A first.

Well here’s a first.  The table is covered in china painting and I’m not doing it.  It’s just sitting there.  I love china painting, it’s the reward for all the dreadful grit scrubbing.

Why am I not doing it?  Well. you know when I said I thought I was coming down with flu and then realised it was just RSI shoulder pain?  No it wasn’t, it was flu.

Fortunately I had a letter from the hospital putting back my appointment for the exploratory surgery by a week, other wise I’d have turned up sneezing and been sent home.  Next week I’m at the hospital three days running, one is the first surgeon, the second is the second and the third is the physio and I absolutely have to be well enough for a general anaesthetic and even more importantly, look like someone who can be told they can drive their car.

So I am resting.  Well resting as much as you can coughing and sneezing.  I have found as I have aged, some would say like a fine wine, others like an old sock or yesterday’s forgotten pot of tea, that I am getting wisdom of a sort.  When I am ill, I stop and do being ill.  It’s actually more efficient.  It’s also one of the benefits of being self employed and old.  When you are working for someone else the dilemmas around being ill and turning up for work are all Catch 22.  If you go to work ill you can turn a three day cold into a three week cold in your sinuses and infect numerous people until everyone at work is ill too.  Or you can lie on the sofa worrying about someone else having to do your work, or stealing your work or, perish the thought, doing your work much better than you so that when you go back everyone says ‘Oh are you back?’ with entirely the wrong inflection.

I have had a lot of illness in my life, much of it due to the bungled operation to remove my tonsils.  I have lost count of the number of doctors who have peered into my throat and said the equivalent of ‘Good grief are those your tonsils?  No wonder you are ill.’  Yeh, I know.  But it was a very fashionable operation in the 50s.  You’d have had to go abroad to find a child with a full set of tonsils and adenoids.  Or anyone who hadn’t been to a German Measles party. 

Different times, different customs.  No doubt fifty years from now someone will be Cloud blogging by thought transference how very altered their life would have been if they hadn’t been trolled at 13 by school ‘friends.’  We had bullies at school too but at least you knew who they were.  It’s remarkably simple to spot the bully when they are literally in your face and holding you arm up your back.  These days standards are dropping in bullying; as it’s mostly done on social media sites you don’t have to be physically impressive, or have a snotty nose, a practised sneer or even a henchman.  My bully at school had a hench girl who was little lank-haired rat, attached like the tail of a comet that made them easy to spot as the bully orbited the playground looking for someone to be evil to, or me.  I was the school poet and therefore a standing target.

How glad I am that I do not have a teenage daughter and how much I wish all this would go away before the GD gets to that age.  I hope her parents hold off getting her a mobile phone for as long as they can; when the source of the misery is in your pocket, how do you escape it?

The source of my current misery is up my nose, I am off to get full use out of a box of tissues and I am old enough to be thankful for them.  I used to be allowed to have Grandpa’s big hanky when I had a cold.  You haven’t lived until you have rotated the same cloth hanky three days running to try to find a dry bit, or, equally charmingly, had to wait until Monday (wash day) to get a clean one.  Actually that’s inaccurate, Tuesday was fresh hanky day because by then it had been ironed.


The past is another country, the national costume includes a pair of grey flannel knickers with a pocket in them for a week old hanky.  Lovely.

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