Sunday, March 22, 2009


It being Mother's Day and a lovely spring weekend, I drove the family 23 miles west of Cromer to the village of Stiffkey, whose pub, the Red Lion, does absolutely the best steak and chips in the universe in space in the mind of God. They don't do it on Sunday, however, which is why we went on Saturday, even though Mothering Sunday is on a ... well ... Sunday, because they don't do the steaks on Sunday, as I said before, explaining why we went there most particularly especially on Saturday. Not Sunday. Look, are you following this? Oh, never mind.

So there we were at a table in the absolutely most perfect pub parlour you could imagine (proprietor: Dr. B. Z. of Chapel Hill, NC), the four of us playing ScrabbleTM , with the set obligingly provided by the pub, sat there on ancient furniture lovingly worn down by the hindquarters of generations of stout Norfolk yeomanry (as Stephen Fry once put it within my father's hearing - the definition of a Norfolk Virgin is a girl who can run faster than her brother), basking in shafts of Spring sunshine coming through the casement until our steaks arrived. And they were every bit as toothsome as promised, with perfect chips and onion rings and salad perfectly dressed with oil and balsamic vinegar and fried tomatoes and a lovely pint of Wherry and I finished off with a small bowl of heaven which is called, so it is, vanilla creme brulee (er ... how do you do, like, accents in this place?) and so satisfied I went to Powder My Nose.

Except, on the way back, I cracked my skull on a low beam. My immediate urge was to fall asleep, but I put that down to the fine meal... so I drove us all home in the eVolvo

The eVolvo, unbelievably, only last month

and then I fell asleep. Right now, more than a day later, I feel kinda drowsy and sleepy and wooooozy and I feel like I've got Courtesy Eyes.

You know? When you take your car to the garage for a service and they lend you a Courtesy Car, which you drive around for a couple of days, but it doesn't feel, like, familiar, and you do strange things you hadn't done for years, like stall the engine? Yes? Well, it's just the same for me, only with my eyes.

I hope I feel better in the mornin'.


  1. Flippin' 'eck Henry, I hope you're feeling better too! Also I think you ought to get yourself checked out at hospital ASAP!

  2. Clare's right, Henry; go to hospital and get checked out. If you're not convinced by us, your loyal blog followers, then read PalMD's post on epidural hematoma.

  3. Ouch. Go and test drive the spanking new NHS they installed in Norfolk after I left.

    (which reminds me, I wonder if Grrlscientist got her x-rays)

  4. Thanks all. I feel a little better today, but if I'm still more strange than usual tonight, I'll go to the sawbones tomorrow.

  5. It does sound like a touch of concussion, so what they all said.

    BTW the way to do accents (þØπèü™¥ I say) is do 'em in Word first and paste them in via Notepad (or some other basic text only thingy). This is because Word adds all kinds of HTML rubbish that gets poor old Blogger all a-quiver.

  6. Oh, and now he's speaking in Engliscky tongues. Please go get your head checked, Henry, even if you're feeling all right.

    Penny's Mother's Day sounds _wonderful_. What a nice man you are. Do you do presents for Mother's Day? (Oh, and before I forget, the mothers of my childhood: . This also happens to be terrifyingly accurate to my best mom friend here -- from Westchester, of course -- but she doesn't see it and doesn't see what's funny.)

    I did get the Kaplan U. adjunct spot, by the way, and promptly disconcerted the dean by arguing for more money. I have all kinds of impolitic things to say about their model, but it won't stop me from taking the job, and I must admit I had fun during the interview. Also, the technology (this is low-end ed, so all computers are "the technology") actually worked during the demo. I've never walked into a classroom and had the computer & projector just work before. Whole place is a-bristle with flat screens. I'm to go for training tomorrow with a person named Destiny Hastings.

    Much better: Have got a contract job with the Smithsonian, will run through May. Rewriting their science modules for K12 teachers.

  7. @ Amy - very well done with your TWO new jobs. Well deserved!

    Perhaps there is something in the air. I spent all last week on official leave doing some lucrative freelancing - enough to make a start on getting the Jardin Des Girrafes landscaped, to achieve my dream of having a garden that still looks nice despite the combined fossorial and excremental depredations of dogs, chickens and Beelzebun Demon Bunny of DOOM.

    What's more, on my return to work I found an offer in my inbox to do a more-or-less regular column for a popular science magazine, which I promptly accepted.

  8. Poor Henry. Is this the first argument I have seen for Scrabble being a sport that requires a helmet?
    I do hope you feel better by the time you are reading this, and congrats on the new column!

  9. @ Amy: Destiny Hastings? You serious? That sounds like a kitsch gangsterene-bondgirl kind of name, like Modesty Blaise or Pussy Galore.

    @ Maxine: thanks very much! Yes, Scrabble is a dangerous game. We Gees are very competitive, and protective clothing is very necessary, especially on those triple-word scores.

  10. Congratulations on the column, Henry! And glad to hear you're okay.

  11. Thanks Clare. Two days on, the top of my head hurts where I hit it but I have no internal headache, my eyes now focus properly and I'm obviously not dead. So normal service can resume, I think.

  12. You drove the family home? After knocking your brainbox to Begorrah in a manner that would make Mr Gumby look intellectual? You really do need your head looking at!

    Glad you're improving though. Now, if I go and bash my bonce on the bonnet a few times, mibbe I'll get a job offer.

  13. You drove the family home?
    I have a Volvo. It knows the way.