Three lunches and a hot water bottle

It’s been such a busy week and my blog has taken a back seat. On the plus side I had an unexpected, completely free Sunday and used it to work on my novel. I wrote and edited and wrote and edited and…….you get the picture. Writers each have their own way of working. Some choose to write the whole and then go back and edit. Others, like myself, cannot move on until satisfied with each paragraph. The writer Dorothy Parker once said “I cannot write five words but that I change seven.” I can identify with that. I’ve no idea how many I wrote but I ended up with 2,000 satisfactory words and I was very happy with that.

I had three lunch dates this week. I did try to be mindful of my Slimming World membership!  The first was a belated birthday lunch with an old friend i.e. she is a couple of years younger than me but is a Friend of thirty-eight years standing. We went to a pub that I used to visit regularly in the 1970s. In those days they served scampi and chips in a basket for 55p. Isn’t it funny how the little details stay in the memory? It’s undergone many transformations over the years but it must be seven or so since I was last there so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We both decided that a starter and dessert was more appealing than a main meal. My Greek salad was ample with a very generous helping of feta cheese. It was really tasty but totally overshadowed by the ‘white chocolate creme brûlée with raspberry shortbread’. Oh my goodness, it was amazing…the best creme brûlée I have ever tasted. My friend chose the same and agreed wholeheartedly. The shortbread was sprinkled with raspberry sugar. Yum, yum, yum! That reminds me, I still haven’t tried the lavender shortbread again. The first batch I made didn’t quite make the grade.

Lunch number two was to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We visited a pub which always offers several fish dishes. Depending what is available wholesale, the menu varies. When I saw that there was fresh dressed crab on offer, there was no other choice for me. With a sprinkling of black pepper and a dash of vinegar there’s none better. It came with thick slices of soft brown bread and a salad. Two lunches out so far, and salad both times. No pudding today!

My daughter took an afternoon off work today and we met in Bridgnorth. It’s closer to her than to me but is the nicest place between the two of us. Winner of five Britain in Bloom gold medals it is situated on the edge of the River Severn in Shropshire and is split into low town and high town, the latter being reached by means of the cliff railway (or a road…thank goodness). Evidence suggests that this busy market town originated during Saxon times, and certainly the Saxon caves, known now as the Hermitage Caves were in existence then, with King Alfred’s grandson being the first inhabitant, though it wasn’t until the Normans built a castle and that a larger settlement was formed. The town boasts an array of architecturally interesting buildings. I really do have to get more practice at taking photographs. The few I took were very poor so I’ve decided not to include most of them.


At The Brasserie I chose a mushroom and melted cheese baguette with chips, onion rings and side salad. Shortly after we’d finished the waitress walked past with a plate of lemon meringue pie. It looked amazing and I can’t pretend that I wasn’t tempted but I did manage to resist.

Bridgenorth is a ‘moochy’ sort of place so we walked the length of the High Street where I bought a hot water bottle (more in a moment) and a couple of OPI nail polishes.   I chose a deep red and a deep purple, both pearlised which I prefer. Daughter bought new pillows and treated me to a notebook that I’d admired and then we had a coffee.

I’ve been suffering from ‘shin splints (severe cramp, not in the calf as usual, but in the shins). Extremely painful, it starts across the instep of my foot and is apparently caused by either excessive exercise (haha) or extreme cold. Now I know the weather has taken a turn for the worse in the past week but this is England in September, not a time of year known for its freezing temperatures. The only way to relieve the pain is vigorous rubbing and heat.  Though it happens during the daytime, it affects me more at night. I like to get into a cold bed but wonder whether if I warm it first, whether it will help, hence the hot water bottle.

Not the most exciting photo but here’s what I came home with:






  1. My goodness, Eloise, what a lot of lovely lunches! I like the sound of the crab and also the crème brulee! I have visited Bridgnorth, only briefly, but my mother worked there for a period (during WW2 I think) at a solicitors called Pitt & Cooksey, or something like that. I have a photo of her, many years later when she was retired, standing on the front steps of their offices (we had taken her for a short break in Shropshire at the time.) My husband did part of his National Service (how long before people ask what that was?) at RAF Bridgnorth, too. And I’ve been up and down in the cliff railway there.
    I didn’t know that kind of cramp was called “shin splints”. I sometimes have what I refer to as “front leg cramp” in my feed and coming up the front of my leg, the lower half, which makes my big toes want to curl upwards, towards the legs. It is very painful indeed and can last quite a long time. I usually have this after a long walk, particularly if having walked down hill more than uphill. I find that walking around on a cold floor helps, i.e. in the bathroom. We always have h.w.b.s in bed, one each, and my legs don’t really get cold, but I hope the warmth from a h.w.b. helps you. We also have our electric mattress cover (a modern version of an electric blanket) for the winter, and we can heat it independently either side, so I can have mine warmer than husband (who suffers from fidgety legs sometimes.)
    My hands aren’t nice enough to have attention drawn to them with pearly polish, but I do like the colours you have chosen, I tend to have non-pearlzed polishes. Pale colours don’t suit my hands, either, as they do on younger mitts!
    Margaret P


    • Thank you for your lovely long response, Margaret. Bridgnorth is such a nice place to visit. I love Shropshire and always enjoy the drive over there as I use a route that is a bit longer but very pretty. How interesting to hear that both your parents had links to Bridgnorth. As a child I used to visit my cousin there and was always very taken with it. He still lives nearby and, of course, so does my daughter so I have spent a fair amount of time in the area. No-one else ever seems to have experienced front leg cramp when I mention it! You will know what I mean then when I say how painful it is! Pale nails are not for me either since I also have more mature mitts!!


      • No, it wasn’t both my parents who had the connections, Eloise, but Dad must’ve been stationed there, too (as well as Mum working in the town, at RAF Bridgnorth) for a time during the war but it was husband Chris who did his ‘square-bashing’ as he called it, at Bridgnorth, when first called up for National Service. He was in the last-but-one intake for National Service, after that it was stopped.
        Margaret P


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