2010 – Do you remember when we had icicles like these hanging from our windows? For once, the Midlands which is usually protected from the very worst weather, suffered badly for several weeks. On the weekend before Christmas it took us an hour and a half to travel just nine miles. We’d not have bothered but we had two small children in the car who were desperately clutching their tickets for breakfast with Santa at Webbs Garden Centre in Wychbold, Droitwich. Santa, clearly having struggled himself, kindly waited for all the latecomers.
So why, on this beautifully sunny autumn day am I writing about that awful winter? Whilst the past two nights have been nowhere near bad enough to result in any icicle formation, they have been exceedingly cold for October. On both nights I awoke at about 2am and my arms were so cold that they hurt when I moved them under the covers. The reason I leave them outside the covers is because the hot water bottle makes me too hot but I can’t get rid of it. I’d really like not to need it but the direct heat is the only thing that prevents the awful night cramps in my legs. Most often occurring in my shins or across the instep of my feet, I even occasionally get the pain in my thighs. It’s not every night but happens too often. Most of the time I’m aware during the evening of the muscles tightening and get warning as to whether or not there’s going to be a problem but the warmth of the hwb is playing havoc with how the rest of my body feels. The top half of me gets too warm, hence the arms out of the bed, and my head gets so hot that I’m constantly flipping the pillow in order to find a cool spot.
Some time ago I bought a special pad that when filled with cold water was said to cool the head. The idea was to place it under the regular pillow. It made no difference whatsoever so I tried putting it on top of the pillow but the heat from my head heated up the water in it and then it leaked all over the bed! I’ve recently seen advertised a ‘cool-gel-filled’ pad and am tempted to try again. Has anyone tried one of these, and most importantly, does it work?
The weekend has flown by (I do seem to be concentrating lately on this subject) even though we benefited from an extra hour when the clocks went back last night. I spent the entire day yesterday working on my novel. I am now up to 83% of target but it is getting progressively harder as I struggle with quite how to tie up loose ends in part three. I also need to expand part two by around 4,000 words. But if I feel down, I re-read the feedback I received when four extracts (c10,000 words) were critiqued by Stephanie Hale, Director of the Oxford Literary Consultancy: “It has moments of poignancy that are beautifully written [and] it’s a brilliant storyline.” It is this that encourages me to soldier on.
Today we have been to visit son’s new home. It took us a little over an hour to get there (less time than expected) but I didn’t like the journey which has several complicated road junctions. For someone who, until six years ago, drove 25,000 business miles a year, it is disappointing to admit that I now feel lacking in the confidence to deal with these. I am currently investigating other possible routes which are longer but may be less stressful. Failing that, I shall get the train (though this is a considerably more expensive option at 3x the cost of driving there. No wonder people are not taking notice of the Government’s urging that we all make greater use of public transport).
Journey aside, it was lovely to see the family and get lots of grandsons’ hugs and cuddles. We had brunch in the form of a traditional English breakfast and since this is something I never cook, it was a real treat!