Have staggered through this week which has been a bit of a stressful and tiring one, hence lack of bookish posts. My reading of new books has more or less been shelved as I have been charging backwards and forwards up and down the A12 etc and I have had enough of it for the moment.
One thing I have done, however, is take up and re-read The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett as I needed to remind myself what a delightful book it is after watching the pathetic and ghastly adaptation The Making of a Lady which was on TV last week and which I have ranted about already. Fear not, I will not start again though I am tempted to. Comments on that post and on Facebook and Twitter seem to be universal that it was pretty awful even from those who had not read the book and did not know how wildly off line it went.
Tuesday was going to Cambridge to meet up with my friend Jan Jones for gossip, chat and lunch which we always enjoy. Left the flat and as soon as the door had closed behind me realised that I did not have my door keys and I had locked myself out. I have never done that in my life. Panic set in, tried the old credit card trick which always works so beautifully in movies, but no use. Took myself off to a lovely neighbour of mine who took me in, made me tea and gave me the yellow pages. Good old Yellow Pages! She is an old lady and does not use the internet but within five mins I was talking to a locksmith who said he would be round in about an hour. Still a chance I could make the lunch. Locksmith duly arrived, great difficulty in getting the door open until he whipped out some Heath Robinson contraption which held open my letterbox, and then inserted a curved piece of plastic tubing in, hoiked down the handle of the lock and Eureka the door opened and gave me a perfect view of my keys lying in the middle of the hallway. I did let out a swear word or two which then became three or four when I was presented with the bill...............
At that stage I really should have stayed at home and given up as the day was fated but decided to drive off and I did and a good time was had but I felt totally at outs by the entire episode and it just took the shine off the day, as well as my budget. I find as I get older I tend to let events throw me more than they did when I was young. After lunch decided just to drive home as I did not feel like any shopping or wandering around Cam which I normally love doing, and hit the road. All well, no problems, getting dark but I knew the road until I reached the village of Bradwell which has a narrow road through it and was clear in the morning. In the interim somebody had designated this was the day to dig the road up and they had done it slap bang in the middle of the rush hour, the A120 connecting Colchester to Chelmsford. They were working under floodlights so if they were happy to work in the dark why not leave it until late evening? A one hour journey took over two, got home feeling shattered and exhausted to find a huge box awaiting me and inside a gorgeous Christmas bouquet ordered by Kathryn in Australia. Sat down and cried.
Then up to London next day to see family, stayed over, babysat, next morning nipped out to see the new shopping centre Westfield at Stratford. Certainly is massive and a stunning array of shops, but as is usual with me in such places, so much choice that standing in the middle of the huge Marks & Spencer, I just felt overwhelmed and instead of shopping located the cinema which is state of the art and found they were still showing Skyfall, the latest James Bond, which I had yet to see. So I nipped in at 11 am and sat in solitary splendour and had the entire cinema to myself and thought the film was simply terrific, best Bond yet.
Still with me?
OK so set off home and down came the rain and it thundered and it poured and the A12 was flooded and it was pitch black and traffic in all four lanes to and from London was crawling along and I could not relax for a second. So another two and a half hour journey, Random gets home even more knackered.
Woke up in middle of night feeling weird; skin red hot and itching and a burning sensation all over. Get out of bed and look in the mirror and I am covered in an appalling red rash and as I look white welts pop up all over my body. Pretty scary. Slosh cream all over me and gradually over a period of five hours the swelling went down and I began to look less like Frankenstein. Could barely operate the next day as I was so tired but was taking an old friend to the supermarket in the afternoon so managed to get a nap in the morning and off we went. It was crowded it was busy and a man was blocking the aisle and though I said excuse me three times he did not move until I had to yell and then he did, got annoyed, rude and unpleasant to me and I, in turn, was rude and unpleasant back as I was fed up and pissed off. Ten minutes later spotted him in another aisle and went up to speak to him. 'Excuse me I am sorry if you thought I was rude back there. It's Christmas and I should not have snapped at you'. He went pink, clutched my hand, 'I'm sorry too love, Merry Christmas' we beamed at each other and I felt SO much better and left the supermarket thinking God Bless us Every one.
So that was fine and sorted but it is now 8.30 am and I have been up all night with a repeat performance of the night before and logging onto NHS online and going through their sympton checker it appears I have hives and this is a severe allergic reaction and I need to get anti histamines. I had tried a new talcum powder given to me the other day, I normally use baby powder, and I fear this is the culprit. So when I have had another cup of tea I am going to stagger out to the local pharmacist and get the necessary tablets and trust it works and I do not have another night like last night.
If you are still with me after this mournful moan, then my congratulations. I would have given up about six paragraphs ago. Not a very nice week, but then I had my lovely flowers from Kathryn, she rang up and we had a long chat yesterday, we talked about my trip and what we plan to do, had a lovely lunch with Jan, and had a great time with Florence and Beatrice and family. So not all bad, but I tell you having hives don't arf take the edge off things....
Still, final of Strictly Come Dancing tonight!