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It was bound to happen. I have moved cities, flats and jobs recently and that level of change does not sit well with me. Then there was also the fact that I was thrown into the deep end at my office, with several projects that had tight deadlines, was doing some other freelance work, and you know, working on my novel too. And hosting house guests each weekend since I’ve been in Bristol. And of course, due to all the change there was the no sleep that I was getting. I feel that a mere cold with a side of rising death was a small price to pay.

But all week I have been nursing a cold and guzzling Night Nurse which is not unlike Nyquil at home. It comes in the Green Death formulation and knocks you out cold for several blissful hours. Life saver it is.

In and around all of this L’il Sis, Crazy D and I were trying to make a photo album for The Mom for her recent birthday. All whilst working and being ill.

I am terrible when I get a cold or a flu. When one of my usual ailments flares up rendering me actually reasonably close to death, I’m fairly nonchalant about the whole thing. I’m used to it and it’ll either go away or take me with it, but I’m not usually involved in any kind of consultation. But a cold or flu and I will moan on and on, for hours. This moaning also involves several long-distance phone calls to The Mom wherein she patiently listens to me and tells me that I have to take better care of myself and then starts in on how I should always keep an emergency container of homemade chicken soup on hand along with matzo crackers (no saltines here), ginger ale and plenty of vitamins. Which I never do, obviously.

Left alone to my own devices with rising death I had very little time this week to lend a sympathetic ear back home to their versions of death. Apparently The Mom was so ill she had to get up during the night for a brief vomitting session. Being a mother, The Mom was never really sick when we were children. She was just a bit more tired than usual as she kept on going through migraine after migraine and cold season and flu season. I vaguely remember her saying that Mommies were’t allowed to get sick. So when I get emails from her, detailing the specifics of her illness it seems much worse than perhaps it is because in my mind she has gone from Bastion of All The Health to One of Us now, susceptible to everything and anything.

I was feeling rather impressed with myself because I managed to get over my death cold before everyone back home. The fact that I managed to get well was, in and of itself a small miracle, but that I’d beaten everyone else – those who live in a diet based exclusively on all the things guaranteed to provide health whereas I drink and eat only fluffy white foods. Ha, I thought to myself, I’ll show you. I’ll rock up home and be well.

And then I arrived in London and all my friends had consumption which I am surely to get now as well. The consumption goes around London at this time of year and is sometimes hard to spot. It’s easily mistaken for the usual cough you hear here from about October to April, it’s a mixture of emphysema and croup and everyone has it from grannies through to children and dogs. But things at my friend’s place were going from Victorian to Edwardian quickly and I fear the black death may be upon us if the consumption doesn’t get us first. Though, creative lot we are, we’ve found a way to keep the consumption if not at bay, then at least down to a dull roar. The liberal application of whisky. Look, it might not be the sensible Mom-approved choice, but I tell you this: we are at least the walking wounded here, whereas back home I hear they’re still shuffling round in track pants.

Never fear family: I’m going through duty free in a week and will come bearing whiskies for health.

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