Monday, 14 January 2013


I went to see an osteopath today; more specifically I went to the British School of Osteopathy, where you get treated by 4th year students, but pay ridiculously small sums for the experience; about 20 quid for a session. It’s well worth it.

My student osteopath was called Barry, and he was brilliant. Maybe all osteopaths are brilliant – I’ve nothing really to compare him to – but he very quickly seemed to work out what was wrong. There’s an area of my spine which has apparently been frozen for some time, with the vertebrae above and below working overtime to compensate.

He prodded and poked for a while, and tapped my spine, which was apparently hollow-sounding in the affected area. He asked me to lie on the bed, wrapped his arms around mine and suddenly and very sharply twisted. Clllllick. The sound was like a machine gun. I immediately burst into peels of hysterical laughter. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed that much. It was the shock, I suppose, and the ridiculous noise, because it didn’t hurt in the slightest. Apparently many people either laugh or cry when they get “popped.” It triggers a nerve which goes direct to the brain and screams, “react! React!”

I’m apparently to expect some soreness at some point and a lot of stiffness in the morning, but I’m excited to see what difference it’s made.

On the 9th January 1663, Pepys got into a pretty major row with Elizabeth, triggered by the news that their ex-servant, Sarah, was spreading gossip about the Pepyses around London. Elizabeth broke down in tears and said that she’d been telling servants her deepest secrets because she'd no one else to talk to, poor lamb. Pepys was initially sympathetic, until Elizabeth pulled out a letter (written in English) which basically outlined all Pepys’ faults whilst declaring how miserable she’d become. She’d written the letter some time ago, but thought better of sending it.

Pepys was incensed that she’d effectively written a document which could have turned him into a laughing stock if it made its way into the wrong hands. He tore the letter up whilst Elizabeth pleaded with him. He then went into her secret chest and tore up every single letter and document she’d kept over the years; the tokens of love, the little poems, and the letters he’d written to her whilst at sea. All were ripped up in front of her, and then burnt in a display of unacceptable cruelty. The only things he couldn’t bring himself to destroy were the marriage certificates and the very first love letter he’d sent to her.

All was well again by the 13th January, when Elizabeth and Pepys hosted a pretty mega dinner party with “oysters, a hash of rabbits, a lamb, a rare chine of beef, a great dish of roasted fowl, a tart and then fruit and cheese.” Pepys was thrilled with the evening. The house looked neat and tidy with good fires in all the rooms. After eating, the women withdrew to play cards and the gentlemen went to Pepys’ chamber, because the fire in the dining room had started to smoke!

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