The lovely Bethan at Denbighshire Library Service always looks after me really well and I have a lot of fun. The idea this time was that, while I was out strutting my stuff during the day, John could wrap up and head into the hills for some walking.
On the Monday, while I was having a great time with the children at Denbigh Library (above), John went for his 1st walk and managed to do his back in. No idea how: it just went. On Tuesday he found a physio, on Wednesday it was worse, so he hobbled to a GP. Painkillers, lots of painkillers. Still worse!
|Conte experiment on the flip chart|
I've developed a new technique for the flipchart by the way: instead of using a felt tip pen, I experimented with black conte. It's a far more 'honest', drawing style to show the children and conte shows up really well, even allowing for shading, without being as disastrously smudgy as charcoal.
On Wednesday afternoon, my festival events finished. We should have driven home, but John could barely stand, let alone drive. We couldn't stay on as the manorhaus was closing for a few days, but every B & B in town was either full or above a pub, with stairs John couldn't climb. Ruthin Library's caretaker offered us a bed in the caravan on his drive at home if we were desperate (the Welsh are so lovely).
Eventually, Bethan found us a room at the grand Ruthin Castle - the only place with both a room and a lift (one of those cage-style ones, with the pull-across doors you get in Hitchcock...). John was so spectacularly crippled as we crossed the foyer, the staff immediately offered us an upgrade (every cloud...). We stayed 2 extra nights while John rested and drowned his sorrows:
I spent the whole time hanging around the hotel's various lounges with him as I felt too guilty to abandon him again. I helped pass the time by sketching the dead things on the walls and the general opulence.
There were some extraordinary carved fireplaces, mostly dark wood but some stone:
By Friday lunchtime we decided to brave it. John shouldn't really have driven, but it seemed the only way and we couldn't stay forever without selling his body (which wasn't worth enough in it's present condition).
We made it home safely and John does not seem to have suffered any lasting effects from the drive, although he is still hobbling around the house with a stick and can't yet manage the curved stairs up to the studio - how convenient is that?
We'll have to see, but if he is permanently broken, I may have to get a new one...