On Sunday morning, I woke up with the cockerel again. It was early, but I’d slept well and felt fine.
So, to finish off yesterday’s awful, shameful and horrible entry. This is just to show that my mind doesn’t necessarily work in exactly the same way as other people’s.
After being so ill all day, I had an idea. In the First Aid box, we had some Senna. We had laxatives but no Imodium—go figure.
This might not make sense to many people, but it did to me. I’d had the runs all day, so I figured if I took two senna before bed, they’d work gently through the night. I’d be up before anybody else and could have total privacy in the bathroom to do what I needed to do, leaving me free to get on and enjoy my day.
I slept well, woke up and was desperate for a pee. That wasn’t going to wait. Unlike Saturday morning, everything in my world was in order and tidy, and I knew where to lay my hands on my She-pee, She-wee, or whatever you call it. I’ve never done it before and still have my toileting issues. Mark doesn’t know this, but I decided to do it inside our awning so nobody could see me.
I laid a black bin bag down to stand on and positioned myself –thus. The vagina cap fit where it should, and the tube went into the Lenor bottle. I peed in sheer bliss. The bonus is that I didn’t spill a drop.
It was a beautiful thing.
I emptied the bottle by the hedge and used our disinfectant to clean everything I’d used—before hot water and soap when we got home. That’s one problem I will never have to worry about again.
So after my wee, the other thing was a pressing urgency—but it was fine. There wasn’t another soul awake, and I could go and spend three hours in the bathroom if I wanted to.
I grabbed everything I needed for my morning ablutions and trotted off across the field to the kitchen door they’d left open for us.
It was locked.
Oh no. My cunning plan was going horribly wrong. My hosts owned the land as far as the eye could see. I had visions of walking miles to find somewhere to go where my disgrace wouldn’t be discovered when they were mowing the fields or something—What about toilet roll? I told myself not to panic and set off around the house.
This is a beautiful old farmhouse that’s been converted many times. It has extensions built on extensions and is like a maze. It’s one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever seen. There were so many doors and windows, French doors, patio doors, and barn doors. I had a lot to try.
So I snuck around the house like a burglar trying all the doors and windows and hoping there were no alarms. It would be just my luck if they had one of those alarms that connect directly to the police station. They’d come roaring down the lane with their blues and twos waking up everybody in a five-mile radius.
Luck was with me, and the French doors to the poolroom were open. I felt guilty sneaking around somebody’s house at dawn to use their bathroom. However, I was so happy I could have cried.
I had the runs, so I took laxatives. In some parallel universe, this might have been sound medical advice. My plan that mark said was stupid and ludicrous and would never work?
It worked like a dream.
I used the loo, had a full strip wash, brushed my teeth and put fresh clothes on. I considered making myself a coffee while I was in their kitchen under illicit means but decided that would be too rude and cheeky. After the previous twenty-four hours, I came out of that house literally dancing. I didn’t care if they had cameras watching me. Life was bloody amazing, and I danced onto the field.
I felt wonderful.
It was the first time since my Sparky diagnosis that I felt well, good, and ready to take on the world.
After five hours of sleep, I was early enough to watch daybreak; it was one of the most peaceful and wonderful things ever. It was going to be another hot day, and I couldn’t wait. I’m getting this camping buzz. The awning giving us two extra rooms and having the space we need is the difference between being trapped—and free.
I sat on my new camping chair, waiting for the others to wake up, and as they did, I gave directions to the open door for their bathroom usage. Being the one in the know, I felt like a toilet pioneer.
Mark’s brother Alan brought two of his three dogs with him, and they couldn’t have been better behaved. They were involved in every activity, including the Saturday night party, and they were no bother at all. My biggest regret was that we couldn’t bring our two. Right up to the last minute, I had to fight Mark on it. He wanted to take them. It would have been chaos.
I loved sitting in the field and greeting people as they came out, playing with the dogs and just being alive and watching the world wake up. Again Keith made us coffee, and we chatted with all the other campers.
I returned to the farm to help the ‘housers’ make breakfast. My first job was clearing the gardens after the party the night before. It was trip after trip to bring glasses and bottles in. The sign of a good night for everybody but me. Mark had a great time, making me smile as I cleared up. Then I helped with the huge communal fry-up that we ate on long tables outside. I noticed that kate put our flowers centre place on the table. We took our time eating our food and drinking coffee, which was lovely. Everybody asked how I was, and I kept saying that I wished Sunday was Saturday because I felt amazing. I could have done that walk with knobs on and would have loved it.
I stayed behind to help clear up and then went to de-camp. It’s called breaking camp, Sooz. I thought packing everything away would be a horrible chore, but I made it part of the day and loved organizing everything in the van. Things at the back were stuff that would eventually stay in permanently, and everything in the middle was to come in the house for washing and replenishing.
We sat some more; it was one of those things where everybody was leaving, but it took hours for the pack up. One by one, the campers left the field. And because we were chatting with everybody, we were the last to leave. Where was the party now? Come on, I was up for it.
Kate had been a marvellous host, yet she thanked me for being helpful. One of the best bits of the weekend was as we left. Sam is Kate’s daughter with learning difficulties. I asked first if Sam did hugs, and Kate said sometimes, depending on her mood. I got a hug from Sam which was lovely.
The journey home was far better than the drive there. We made good time, and I was comfortable and happy.
Mark tried to get next week off work because he wanted to go to Scotland for five days with the dogs. He couldn’t get time off, so that’s not happening. Not to be daunted, we are going away. We’re just going to Keswick, Appleby or somewhere close, which is probably a good thing for the dogs’ first time out of the traps.
Get this. I love camping—I can’t wait.
This week we have kept the van away from Disaster Restorer. That means nothing physical has been done. He was supposed to be doing the job from A-Z, but last night we bought our own cloth for the upholstery and outsourced the work to a seamstress friend of Mark’s who has done several campers. That should be done in a couple of weeks. Mark took Heidi to a new bloke to have the electrics done. This guy’s the best—apparently. He’s happy to take the job on, but he’s another one that can’t fit us in for two weeks. Oh well.
Last weekend everything—apart from me—worked. The only real disaster was that we didn’t take water. I’m known for my impatience, and Mark was surprised that I didn’t make a fuss about not much headway being made for another two weeks. I kind of like the rough-and-readiness of it. We just need to remember water. Lesson Learned.
It shows our greenery. Water is probably pretty fundamental and the one thing you shouldn’t forget regardless of whether you have a sink or not.
In other news, Tenmen is having his nicker-knacker-noo-noos chopped as we speak. We’ll have to see how he is by Friday and may have to cancel going away, but it’s only a couple of stitches for a dog and shouldn’t be a problem as long as we keep an eye on him and maybe keep him out of water. It’s a much bigger deal for a bitch. Of course he’ll be okay, but any operation has a risk element. I’m a nervous mum, and on pins until I know, he’s come through it and is okay. We hope by Friday, Teagan will have finished her season. The last two days have been hell, and I’ll be glad to see Tenmen with less Vim in his pencil. The weekend is hanging in the balance, depending on the dogs.
Because I haven’t written anything for over three years—not a single word—Peter has persuaded me to join a 100-day writing challenge malarky. In true defeatist fashion and setting myself up to fail. If it was two weeks, I might just stand a chance-but 100 days. Haha. I will not keep it up.
I didn’t sleep last night. If I give this a go, I need a new book to do it on. I’ve got loads of part-works, but I thought, in for a penny, let’s come up with something new. I have an opening sketch to get me going. After that, it could go anywhere.
Damn, it’s cold today, triple layers. Mark wants to continue camping right through winter. Yeah? To hell, you’re on your own, mate.
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.