Sickness is a strange thing. So psychological, that you can almost think yourself sick. I’m wondering if it’s going to happen to me – and, of course, wondering about it makes it more and more likely.
Everyone we know, pretty much, has been horribly ill over the past month or two, in bed for a few days, aching, throwing up, incapacitated. I can’t think of a single person, in fact, who says they haven’t had it.
Except, that is, us. We’ve both felt awful, we’ve both been tired and aching, too exhausted to do very much, but we’ve both stayed out of bed. Neither of us has given up and retired to bed for a few days waiting for it to blow over. But the exhaustion and the achiness has gone on for much longer, longer than it would have if we’d actually been ill in the first place.
Now, thinking about it, I keep wondering why we’ve managed to not get too sick when everyone else we know says it’s sent them to bed at some point. Which in turn means: is it our turn? Is it going to come around.
In the real world, I really don’t think epidemiology works that way; but I don’t know about my head. So this morning when I had a sudden attack of dizziness, I felt: is this the winter flu? Is that what’s coming on? The way things are going, I’ll convince myself to fall ill, and fall ill, when otherwise I’d stay fine and healthy.
Christmas came, and brought the flu. I was in bed most of yesterday, aching, coughing and sleeping.
We really weren’t impressed by the ending of Doctor Who on Christmas Day. Russell T Davies doesn’t know how to write a good ending – as demonstrated both by the end to the last series, and the Christmas special. I’m dreading the new series, and I really hope he’ll have written as few episodes as possible. Give the writing jobs to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat in future, please.
Still recovering from my awful, hacking-cough cold. For The Mother, who thinks I have had bronchitis continuously since August, this is more evidence that I am leading a terribly dissolute lifestyle and need to stop having sex, stay indoors watching TV, and go to bed at 9pm every night just like she does.
In lieu of a proper entry, it’s time for One-Line Album Reviews. Hurrah! In which, I try to come up with pithy lines about some of the albums he’s bought recently.*
The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club, The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club: you can’t hum it, the same as you can’t pronounce the name after a few gin and tonics very easily; but it’s some good, chunky angular music to listen to in the car.
The Aliens, Astronomy For Dogs: Like The Beta Band doing rock, which isn’t too surprising really. Rather good.
Gossip, Standing In The Way Of Control: A bit much hype involved, which (also) isn’t surprising really. It’s not a bad album, but they’re not as good as, say, The Kills.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager: Note to self: unlike TVEGC (see above), do not put this on in the car. You will fall asleep, probably at a busy motorway intersection, and kill hundreds of innocent pensioners on a coach en route to Southend.
And that’s most definitely enough of that.
* thus ruling out all the dronerock the Dronerock Fairy has been sending this way. Although the forthcoming Blonde Redhead album is rather good. Erm, so I hear.
Apparently, it turns out that tea is much more healthy if you drink it without milk. The news isn’t going to help me, though, because I will never ever drink the stuff without milk in. I’ve tried it. It makes me ill. Without milk in, without fail, it brings up my stomach. So the news that it’s healthy raises a bitter laugh.
More serious news: as I type,* people are protesting on the streets of London for their God-given right to be nasty people. More specifically, they’re protesting that homophobia should be legally sacrosant, on religious grounds. I’m not sure I understand these religions for whom “keep away from the gays, you might catch gayness” is apparently more important than “love thy neighbour”. Take the Christians, for example – Jesus famously didn’t say anything at all about sexuality. St Paul did, but St Paul said lots of things.** The Old Testament does, but the Old Testament also says that wearing mixed-fibre fabrics should attract the death penalty.*** If being able to turn people away because they’re gay is such a religious issue, how come it’s never been a major tenet of your faith historically? If it’s not, why are you being nasty?
* see, that’s damn topical
** Then again, most Christians probably pay more respect to the teachings of St Paul than Jesus himself. St Paul wasn’t even one of Jesus’s followers, but he still managed to invent most of Christianity. For one thing, he came up with the controversial and shocking idea that you didn’t have to be Jewish to be a Christian. Want to feel like you’re going to heaven but can’t give up the bacon rolls? Thank St Paul! Trying to get your child into an Anglican school, but don’t want to have to stay away from everybody when you’re menstruating? Guess who you should thank!
*** I will look this up and check it later, I promise.
Recovering from a bit of sickness. Fortunately, only a brief illness; I’m pretty much back to myself again.* I was sick enough to take time off work, though, for the first time in a few years. Normally, however bad I am, I pull myself together enough to make it into the office. I’m not going to go into details about what was wrong, for the benefit of emetophobic readers. There’s at least one that I know of.
Talking of the office, Big Dave seems to be up to something. Lots of hushed calls on his own phone. I’m suspicious. He managed to pull a visiting consultant,** but I don’t think this is related.
* “Only sick in the head”, as Big Dave helpfully said.
** Well, got her phone number on her last day with us.
This week has mostly consisted of: coughing fits. Coughing until bent double, sometimes. It’s not fun, but it seems to be fading now.
The worst part is, I didn’t even take any time off work. My sinuses and ears were all aching, and due to the earache I was wobbly on my feet, and having trouble moving my jaw. At one point, I even fell down the stairs.* Why the hell I didn’t take any time off work, I don’t know. I might have had plenty of important work to do, but I sure as hell wasn’t up to doing it properly – I’d spend half an hour at a time changing the wrong file, and making Big Dave think I was about to cough up a lung. I’m unlikely to get any respect or kudos from the management for trying to get my work finished despite feeling shit, so why did I bother to do it?
* Why is it that I never lost my balance and fell over on flat ground? The one place I lose my balance has to be at the top of a flight of stairs, so I go thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk on my arse all the way down to the bottom.
My throat feels like someone has been rubbing it with sandpaper. I’m sure that hasn’t actually happened. I’d remember.
Nevertheless, I have dragged myself into the office. Given that it’s Monday, everyone would get somewhat suspicious if I stayed at home and croaked down the phone at the office secretary. I’ve come in, and I’m medicating myself by sucking on jelly babies.* They’re definitely soothing my throat more than cough sweets would.
* the secret sort that are actually made from real babies, of course
Note to self: be more careful with the leftovers in future. Two day old Chinese food with prawns in isn’t good for my stomach, clearly. That was at least part of the reason for my absence over the past couple of days. There were other reasons, too, of course – when I wasn’t in bed or throwing up, I was travelling round half of Yorkshire, escorting kissograms and delivering cats. Despite my illness, despite still spending most of the weekend in bed, I didn’t get much sleep.
Because without it, I’d still be laid on the sofa with blocked sinuses and an awful headache.
Yesterday, whilst I was in that state, I was listening with my Dad to Radio 2,* to Arthur Smith‘s comedy clip series The Smith Lectures. And, during the show, he played Ford Kiernan‘s cover of the Coldplay song “Yellow”, done in a swing style.**
I was laid there listening to this, this annoying ballad redone as a nice cheerful piece of easy-listening swing, and I couldn’t help thinking: this is actually rather good. Certainly compared to the original: it has verve,*** it has wit, and it doesn’t have Chris Martin’s horrible whining all over it. But it’s swing. It’s Easy Listening! Am I getting old?
* it was his choice, I’d like to add, not mine.
** according to The Internet, it was released on his charity album Swing When You’re Mingin’.
*** but not The Verve, of course
Bleurgh. Cold. All blocked up. Runny nose. No appetite. Can’t stop sneezing.
Don’t think I’ve been near any seabirds lately, though…