Tags: Cambridge, Colour exhibition, Ely, Poet's House, RA, the Bookworm
Well, on a discussion on Carla’s blog, Irma said ‘Wouldn’t describing a normal life, despite RA, be far more conducive toward offering hope to others newly diagnosed?’ and I thought heck, yes … at least up to a point, and didn’t I used to do that more, and not just moan about a) pain b) the **** GP surgery c) the b**** hospital d) the **** NHS? Yes, I did! Perhaps I should do that again!
So here goes- I’m not going to mention the pretty miserable last couple of weeks where I’ve been suffering quite a bit of pain and fatigue, and I’m not going to mention that the GP lost my prescription AGAIN and I had to push to get a sharps bin in time to actually put my methotrexate injector into it … (although perhaps I’ll post about those later!) Here I’m going to tell you about our fabulous 10th anniversary weekend instead.
Hubby and I had a weekend away in Ely, not too far from home. I had the Friday off and we drove down late morning, very leisurely and had a really lovely drive – we were lucky with the weather and the we took the back roads so no traffic issues apart from the odd tractor. We reached the really lovely Poet’s House Hotel (which I posted about when we stayed there last year too) rather early for check-in, but luckily the room was ready anyway, and what a lovely room it was. Alas, no photos, but the rooms are beautifully decorated, spacious an comfortable … really comfortable. I slept like a log when I was there! We had mostly good weather and Ely is a beautiful city. ‘City’ makes it sound big, but it’s absolutely tiny. It’s a cathedral city, not an economic/size-related city. We had a delicious and beautifully served anniversary celebration meal on the Friday night – with none of the Fawlty Towers elements that plagued our Sussex stay recently! We shared a bottle of wine – which may have something to do with the sound sleep that night!
We visited Cambridge on the Saturday and the walk down to the station was through the cathedral grounds two lovely parks – about twenty minutes walk, but very pleasant indeed – and my RA wasn’t bothering me much at all so the walk was a pleasure.
In Cambridge, apart from a general potter about, we went to a really superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam museum, called Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts. It really was a cracker of an exhibition – unlike most museum exhibitions in my experience, it told me pretty much everything i wanted to know and much, much more! It was easy to pick out the info I wanted (mostly about science and technique) and ignore the bits I was less interested in (mostly the details of which biblical tale was being illustrated etc.) and the way it was organised meant that even though it was quite busy, everyone could easily get to see everything. As the icing on the cake, we went to a fascinating talk by Patricia Lovett, who is not only an expert on calligraphy and the creation of such manuscripts but also a tremendously witty and personable woman who kept us all entertained for over 1.5 hours. She must have been tired after it but it didn’t show! I was flagging slightly by then, although I didn’t notice during the talk, because it was so good, so we went to the cafe and got a drink to perk us up, and then walked back to the station (more walking, RA still not a problem!) and then back up to the hotel (more walking, still fine!) We then headed all the way back down the hill (I forgot to mention Ely is on a hill) to get fish and chips, in memory of what we actually did on our wedding night ten years ago! We ate them in one of the parks and then headed back to the hotel, back up the HILL. Yes, I was tired and achy by this time, but that was OK because we were done for the day!
The following day we thought we’d go for a walk as I was quite stiff and wanted a chance to loosen up before going home … but we didn’t get very far. Just down the road we found a book shop which, to our surprise, was actually open. (This was Sunday morning.) It was a new bookshop, not second hand – you don’t see many of those about anymore! The staff were very cheerful and chatty and offered us ‘anniversary coffee’ when they found out why we were there – and lovely coffee it was too. That was the only disappointment in Poet’s House – great food, not so great coffee! Of course that meant we spent all our time there, not walking – but that was fine. I came away with two books I bought myself and one hubby bought me as an anniversary present.
Couldn’t have gone better really – apart from a bit of a breakfast hiccup where Fawlty Towers caught up with us again… but I won’t go into that! It was a gem of a short break and lots memories I’ll treasure. In fact, to help us remember to treasure the memories, hubby’s anniversary present from me will the picture that was hanging on the wall in our bedroom at the hotel. It’s the Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg. It’s a satirical picture poking fun at the poor bookworm, but in spite of that hubby and I both would actually quite like to BE the bookworm, so we’re happy to have it in our living room cum library!
Tags: Cambridge, Christmas letter, Christmas. presents, friends, R.A.
The time of year when you start to feel really guilty (instead of just a bit guilty) about all those friends you’ve been meaning to write to all year but actually haven’t written to since last Christmas; the time when you realise in a last minute panic that you usually send said friends a small present in the post with the annual letter and you haven’t got them anything; the time when you start to receive cards from more organised friends and realise that yes, we’re actually in DECEMBER and it’s time to get on with it.
Yesterday, after the x-rays (just routine, took about three minutes, but journey there and back took well over an hour!) and between naps (still catching up from Wales trip) I wrapped ALL my presents … or at least I thought I’d wrapped all my presents. I was briefly very pleased with myself. Then I realised that two that were mail order hadn’t actually arrived yet and there were three of those annual letter friends that I’d forgotten to get anything for!
Fortunately I was visiting a friend in Cambridge today and we’d planned to go to one of these garden centres that make most of their money from non-garden related things. We didn’t even look at the plants, but we spent a good long time in their cafe and browsed their giftie bits and pieces, which nicely sorted out all three said friends.
I’m now feeling quite pleased with myself again because as soon as I got back I wrote the backbone of that annual letter. Obviously it’s not going to be a ’round robin’ letter – there’s no excuse for those these days; it’s too easy to make them personal by topping and tailing them and adding salient bits about the individual friends, and points that might be of special interest to them, but the ‘general’ news, such as the Barcelona trip, the fact that I’m still in gainful employment in spite of the recession and so’s hubby etc. etc. is all down.
I’m now worrying about the fact that the letters, ‘R.A.’ appear eight times on one side of A4!! It’s NOT that I’m letting it define my life, honest … it’s just that the Barcelona trip was a big feature of my year and well, that was all about R.A.! Tough – they’ll just have to live with it. I do! At least they only get it once a year.