Last week I was going to meet a friend from my college years whom I hadn’t seen for fifty two years or thereabouts. We were meeting in west London which is around two hours from home so I asked my sister, Jennie, if I could stay overnight with her so that I wouldn’t have to get up early to get to London and be tired before I met my old friend. Jennie was happy for me to come so I got the slow train to Victoria which gave me two hours to read my book which I had recently had to put aside as so much was going on, what with Open Studio and guests on the horizon.
I got to Jennie’s house around five pm. We spent around an hour chatting, looking at the garden and the rabbit who is quite old and lives in a nice run, seeing some of the wonderful art she has made recently and generally gossiping like sisters do when they get together. We had some tea, looked at our iPads, showed each other photos etc then decided to have a Salade Niçoise for supper. Jennie went to great lengths to fill a big platter with leaves, olives, potatoes, tomatoes (home-grown), sautéed courgettes (ditto), hard-boiled eggs and all topped off with lightly fried tuna steaks and her special salad dressing. To go with this feast, we opened a bottle of Pinot Grigio then ate, drank, talked, laughed, chatted, drank, drank, opened a second bottle, chatted, drank, laughed, drank and at around midnight staggered up the stairs to bed. I took some pain-killers and drank part of a bottle of water, got into bed, noticed a message from someone on my iPad, sent them a message, snuggled down under the covers and slept for a couple of hours, woke up, had a look at the time on my iPad, had a quick glance at the news in case anything serious had happened, got back into bed half an hour or so later and fell asleep.
(Photo of Jennie and the White Haired Woman on another happy evening!)
In the morning I cautiously sat up, then realised I felt fine! I don’t think I have ever drunk a whole bottle of wine before and was certain I would suffer at least a bad headache, being prone to them as I am. I felt fine! I felt quite well! Jennie was feeling a bit the worse for wear but I felt fine! I got up, made my ablutions, dressed, had some toast and coffee and set off for my meeting.
In the afternoon, after my friend and I had had a nice long lunch (and I drank diet coke), I made my way to Victoria, got on the train and arrived home about half past six.
That night, alcohol-free, I went to bed about 10:30. Within an hour I was asleep, then awakened by the most horrific cramps, first in one foot and shin then in the other. I jumped out of bed and hobbled around making sort of mewing noises, not wanting to disturb Julian but eventually the mewing changed into groaning and he called up the stairs, “Are you all right?” “No,” I called down. That conversation ended rapidly, the cramps took a bit longer to stop and I limped back to bed where I slept reasonably well the rest of the night. (My shins hurt for two days after!)
I looked up the cause of leg cramps (from which I suffer nowadays since I have got old) and one of the culprits is alcohol, another is dehydration. I’m trying not to imbibe too much of the first and to drink loads of water so I’m not suffering from the second!