Saturday, 27 May 2017


I'm currently laid up with an extreme sort of vertigo. Not the most fun I've ever had, let me tell you. Imagine having five pints of snakebite, then getting on the waltzers for a bit. That's how I feel at the minute, but without all the fun of imbibing. It's making stairs interesting. Well, when I say 'interesting', I kind of mean 'hazardous'. But, then again, it's not like I need a wonky balance system to make me accident prone.

Take 'Winegate', for example. Last year Husband Of The House (HOTH) & I decided to spend our tenth wedding anniversary in Stratford upon Avon. Be a bit romantic, take in some culture, that kind of thing. I booked us into an absolutely gorgeous guest house just outside Stratford. It was set in its own grounds, just two rooms. The owners made their own bread, jams & preserves and their hens laid eggs for our breakfast. It was delightful.

We arrived and were shown to our room. I'd let the landlady know it was our anniversary and so the room had been set with decorative lights around the bed, candles and a bottle of champagne. The bed was beautifully made with crisp, snow white bed linen and the carpet was a deep cream pile. I felt ever so genteel.

The night of our anniversary we went out for a nice meal and to see a play at the RSC. Very grown up & civilised. On return to our room we got ready for bed and, the night still being young, opened a bottle of wine. A deep, dark red wine. All was going well, romantic glass of wine and posh chocolates in bed on our tenth wedding anniversary. And then.......disaster.

My hand left hand jogged the glass of wine in my right. Half the contents slopped out and sloshed massively all over the pristine bottom sheet. I squealed in horror and leapt out of bed. In doing so I tore off the scab where I'd cut my leg shaving earlier. Blood began to pour out of the cut. I scrambled like a mad woman round the bed to the bathroom to get something to try and clean up the mess. HOTH stared in open-mouthed horror as I splashed blood all over the cream carpet and merlot soaked into the snowy sheets. It looked like a scene from CSI. Scrabbling into the bathroom, my wine-soaked right arm brushed against the crisp white bathrobes hanging behind the door, smearing them with yet more stains. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion as I grabbed handfuls of tissues, a mug of water, baby wipes...anything I could think of to clear up the horror in the bedroom.

HOTH and I began to have one of those hissed voice arguments you have when you don't want anyone to hear. He went to fetch one of the towels we'd brought with us - one of the dark blue ones whose dye runs when it gets wet.....more hissing and sniping ensued. So much for a romantic evening!

Finally, after about half an hour of scrubbing and almost an entire packet of baby wipes later, the  wine stain was reduced to a translucent pink and the blood drops were barely visible - you really had to look for them to see them. Phew. Humiliation averted. Except now the bottom sheet on my side of the bed was soaking wet. There was no way I could sleep on that. There was only one thing for it.....out came the travel hairdryer. All (something like) 40 watts of it. The sheet would probably have dried quicker if a geriatric cat had spent a while farting on it. Eventually, the bed was dry enough for me to get back into - although I made sure I finished my wine before getting back in (wounded leg swathed in loo roll to prevent more carnage). Our heart rates and blood pressure returned to something like normal and we tried to enjoy the rest of the night.

Heaven knows what the couple next door must have thought. They'd have heard a small cry of dismay, a thud, more wails, more thudding, the tap running, a mysterious hissed & low voiced conversation, a weird scrubbing noise on the skirting boards and then half an hour of the hair dryer concerto...I don't know what I would have imagined was going on. Either a murder or some really kinky proceedings, probably.

The next morning we nonchalantly strolled down to breakfast like nothing had happened, exchanging a friendly 'good morning' (but little eye contact) with our neighbours. After breakfast we hurriedly checked out and fled for home. About an hour after setting off I got a text. It was from the landlady. Oh 'eck! Busted. But no, it was a lovely message thanking us for the biscuits we'd left as a thank you gift and offering us a discount if we book directly with the guest house next time. We were very relieved. If ever we stay there again I'm wrapping myself and the whole bloody room in cling film! Hey, if it works for Dexter.

To be honest, though, that was probably the least embarrassing of all my shenanigans. It's a wonder I've got to this age in one piece, to be honest. There's 'A Wee In The Dark', 'Loo Lock In' and, of course, 'Laser Quest Flasher' but they're all for another time. And you may need to buy me a drink first. Just as long as it's not a glass of merlot in a clean, white room.

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