The man who lives next door to me is quite unaware of this truth, but him and I are in a fierce coughing competition and today I am winning with aplomb. Last night was peppered by his coughing: the rapid gunfire of a man seemingly chocking to death and in return, in sympathy, I responded with some rather dramatic coughing, hissing and spluttering of my own. Catching his cough through these old walls in the same manner that the mere suggestion of a yawn can have me yawning too.
Oh yes. I have caught the dreaded lurgy. And although I warned myself rather severely not to give in to that felling many a better woman than me around these parts, I, as usual, took no notice of myself and all the vitamin C and zinc in the world turned out to be no match for the Lady Flu - an ailment a man today assured me was only about 5% as terrible as the man flu. Ahem.
It has been a lovely weekend. I took my cough to the Lake District yesterday, having decided that I was made of sturdy stuff and could easily manage a walk up and around the loveliest waterfall in the land, despite the fact that there was clearly not enough air in my lungs and I looked like Mad Mary, with a huge mohair scarf wrapped around my head and deeply unsuitable boots on my feet, edging down slippy steps and stopping to choke every few minutes. Because I am not so much sturdy as nesh. And a nesh woman, climbing cliffs with the Lady Flu is a terrible combination indeed. And one that inspired much mirth among those who purport to love me I will have you know.
So this morning I woke up and knew that the lurgy had won. That hanging around a damp forest on a cold Saturday in February was a lovely but otherwise preposterous thing to do and a person will be made to pay by losing an entire day to croaking and sniffing and generally being rather dramatic, and will in her delirium do all ten of the things she usually does when illness takes hold. Namely...
- Try to carry on. Go a little housework crazy in an effort to prove that I will not be defeated by something as common as a cold. Splash the whole house in Thieves Oil and convince myself this alone will do the trick.
- Eat pineapple till it comes out of my ears. Because I once heard that pineapple will go in to battle with congestion on our behalf so I consume it by the bucket-load when I'm snuffly and I don't know whether it works or it doesn't but I can't stop and risk feeling worse.
- Have a little cry over something silly. While furiously sweeping the floor and sipping at a glass full of dis-solvable Vitamin C.
- Fall in to a flat, sweaty sleep and wake up at four o'clock in the afternoon thoroughly bewildered.
- Feel incapable of reading so watch something surreal instead. This time The Love Witch. For which there are no words but should you ever find yourself wanting to experience something utterly weird and true then this visually stunning, downright bizarre film is for you.
- Eat marshmallows and take Buttercup syrup at regular intervals. Because nothing soothes a sore, scratchy, hairy throat faster than this cosy combination from my childhood. (And I swear I have never had a throat that felt quite so hairy as I do today!)
- Wrap up my sore throat in a pink pashmina so old it is almost threadbare. Occasionally alternate my Lady Flu fashion choice by wrapping said pashmina turban style over my itchy ears and appalling my thirteen year old.
- Decide gin might be a good plan. With whisky. And brandy. In a vase.
- Wonder whether I will ever feel normal again. Rack my brains to remember how normal felt. Resolve to feel grateful for normal next time I notice the absence of the damn lurgy.
- Change my sheets. And my pillowcases. Twice in a day. In case they are riddled with Lady Flu and I keep on re-infecting myself. Feel fully aware of how ludicrous I am being.
It's such terribly hard work being a person isn't it?
Night night Darlings. I am heading to bed to compete with the man next door. It is entirely possible we might just get a bit of sleep in before the dawn chorus of coughing begins all over again.