I never really thought that I suffered from claustrophobia until recently when I found myself locked in a caravan toilet at 3 o’clock in the morning. I say a toilet actually it was more like a cupboard but with all the necessary plumbing. One of those toilets where whistling won’t do if you get my drift you need a good old basso profundo in order to maintain any semblance of dignity! We had jumped at the invitation from our two friends Glen and David to join them for a few days at Harlyn Bay in Cornwall. They had been loaned an 8 berther by other friends and thought it would be fun if we came. I say we jumped at the invitation but to be honest there was a little hesitation before we went over the precipice. You see a few years ago Glen and David, unable to take their honeymoon straight after their wedding, asked us to join them on a ‘minimoon’ in a lodge in Scotland. All went swimmingly until about 4 o’clock on the last morning when David suffered a suspected heart attack and had to be carted off to hospital in Inverness. It was somewhat surreal waving the bride and groom off in an ambulance. The following year, having watched Rick Stein on his culinary adventures up and down the Canal Du Midi, we all said we’d love to give that a go. The added bonus was that David had lived on a barge so knew his way around a lock and my husband is a pretty practical man. May in the south of France what could go wrong? Where to start? None of us got a decent night’s sleep due to the Klargester toilets, which, it seems, everyone discharges into the canal judging buy the look of it. All dreams of leisurely meals taken on deck on warm balmy evenings as we floated gently along were dashed by storm force winds and rain. The boiler gave up the ghost so it was freezing cold and no hot water either! So you see why we might need a few minutes to weigh up the offer of joining them in a caravan? What the heck we said yes. All seemed promising as we arrived at the site on a glorious day and unpacked all of the goodies. For a minute it looked like the only disaster that was to befall us was that Glen couldn’t find the ‘2 years aged Parmesan cheese’ she’d bought especially for me. “First world problem,” I said, “I’ll make do with a bit of mouse trap!” Oh how we laughed….until David announced he couldn’t find his pills. Can I just say we are not talking a few paracetamol/Nurofen or even co-proxamol? We are talking ‘life saving’ drugs that run into double figures. Sure enough, they’d been left behind…..presumably with the Parmesan. I immediately launched into, “I knew it, I knew it ..I knew it was all too good to be true!”
David, however, remained remarkably calm and level headed and called his pharmacy and 111 and between them they sorted it and he was able to pick up his medication from the nearest chemist in a matter of hours! I’m pleased to say, apart from my husband wandering into the wrong bedroom at 3 in the morning and drying his hands on David’s dressing gown thinking it was our towel and me getting stuck in the loo, the rest of the week was a triumph.
Oh and just in case you’re interested ‘Parmesangate’ was resolved on the last day. It turned up ……..in Glen’s handbag!