We are already half way through January and in the PainPals house this means that a significant birthday has been celebrated by the hubby. I couldn’t say anything in my last post as I had booked a surprise weekend away and he reads these blog posts!
For those of you who know me or live with a chronic health condition yourself, you will know that planning any sort of trip away is tricky. The variability and unpredictability of symptoms and general wellbeing can make it difficult on a day to day basis – so it felt like a risk to book a trip away and I wasn’t confident enough to look too far afield. We haven’t taken a holiday abroad since before I was disabled from work, and an annual holiday is a thing of the past for many reasons. So it was with some trepidation that I plotted with the family and arranged a couple of nights away in a haunted 15th century inn on the coast in East Sussex.
Hubby had no idea! We all managed to keep it a surprise and let nothing slip, only letting on the night before we left. I had seen a review on the Mermaid Inn, Rye on Kerry’s blog Kerry’s Life and Loves and fell in love with the history and photographs of this historic hotel and town. “How on earth will you manage on the cobbles and all those hills?” asked my mum, alongside a nagging little voice saying the same in the back of my head, but the bloodyminded side of me was determined to enjoy just a couple of days. Sometimes it is so important to throw caution to the wind and let the chronic illness take a back seat, whilst “normal” life takes over! The inn is everything that Kerry promised – steeped in history, former residents include Elizabeth I, Shakespeare and Elizabeth the Queen Mother to name but a few, and the beams, low doorways and open fires are all other worldly. The maze of tunnels beneath and around the inn were thought to have been used by smugglers and it is rumoured that several inhabitants are of the ghostly variety! No strange happenings on our watch….
Hubby was in for another surprise as we were shown to our room – he was not going to be allowed to forget his special age with the enormous helium balloons that the young engineer had arranged. With the low beamed ceilings they took up nearly the whole room….did I mention that he had also arranged for a bottle of champagne to be chilling?!
We had a wonderful meal in the restaurant and the staff were all friendly and accommodating – even if they did wonder why this woman who was struggling to walk had booked to stay in really old building with steep stairs and no lifts!! I managed though….even walking for some of the day in Rye on Saturday. A word of warning – Rye with its cobbles and hills really is not wheelchair friendly!
I still find it frustrating that I couldn’t manage a whole day out and we spent Saturday afternoon watching a film in our room, but pacing is the name of the game. This allowed me to go out for dinner Saturday night – to a lovely new restaurant called The Devil in Rye, which overlooked the gardens and walls of the ancient monastery – and then we spent the rest of the evening listening to jazz in a neighbouring Champagne & Jazz bar. So grown up, nearly sophisticated and great fun.
It is a shame that I then slept for long periods on Sunday and all this morning, but sometimes it is worth using up all those spoons in one go. So Monday Magic is teetering into Tuesday as I catch up from my slumbers……but I have found some blogs for you (even one about Elizabeth I) and hope that you will sit back and enjoy!
Please follow, like and share these bloggers! By the way we somehow managed to wedge the balloons in the back of the car, around the wheelchair, and they are now adorning the lounge!
Have a great week,