Feather Beds and River Beds

We have slept in some very comfortable beds. The bed in the Sheraton Towers hotel in Kuwait was superb. The Bed in the Marriot in the Chans Elise was pretty good too. But we have never had a good bed ourselves. We had one owned by a landlord who had clearly trying to find the cheapest bed possible. We had an Ikea one that sagged too much. Kathleen had one but it was clearly built to a budget, so we went bed shopping. We picked the Bed Centre in Bramley, where we knew that they would hve a good selection, together with a salesman who knew his stuff. They took us through a range of different designs and options. We spoke of springs and pockets, stitching and edges and tried bed after bed after bed. Every bed that we tried was a significant improvement on the one we were currently sleeping on but the choice wasn't easy. We talked about the beds in terms of cars. There wasn't an Austin Alegro of Ford Punto in the shop. The cheapest they sold was akin to a Volkswagon Golf - Well made, a sound choice. The salesman was clearly trying to bring us up to a BMW or a Mercedes. The difference was there, but it wasn't obvious that it was the right choice. While we were pondering (and going back to check the beds yet again), the salesman suggested that we might like to lie on "The Bentley in the corner". Andrew was immediately convinced. Here was the same feeling of being cosseted by the bed in the Sheraton Towers. We went away, convinced. A couple of days of financial juggling and negotiation followed and finally we agreed on the deal - we could afford the bed but only by pouring every last penny into the pot. Committed to the hilt, we placed the order.

There was only a few weeks between order and delivery, but in the middle of that period, both Andrew's boss and his boss'es boss resigned. Things looked far from stable but we gritted our teeth and stuck with the deal.

So now we have the world's most comfortable bed. Made by Spink and Edgar. It contains springs in pockets and springs in springs, silk, horse hair, lambs wool, cashmere and cotton. It is just perfect.

The other thing we have been up to is paddling. We started a week ago with a gentle jaunt up the Thames. A mere 3.8 miles, pausing to drop in in Susannah who lives on the river.

Then during the week, Andrew had to go to Nantgarw in Wales for work. He abandoned Kathleen at the side of the river and picked her up later 7 miles further down the River Taff at Llandaff.

So, this weekend, we went back to do more. On Saturday evening, we started again at Nantgarw, but went all the way down past the Millenium stadium to Cardiff Bay, 11 miles. On Sunday morning, we were back to paddle a further 11 miles exploring the River Ely. Then finally, on Sunday evening, an 4.9 mile dash round Brownsea Island, including an exciting trip sideways across the bay, struggling against the fast-moving tidal current.

Exhausted, it is good to collapse into a comfortable bed...