When my husband could not longer stand waking up with a sore back every morning, we took the sheets off and had a good look at our bed. The mattress displayed a tell-tale cavity on my husband's side, with a somewhat smaller one on mine. They did not recover during the day. We dug out the sales slip and Guarantee from 8 years back: we remembered the sales talk, we saw the "25-Year Warranty" sticker. We remembered that this bed, the "Edinburgh" mattress, had all kinds of special springs designed for different parts of the body, we had been cautioned never to turn or swing the mattress and it would last us for 25 years. So back to the shop. They will, of course, repair the mattress, they told us - but at some unspecified cost depending on whether we have 'misused' it (giggle). It will take two weeks. This required some planning on our part. Firstly, we have to take it into Cape Town on our trailer (no-one comes out here), secondly, what do we do for two weeks without a bed? Answer: visit our relatives in the Karoo. Fortuitously, my sister-in-law requires my husband's services in the planning and execution of her kitchen renovations and she has begged us to visit. An extra carrot is the opportunity to visit our rather frail other relatives in East London (on the East coast) - we can travel in their car to do this. So two days ago, we took the bed to the shop, hubby having hastily built a wooden structure on top of his flat-bed trailer to accommodate the Queen-size mattress. Luckily, it didn't rain. When we came home we adjourned downstairs and tried our one of our old mattresses now in a guest bedroom, the "Restonic", for one night. Waking up with sore backs, we remembered that we had found even this mattress too hard at one stage in our marriage, to the extent that we had bought an extra soft padding which could be put on top. Not soft enough these days. Hubby tried out our other 'old' mattress in the second guest bedroom for his afternoon nap. Very hard indeed. We remembered that it was a "Sealy Postupaedic". What next? Inspired, we dragged upstairs to our own bedroom, two single, cheap foam mattresses from old bunk beds, which we keep for non-fussy excess friends of small son on week-ends. We slept on these last night. Not bad, except that hubby's one seems to be exceptionally soft and he sinks through to the the wooden base whenever he turns over. We have swopped them over. Perhaps tonight, we shall sleep. Facing us, after Tuesday, is two weeks away - in assorted beds and no radio reception on the farm. I have been to my doctor and begged sleeping pills. Maybe at least then, one of us will have a good night's sleep.