First off - how are you all? Well, I hope. I've been living in the House (and, indeed, the Head) of Snot for the last couple of weeks. Both TLH and I went down with The Massive Cold From Hell that's been doing the rounds. He fared better than I did - at one point I would have most definitely failed the Flu Test. You know the one, it's the one that determines whether you're suffering from a cold or the flu - if you're feeling grotty and look out of your window to see a £10 note lying in the gutter outside, if you've got a cold you'll go and get it, if you've got the flu you won't be capable of, or even interested in, going outside to get it. On the first day that the germs hit me I felt so unutterably dreadful that it could have been a £50 note and I still wouldn't have gone outside for it. I had an atrocious sinus headache, aches in every single joint known to womankind, was wearing at least 3 layers of clothes but was still shivering enough to need a further layer of blankets and was sneezing loud enough to crack the windowpanes. Awful. I'm much better now but it's still just hanging around the edges. I don't recommend catching this one at all.
Secondly - while I'm here whinging about my physical ailments (and thereby fulfilling every menopausal stereotype going) - I've also done something to my right foot. I haven't been able to go out running since the last time (well, duh....) just before Christmas when I clocked up 50 miles. So that's getting on for about a month now, isn't it? Hmm, this isn't good. I may have to take it to my tame chiropractor as I'm sure it's a mechanical thing. I'm not aware that I twisted my ankle or foot last time I was out but it's possible. I can't tell whether it's Achilles Tendonitis or Plantar Fasciitis but it's unbelievably painful whatever it is. But only when I start walking on it after resting it for any length of time. So first thing in the morning, or if I've been sitting down during the day, when I stand up and start walking, the heel pain on my right foot is horrible and it takes a few minutes of me hobbling about like a cripple before it wears off and I'm fine again. It gives me no more trouble and then I sit down for a bit. And then I stand up and the pain starts all over again. And some days are better than others. It's a pain in the hole (or rather, my foot) is what it is.... The sad thing is this current sudden spell of extremely sunny and frosty morning is, to me, perfect running weather and I actually would rather like to go for a run in it, but I daren't. If it carries on for another week without improvement, then I'll get it looked at.
But, hey, this isn't what I logged on this morning to post about.
I saw two brilliant things yesterday - one online and the other in real life - which I thought I'd share. The first thing was this extraordinary golden cape:
Close up of the scarf design:
"So what?" I hear you say. "Sure, it's pretty enough but what's so special?" If I show you a close up of the design on the cape, you might get a hint of why these textiles are so amazing:
These textiles are remarkable because the image above is of female Golden Orb spiders and it is their silk that has been spun and used to weave the cape and scarf.
I'll just run that past you again.
Made from spider silk.
From over 1 million spiders.
Isn't that extraordinary? And aren't they just beautiful things? That fabulous colour is entirely natural too. These are modern items, made in Madagascar, and are currently on tour. They've just been to Chicago and New York, and will be at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from 25 January to 5 June. I think I have to go.
The second splendid thing I saw yesterday was at Mercedes Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey. We bought our little Smart Car from there in May last year and it was due a service. Mercedes Benz World is a brilliant place if you have any kind of petrolhead on you at all. They have a showroom with all the latest models for ordinary mortals as well as ones that are only fit for Saudi princes. There's also a museum and various displays in there which they'd changed since we were there last, so we had a bit of a wander when we went to collect the car.
Right up on the top floor, amongst other exhibits, I found this extraordinary car. It was created by Geraldine Lloyd, an artist who has been dealing with cancer in various forms for about 40 years. She found this old Merc in a scrapyard and adds bits to it every time she has to undergo treatment. I think it's a fantastic thing:
So that was yesterday, and today TLH and I are driving up to London to go see the Grayson Perry exhibition at the British Museum, drink Margaritas at Wahaca in Covent Garden and go see The Ladykillers at the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. So more brill things to see. And it's another beautiful sunny, icy, sparkly day. Sometimes life doesn't get much better than this....
The price of health
14 hours ago