodges. I thought it was that there was insufficient hot water, but when I turned the tap on the temperature was absolutely perfect. I filled the bath and decided to pretend I was still at the spa by adding a dollop of the very expensive bubble bath I had purchased there. The room filled with a delightful aroma as the bubbles accumulated on the surface of the deliciously warm water. I stepped daintily in… and suddenly remembered WHY I hated travelodge ensuites. Sitting in the bath, I found myself folded up like a tree frog – legs crossed, arms pinned by my sides and my head bent forward to contemplate my navel as the bath was woefully too short…. and sitting in water which came only half way up my body as it was only half as deep as a normal bath. Wedged in amongst the bubbles, I suddenly remembered another drawback of these miniscule baths – the plug was miniscule too, but the plughole somehow wasn’t. So the sound of running water wasn’t the overflow, it was the main plughole… the water was simply running away down the drain. So within minutes I found myself in a tiny puddle of water, wedged in the bath, frozen, and up to my eyeballs in very expensive bubbles. Bliss!

The Church of Fools meet at Morley was fantastic and I loved almost every minute. Shame I need my sleep really. And shame my bedroom was right directly above the communal room and bar. And shame everybody else was enjoying themselves so much that they (quite rightly) forgot about the poor old lady trying to sleep upstairs, and shame the game of giant Jenga was such late-night fun too, and such a challenge when under the influence. I didn’t really want to sleep, honest.

And now I’m back. And I know it. Dad is feeling fairly fit and well but is highly distressed. At the hospice on Friday he was given a letter. They all were, one at a time. It was so so badly managed, nobody talked to them about it at all. The letter informed them that, because of alterations at the hospice, their days were being cut to a maximum of one per week. Dad is losing the day he loves, the Wednesday, and will just be going on a Friday in future, the day when he hasn’t yet got to know anyone. He informed me he feels so hurt by this, especially the way it was done, that he doesn’t much want to go at all. It is such a mammoth kick in the teeth. Hopefully it’s only a temporary measure, but goodness knows how long for. Reading between the lines there has been a lot of staff discontent too, as the alteration plans have not really taken into account the needs of the day care centre in the meantime and they have been shoved out into a corridor which is hardly sufficient for their needs. So now I am faced with the jobs of ringing to see if they can change the day back to the Wednesday and writing to complain at the way that this lifeline has been quite heartlessly cut without proper explanation… just a letter that says they can always contact social services if they need more care.

Welcome home, Smudgie. How long do you give it until that break is just a distant memory? 😉

Dear God

I know you love me.
I just wonder, do you not want me to have this spa break, or is it that you want me to be adequately tired and stressed so I enjoy it all the more? It’s getting a bit hard to tell.

Did I have to have such a blocked up nose that I couldn’t get to sleep early last night?
Did Smudgelet have to wake me at two o’clock “because the wind’s blowing!” – as if I could do anything to stop it.?
Did Smudgelet have to decide not to bother waking me when the phone rang persistantly at 4am?
And I am sure there must be some almighty plan behind the horrendous winds and racing tide which have resulted in the 5.30 ferry being cancelled.

Far too exciting…

Today I booked the children into the leisure centre for the day and left my sister to take care of Dad. The plan was to spend a day getting the house clean and tidy to come home to.

I failed.

First of all I went into town to pay my credit card bill. Rather frustrating as I discovered I’d taken the wrong bit of the bill with me and will have to go again tomorrow. Also frustrated to discover that I can’t change Dad’s “secret security number” by telephone but have to go into the branch to do that, too. Still, at least both things are at the same bank.

Then on to the doctors’ to put in Dad’s prescription to be done as a matter of urgency as he’s run out of an important tablet. Rather worrying, actually, that he’s taken to not taking some of his tablets. Had his comeuppance, though, as he refused to take his anti-nausea tablet because he hadn’t felt nauseous for days… and then threw up at lunch time, to a chorus of “I told you so”.

Urgent trip to Matelan in order to purchase some trainers that fit. Interesting to discover what comfortable shoes I have as I was unable to find any comfortable trainers at all, anywhere. I bought the least uncomfortable pair, and a new leisure suit for lounging around in 😀

Home to find my sister waiting with a dilemma. She needs to talk to my nephew in the Cayman Islands about it and so we spent the next couple of hours installing skype and my new webcam. Woohoo – it’s brilliant fun. Now I just need to stop playing with it and get some housework done! But I’m no longer in the mood – it’s far too exciting!

The reason of needing to talk to my nephew is because he’s a wonderful person. He’s rung to leave a message and say that she and my brother in law and my dad and me are to go for a spa day together at his expense here on the Island. Trouble is, they’re fully booked tomorrow and after that I can’t fit it into my relaxing schedule!!! Also, my brother in law is really quite poorly and has taken to his bed. So that leaves my sister and Dad to go if we do it this time, or we could leave it and go next time she’s down. Only trouble is, I’d be in school again by then so it’d have to be a half-day in the afternoon. I could live with that! A bit maddening to pay £200 for a spa break and as a result not be able to go to the one my nephew wants to treat me to!

I’ve packed my bags, and the Smudgelets’ bags too, and am ready to go. Now all I have to do is STOP PLAYING ON THE COMPUTER AND TIDY THIS HOUSE!


I was going to be a good girl, drive over on the later ferry and stay overnight in cheap accommodation on Thursday, but who am I to go in the face of such overwhelming advice. Especially Deeleea, whom I daren’t go against! So the ferry is booked for the crack of dawnness, the Smudgelets are warned of an impending few days of early nights in preparation, and I have impulsively booked a hotel for the Thursday night where I can lounge in bed and read to my heart’s content.

You are so bossy 😉


Excuse me, God.
Look, I’m not complaining. No, really I’m not. I’m not even questioning really, but please, I ask you..

I lose the money on the Travelodge booking and end up having to drive at the crack of dawn to get to the health farm. Fine, I can live with that. And my sister coming early helped with that situation.

My booking for the spa is brought forward a day. A good friend got me out of that one, and it was a blessing to know how much people care.

The arrival of my sister and brother-in-law to daddy-sit was postponed due to the sickness and dia.. diah… you know,…. bug. A setback, but not decisive as he seems well enough to drive down today and fortunately it’s long enough for them to be completely well before it’s time for me to leave.

The ear infection is, quite literally, a pain. I haven’t had one for a year, which is a world record, and this will be a problem if it’s still around on Wednesday as I won’t be able to swim. Hopefully, though, it will be clear before then as I acted promptly and got myself to the doctor as soon as I felt the first hint of it and am dutifully filling it with irritating eardrops. I can always swim with my head out of the water if necessary.

But the boil. Just there. Just where you don’t want a boil to appear. Was that really necessary?