THE FIRST NIGHT
Well the first night in any new place is a bit strange but the first night in motorhome is obviously going to be even stranger, but I was lucky in that it was a calm, dry night. Over the last week both days and nights have been tempestuous. Torrents of rain, some of it horizontal with 109 mph gusts of wind, blowing over sheds and trees and causing mayhem. So I am pleased to say last night was totally calm with not a drop of rain. I knew my property here was quietly situated, but literally there has not been a vehicle travel up the lane since I went to bed, and now which is about 5.30 am
I have never, ever been an early riser. Even the day of my wedding all those years ago (I just typed weeding – was that a Freudian slip) when I married a Wrong-un back in the 60's, divorced less than three years later and never had the courage to repeat the experience. As they say – once bitten twice shy. But even that day – the best day of a woman's life so they say - it was an effort to drag myself out of bed for my early morning hair appointment – the weeding was (done it again) I think at 11am or 11.30am as we had Wedding Breakfasts in those days.
But I think that with this sea change in my life it will be better to rise early and go to bed early. Not that I was early to bed last night trying to sort out first the heating, then my black eye
The arnica seems to be taking effect and the swelling seems to be beginning to go down, but I don't really want to look at it at present. I am very aware of my cheek as I type this so there is obviously some swelling there, and a sizeable lump over my eyebrow, and it all feels very tender
All my efforts to connect the electric had come to nothing and I still went to bed with only the batteries as a source of power.
So I decided to try and do without lights, heating or the blanket and switched off everything I could find to switch off. I boosted up the heat by starting the main engine which apparently recharges the batteries which then powers the heat and lights, so when I went to bed the battery registered as full. Phoebe was tucked in with SIX sheepskin rugs – four of which protect the settee from her enormous clees (is that Herefordshire for claws?) with the other two sewn together acting as a rug for when I can get her to lie on the floor, which is not often! She is taking up most of the settee at this moment whilst I perch on the edge typing.
So all six were heaped round her and I got into my, by now toasty, bed. Perhaps I will get one of those indoor outdoor thermometers – it might be interesting for when I go to Scotland as I hope to this winter to see the Northern Lights – there won't be any point in opening the door there to see how cold it is outside, especially if I get as far as the Shetland Islands where there is probably the most chance of seeing the lights.
Although it must have been a cold night, as there was a thick frost on everything when it was light enough to see, in bed I was perfectly snug. In fact so warm I had to hang my feet out from under the covers.
I think you are either the sort of person who does this or the thought has never crossed your mind. I am the former, but apparently my Mother never did and was astounded when she married my father who did need to put his feet out from the covers when the bed was too warm.
Lying in the strange bed last night with all the new noises, not quite alseep or awake and with my mind wandering I remembered the story my mother often told.
When she and my father were married back in the forties, men’s socks were often hand knitted by their relatives, but even the shop bought ones didn’t have good elastic tops as we all expect them to have nowadays. So to keep their socks up men actually wore suspenders. I am just old enough to remember these though they were disappearing quickly. They fastened, I think, at the top of the calf just below the knee with a press-stud and then the socks were held up by little metal crocodile clips on elastic.
Now my father was a very nervous bridegroom on his wedding day, and one of the faults of these sock suspenders was that the press-stud which held them together would work loose, then not only would your sock fall down but your suspender would be flapping about on the end of it. He had no intention of being embarrassed in front of the assembled congregation and being an engineer promptly riveted the irritating little blighters into position. This worked a treat throughout the day but of course when they arrived in London late that night Mum wondered why he was taking so long in the bathroom getting ready - but of course he then couldn't get them off. I suspect he had to cut them off. As I say it was Mum's story and Dad never mentioned the incident.
When the fashion for low cut strapless wedding gowns was all the rage Mum, who liked to look at the wedding page in the local papers would often remark when seeing a photo of a particularly well endowed bride in an especially low cut top - “I was better covered up on my Wedding Night”
And I have just spent my first night with Thebus, and though he gave me a black eye I shall am sure we will form a happy working relationship in the future.