Sarah Todd: Curious cases of the traceable eggs and lump on son's head

WE HAVE finished off the summer holidays with a few days away. It's always such a palaver going anywhere and getting the various members of our menagerie looked after.

It turned into a bit of a busman's holiday with hotel rooms hard to find. So we ended up with a night in a pub and then camped out in the beer garden behind.

Like us, the landlord had just got going with a small five-caravan site and it was interesting to swap notes.

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We breakfasted in the pub and were surprised to learn that health and safety rules prevented him from using the eggs from his own hens to accompany the bacon – or as an ingredient in any of the other dishes served.

"I've got to get mine from the supermarket," he told us. "The rules say that makes traceability better…"

Hopefully this is the kind of rubbish regulation that our new government is busy tearing up. What could have been more traceable than eggs laid on the premises?

Talking of eggs, our son has had a hard boiled-shaped one on his forehead. In a week when he had his first canter, as well as jumping Velvet the pony, he sustained an injury by being stood at the wrong side of a swinging gate. The bump is now thankfully reduced to fried egg proportions and an important lesson about where not to stand in a stableyard has now, hopefully, been learned.

We went to casualty, first at our local hospital which is under threat – where we were seen pretty much straight away in a room where the floor was clean enough to eat your dinner off. Then, when he looked a bit iffy later on we went – after closing time – to the city's hospital. Here we had a two-hour wait in conditions best described as unpleasant. A chair next to us was covered in vomit and frightened-sounding patients, seemingly left on their own, were shouting out for attention from the side ward beds.

It was a night that underlined the need to join the campaigns to save services at our small, country hospitals and not turn a blind eye to what others put up with.

School is, of course, on the horizon. There's some primitive instinct that prevents the word from being mentioned. All uniform shops have been avoided like the plague and the children were overheard the other day matter-of-factly telling someone that "we don't get our new shoes until at least October".

Feeling guilty about this, they were asked if they minded and a shopping trip was offered.

No, they insisted, it would be a "waste" of the last few days of the holidays. Instead they've set up an assault course incorporating a spoon, some old hard boiled eggs and a gate…