I am wrestling with a migraine.
The weather has turned again. I am like a piece of fecking neurotic seaweed.
Apart from feeling like death, we have had a lovely day.
We sloped off to Walsall to visit my friend Sam and her beautiful daughter Tabatha.
We spent the morning gossiping and hoofing down cake, as you do.
The afternoon was slightly more disciplined, in that we buggered off to the Walsall leather museum – which is not at all as phwoar as it sounds. No BDSM dungeons to be seen…sadly.
It turns out that Walsall is and always has been the centre of the leather industry in the UK, and their saddlery is so famous that they supply saddles to all the queen’s horses, and all the queen’s men, and the corgis, and Prince Philip.
We won’t ask what he does with his.
The museum is only small, but it is perfectly formed, and free to get into.
The three little ones spent the afternoon in a crafting workshop, while Sam, Tilly and I explored the delights of the museum.
It smells like heaven. Well, heaven made of leather, anyway. There are lots of things to stroke and sniff, and you can make your own embossed leather key ring, and if you’re Tilly, you can bring home pockets full of brightly coloured leather scraps. And if you’re me, you can lust after an Anya Hindmarch hand bag, which was, sadly, safe behind glass.
We met an old man, who, according to Sam, has been retired for the last twenty five years, but won’t accept his retirement. He just keeps turning up for duty, and rolling out a fifteen foot long anaconda skin to scare the snot out of generations of school children with. Who’d want to give up a job like that?
We also met a wonderful lady, who, bored of helping children make embossed key rings, absolutely delighted us with tales of her eccentric family, including:
Debbie, who used to regularly run away with a suitcase containing only a rah rah skirt (it was the Eighties), and a tin of corned beef (even though she was a vegetarian). She would run away to the end of the garden, and squeeze herself and her suitcase between the shed wall and the fence, and shout at you if you went to see how she was.
Then there was the girl who had an obsession with maggots and insisted on calling them ‘maggernets’. She had a tin full of maggernets she used to keep in her pocket, only to be found hysterically crying one day when she opened it to find a tin full of flies. She was screaming dolefully: ‘Them flies have eaten all me maggernets.’ and would not be consoled.
After that she tried to dig up the dead dog, Dusty, to see if it had any maggernets going spare.