Yes, I know, it is not ebola or zika virus, but the cold/man flu/infection/whatever it is that has kept me housebound for the last week has ceased to be a joke (my response to it is a joke to some members of my family). I now boast a magnificent collection of suckable sweets, powders and cold “remedies” – sufficient to stock a small pharmacy. I also have a cough to rival the rough hoast of a fifty-a-day full strength Capstan smoker. No-one visits. I have no social life. I am a pariah.
I have just been presented with a steaming mug of the full-strength version of a well-known cold cure brand, the bouquet from which suggests it has the ability to clear the most stubborn of blocked lavatories. Will it finally clear my tubes, though, and remove the thrumming headache and streaming eyes? “It’ll be doing you good” says my wife as she nimbly sidesteps through the door to take the dog for a walk by the river and to breathe virus-free air.
Telephone and email sympathy is offered: “There’s a lot of it about.” “That virus has been through my whole family” “It just has to take its course”. I am not alone.
Still, incarceration has some benefits. I have spent some time digitising some very old family photos. To raise my spirits, I am trying to read The Girl on the Train and if that fails, the new Robert Harris novel is waiting in the wings. I am not sure if these are ideal choices in my present circumstances. I also have the print and digital news to keep me entertained. From a standing start (“What’s that number thing in the paper called?”) I have learned, with only mild swearing and some help from a much more logical wife, how to do mild sudoku very slowly.
Apart from the ongoing tragedies across the world, two of today’s news items affect my blood pressure, and not in a good way.
- The Times reports that Anne Wafula Strike, a paralympic athlete, was forced to urinate in her clothes on a three hour train journey because there was no working disabled toilet on the train. Apparently she sobbed for hours after she returned home.
I can well believe it. Train journeys can be a nightmare for anyone with even mild mobility problems. I have blogged about this in the past and still vividly remember being shouted at by a woman on a swaying overcrowded train because I accidentally tripped on her foot trying to access the toilet – there were no empty seats and she and countless others were seated Corbyn-like on the floor all around the toilet entrance.
2.Some of those who cannot get over the fact that they lost the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, have been fund-raising to put up posters complaining that the BBC is mis-reporting Scotland. Alex Salmond, their former leader, apparently refers to the BBC as the British Brainwashing Corporation. Infantile, or what? I’d be delighted if they could send me evidence of this brainwashing or mis-reporting – I will publicise it for free on this blog.
Still, it’s the new year. I have drained my mug of steaming hot lavatory cleaner to the last drop, so things can only get better. This time last year there were floods.
Happy new year to all readers and followers of this blog!