I have just recovered from my yearly dose of ill health. It’s always a simple cold and it generally only lasts 24 hours. 2011 was no exception.
It struck without warning on Monday. I was happily walking the dogs around the park – we decided to take the track that leads down to the stream and by the murky pool – enjoying the summer insects and flowering weeds, when I was suddenly struck by an attack of sneezes.
I do not suffer from allergies (not even of any kind) so I was pretty sure it wasn’t anything to do with a sudden influx of pollen. Actually this wasn’t always true. I was once allergic to feathers but this seems to have vanished over the years. Curry used to cause a few problems as well but I beat that by using an extreme form of aversion therapy courtesy of Lister on Red Dwarf. To be absolutely honest, I am pretty allergic to general intolerance but this doesn’t really affect my nose.
So, first it was my nose. After the sneezing abated, my nose was blocked for the duration. It then spread to the rest of me. My head started aching and my muscles began to fall asleep. The poodles were a bit confused as we slowed down, my steps getting shorter, my pace retarded. The final walk to the house seemed to take an age. By the time I walked into the house I knew I was going to be rendered inoperable for a day.
I managed to stay awake long enough to chat to Mirinda and then collapsed. She had had a lovely dinner date with an ex-colleague which I wanted to hear more about but, sadly, my brain was only taking in selected bits. Like the fact that the rumour about her being removed from the Board of Directors without being told was actually incorrect. She wasn’t and she was told she wasn’t. Talk about ruining a great story.
Tuesday was spent mainly comatose, drifting in and out of consciousness, incapable of doing anything except have a Lemsip each time I woke.
The fact that I have a coffee addiction always helps when I have a cold. When sick, my body doesn’t crave caffeine, which means I just get more and more tired which, in turn means I just want to sleep. It is the sleep that gets rid of the cold. That and the Lemsip.
Normally when I go without a coffee for too long, I get terrible headaches as the cravings set in but not when I have a cold. Therefore, my curative properties are down to my coffee consumption! Well, it works for me. Mind you, my mother tells me she hasn’t had a cold for ten years and she rarely drinks coffee so maybe it’s genetic.
And to be fair, I think it IS probably genetic. Mum never gets sick and my grandfather would never give in to anything as puny as a germ. I thank them both for my tough antibodies. After all, it’s not like I eat a lot of fruit – read ‘none’.
And then, having rested on the edge of life, Wednesday morning saw me almost fully recovered. A bit of a cough and slightly runny nose being the final vestiges. I’m rather glad it happened when I could take a day to sleep, particularly this week. I wouldn’t be very keen on taking a cold on the plane to New York.
I had some odd, vivid dreams, something that only happens sometimes. Though, in saying that, while they are vivid at the time, I can never remember them in any great detail. Although I do remember suddenly thinking I was not asleep and hadn’t been since going to bed at 9. I reached across and looked at my phone – it was 1am so obviously I’d dreamt that I wasn’t asleep. This is always bizarre.
Just before waking at 6am, I had a dream which ended with Mirinda turning up at the house. I saw her sitting outside the bedroom window, behind the wheel of a very big Landrover. Given that our bedroom is on the first floor gives some idea of the size of this Landrover. When I realised I’d been dreaming I stole a peak out the window but she wasn’t there. It also occurred to me that a car of that size wouldn’t fit in our street, let alone pull up alongside our bedroom window.
I stayed in bed and drifted in and out of snoozey sleep until 7am when I was originally supposed to call Mirinda – I am her alarm clock which means I get to talk to her a couple of times a day at least. She’d sent me a text in the wee small hours to ring her later so I rang mum and dad instead.
It has just occurred to me that it was fortunate I was sick on a Tuesday because Mirinda would ban me from our lunch date if I was ill.
In an effort to ruin my lunch date, there was a fatality at Wimbledon, on the way into London (“Some inconsiderate person jumping in front of a train” said a woman sitting opposite me) causing the train to creep along. I think it’s odd when South West Trains announce that a person was struck by a train in these cases. Generally speaking it’s the opposite. I guess they feel better by blaming the train. This, however, is doubly odd when you consider the driver would feel pretty awful about it and SWT is basically shifting the blame away from a suicide to the driver of the train.
Due to this inconsiderate fatality, it took two hours to get into London rather than the usual one. Possibly the most frustrating part was having to listen to the three woman who decided they’d like to sit at my table and natter all the way in. I managed to block them out for the first hour but this became increasingly impossible. When they (almost) heard the very quiet announcement about a train hitting a passenger, one of them asked if he’d get into trouble. “Of course not,” said her friend, “He’ll be dead.”
They were on their way to a Take That concert. They were quite old teeny boppers and not what you’d expect the type to go and see a boy band. However, the fact that Take That is more qualified to be a man band now is perhaps enough explanation. I know that Dawn is keen on seeing them but these women where at least ten years older than her.
Anyway, having finally reached Waterloo and heard all about the gorilla hanging from one woman’s handbag which matched a stranger’s across the aisle, I joined the Jubilee Line and hightailed it over to Canary Wharf.
Today my lunch with Mirinda was shared with Ben who was visiting to discuss various things of which I am not at liberty to share…at the moment. We all went to the Turkish place for the usual lovely lunch before I headed home (after walking Mirinda to her door afterwards, of course).
Imagine my total lack of surprise when arriving at Waterloo, to find the trains were still a mess. I jumped on a train which was half an hour late only to find that it was waiting for a ‘fitter’ to fix it. It was packed – the train, not the fitter – and it was a miracle I managed to find a seat. No sooner did I have my netbook out and had started to type than we were told that another train was about to leave for Alton two platforms away.
I joined the hordes streaming off the train and heading towards platform 16 wondering whether it was worth it. A glance towards the Waterloo concourse convinced me it was. It was like the masses of fans waiting to enter the O2 Arena ahead of a Take That concert and seriously not happy about having to wait for their pensioner heroes. One old guy was passed out, his head being cradled by friends, clearly a victim of fan rage. I quickened my steps, pushing aside the slow and glazed eyed tourists and women with prams.
Don’t believe it if someone tells you two trains won’t go into one because I have seen it. More than seen it, I have been squashed in it. If there’s one reason Mirinda has a flat in London, this is it. Extraordinarily, some people stand next to empty seats without sitting down while scores of others stand up. This is something I will never understand. Some of them say they sit all day but who the hell wants to stand up for an hour? Weird.
As we left Waterloo there was a plaintive announcement from the guard saying he was presently squashed into the last carriage and would be around for queries after Surbiton. Surbiton is where half of the passengers get off. Sadly one couple actually boarded the train at Surbiton with headphones blaring and completely oblivious to the rest of the world. Oh, to be a teenager. I live in hope that one day they’ll be listening to their loud rubbish when, deaf to the outside world, they are hit by a train.
And the trip didn’t get any better but, eventually, thankfully and sweating like the proverbial, I left the train at Farnham.
The saddest part of the day was the lack of rain. Believing the weather forecast on the BBC, I wore my raincoat. The only wet was on the inside. Plus, I felt like an idiot walking among people in t-shirts.