Merry Christmas 2016 and welcome to 2017 – now here is some man flu.
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!
So sorry to hear that you are nae weel, Eric. I do hope you feel much better soon and that your tubes unclog rapidly. Now, here’s something that may hasten your recovery……..there is a wee book waiting for you at Sitheil…..”How to Win at Scrabble” – a late Christmas present from me and Himself. That ought to be encouragement to get better!!!
Dear Eric Regret to say that flu is a very social thing. Only the best have it. Witness our academic genius of a grandson, Charlie had it last year and again this year. But it deserves sympathy and we both wish you the very best or better in 2017. Let us get together when the virus joins somebody furth of Barclay Park and make this confused world a better place. Mr Trump President, Brexit, Assad, the Russians with Putin and the chances of another Independence Referendum makes me wish to dive under the covers as well, but hopefully without that dreaded virus. Plenty there to sort out between us all. Happy New year to you both and Rosemary sends her love. John >
Dear Eric, Happy new year to you, Jo, Archie and Socrates. Sorry to hear that you’re feeling under the weather. Apart from that, it was a delight to read your blog. It helped me confirm my suspicion that after a certain age we have every right to be grumpy men! Old? Depends on your definition of the word. I recommend Daniel Klein’s book TRAVELS WITH EPICURUS in connection with the world ‘old’.
In any case, in 2017 we will all be subject to Trumped up charges for this and that, especially if you’re a Mexican who can’t afford a Ford car because it won’t be made in Mexico and Americans won’t be able to buy cheap Ford cars made in and imported from Mexico, so as cars made in the USA will be more expensive, Americans won’t buy them, so Ford workers will soon be out of work…
If you’re Russian it depends on how and what you Put in to get out of trouble. After all, take Syria: Russians rushed in where Disunited States feared to tread.
And of course you can’t have a Brexit without breaking eggs and these products appear not to be all in one British basket. What May Theresa do? Theresa may be thankful that she’s not Norther Ireland’s Arene Foster attempting to explain Cash for Ash, Or she could appoint Boris Johnson the last British Ambassador to the EU. Now that would be fun.
I’m sure that all right-thinking Scots (are there any others?)would agree that it doesn’t take a scientist or a surgeon to know that you can’t have your Salmon(d) followed by a Sturgeon and eat it.
Finally, doubtless this year the truth will not out; if it is sensible it will stay indoors until all the lies have been shown to be untruths on a massive scale and then, as Sherlock would say, all that will be left will be the truth, but will it case a revolution among right, or even left-thinking people? We may have poisoned le Penn in France and a Dutch Wilderness before the year is out.
In Ireland we have a fine little minority government stumbling from one little crisis to the next, but nobody wants to bring it down as the general public, of which I am an unpaid up member, couldn’t be arsed to go out and vote again for probably the same result as the last time. Populism is alive and well in Ireland, too, as evidenced by the government’s climb down on water charges. It’s water, water everywhere and enough to drive you to drink. Not of course that Irish drivers would drink and drive…yes, you are right: I jest!
God bless you and all who sail in you,
Kevin N. P.
Hello Eric, sorry 2017 has started so badly for you being smitten by the nasty flu like bug. Your resistance will be in tip top condition for the rest of the year, so that is a positive slant maybe!
Jack and I wish the whole family all Best Wishes and a peaceful year for the world.
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