Water beds seem to have lost popularity and I think I know why.

My dear late friend was very proud of her tiny diamond earrings- the post kind not clip- ons.

She had a lovely gentleman friend and as the relationship developed she would stay over at his place in town instead of driving to her place.

He had a very swish water bed. I got the guided tour by the pair of them. The leather and wood frame held a bladder full, or a full bladder of sanitised water. It had a heater for cold winter nights. I even did the comfort test. Not for me, I get seasick.

The happy couple were very happy with their mod con. It looked like becoming a permanent arrangement.

But for the earrings:
At home Irene was in the habit of taking her earrings out in bed and sticking them under her pillow and into her regular double mattress.

You are already ahead of me.

I received a call from my elderly friend. Oh yes she was about seventy, forgot to tell you.

She had taken out her ear studs as usual. During the night the tide came in. Early morning they both awoke thinking the other had wet the bed. Well they had both had an accident.

Yep the studs made two nice holes in the bladder and as they moved (now you are too far ahead, they were fast asleep) the studs popped out under the pressure and a slow outpouring of grief took place.

When I arrived in answer to an alarming phone call a hose was snaking downstairs and out into the garden of the town house unit. The little lawn was under water.

I was to accompany Irene to the bed shop in Newcastle where we purchased a replacement for $200, a hefty price in those days.

I was very considerate. I kept a stright face and a closed mouth. My friend was a local dignatory with dignity to preserve.

Only now can I see it as hilarious. Her Man was very stoical. The flood was gone when we returned. The relationship thrived and the genuine diamond ear studs survived.

I was the Roving Reporter (freelance) for the local paper and that is one scoop I had to let go. It might have made the Sydney Morning Herald!