It’s all ruined


The start of a fibromyalgia flare up is so easily identifiable. Or at least, it is for me. It starts with more consistent pain, and then a feeling of being bruised all over. I imagine it’s how I would feel if I walked out of a car crash, or got kicked by a gang of ten men – or women. My clothes hurt against my skin, walking feels likes wading through treacle, and bending – well, you can forget it.

The first response to a flare is to rest, and rest I did. But at the weekend I had such a feeling of cabin fever that I needed the cold country air to blow away the cobwebs. So I went for a walk.

As soon as we left the car and climbed over the stiles across the Oxfordshire countryside I knew this possibly wasn’t the most sensible idea, but I much prefer being sore because I actually *did* something. Being sore for nothing just… well, it sucks.

After crossing this bridge (which was slightly too rickety for my liking), we walked under the railway line and arrived at the village of Hampton Gay. I read about Hampton Gay a few months ago when I was looking for abandoned buildings online – don’t ask me why, I can’t remember. I came across Hampton Gay manor house and, realising it was just twenty minutes from my parents house, we decided to check it out.

The manor house has change hands various times since it was built in the 16th century, including a short period when it was owned by the University of Oxford. In 1887 it was gutted by a fire and has never been restored.

According to Hampton Gay’s wikipedia page, “The manor is a Grade II listed building and a scheduled monument. English Heritage placed the manor house ruins on its register of historic buildings at risk, listing its priority as “A” and its condition as “very bad.”

Very bad? Errr…yes… I’d say so.

We didn’t see another person all morning. The area was totally secluded and just the right amount of creepy. I was exhausted by the time we were back at the car, but the forty minute round trip was just what I needed to feel the remainder of the weekend could be happily spent in my pyjamas. Just a little bit of exercise is a great thing for fibro sufferers – but just a little.