November 25, 2015

7.00 am. If must have slept no more than hour last night. Bronchial coughing broke any attempt I made to ‘drop-off’. Putting my feet on the floor was an effort. I sensed that the cold had now become fully established. My eyes are like hot marbles. Following breakfast and a dose painkillers, honey in hot water, multivits, Q10, and garlic tablets, I hit the pillow again until 11.00 am. I don’t ‘do’ being ill particularly well. For one thing, my mind accelerates even as my body slows down. Sometimes, I’ve received new ideas, that came with great clarity, in this condition:


11.00 am. I had little strength or will for anything other than to sit in front of a computer and pump bibliographical references into an online database. It needs to be done, and right soon. Furthermore, I’d rather be spending my worst energies on this than my best.

1.00 am. Bring on the baked beans on toast. Comfort food is the call of he hour. 1.40 pm. I took to my bed again. Sleep was denied. 2.10 pm. Back to the pump. The University’s upload and search systems are running very slowly and, occasionally, timing out. (The object correlative!) I’m going to try and listen to the entire of Wagner’s Ring Cycle … now that I’m grown up.


Grand opera and grand colds really don’t go together. I’m found myself getting irritated and turning down the volume periodically. Scott Walker will heal! But he can be very operatic too. No. I need instrumental music: Sonny Sharrock’s Guitar (1986). Some guitarists (and he was one of them) have guitar’s strings connected to their heart as well as to the tuners. Pumping done for today!

I worked my way through the medical cabinet in search of succour. This was nice:


Absolutely no taste. Peculiar! But it had the consistency of what can only be described as thick water. I was cautious not to bump into anything, just in case I exploded. Calamine lotion was the only other fluid in a bottle that I’d available to drink. Maybe not.

7.30 pm. Email catch up. I needed to decide what is realistic in terms of tomorrow’s commitments. To my second year painters I wrote:

I am, as they say in theatre land, ‘indisposed’. I’ve a dreadful cold that has turned horribly productive making it difficult to speak without collapsing into a torrent of coughs. So, meeting tomorrow is not good for you or me. I propose seeing you on Monday afternoon instead, for micro-tutorials (15 mins each). We’ll then have full ones on Thursday as usual. I’ll post a schedule soon.

Thanks for your patience. (Yes. Even cold-hearted robots get poorly occasionally.)


Having suffered from an irrational, unreliable, and either under or over-reactive immune system for over a quarter of century, I respond to illnesses, from which others might bounce back swiftly, with great caution. On occasions, a small noise has triggered an avalanche.

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