The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Some Days I Don't Know Why I Bother to Chew Through the Straps

Had a relapse.  Today just slept and slept, with more clammy "responsibility dreams" where I let everyone down and managed to lose someone's prized ruby that was the size of a half an egg.  Just to complicate matters this fabulous gem belonged (but exists only in my dream, I must hasten to add) to my ex-husband's ex-wife (in reality he did remarry, the same year I did, in 2003, but it didn't last long for them) and her new husband (who does exist, they live in NY State).  I'd put it on a high shelf so their baby (who also exists, in the USA, with them) wouldn't put it in its mouth and choke on it, but it had been stolen in the night.

Why I was in charge of my ex-husband's ex-wife's baby I have no idea, but there's dreams for you.

Meanwhile it was suddenly Xmas Eve and The Husband (my lovely second spouse, who wouldn't hurt a flea, let alone me) kept insisting on going to the pub and standing rounds of drinks and spending a fortune, and he hadn't even wrapped his Xmas presents.  At 11.30pm with only a half hour left to Xmas Day, still shirking all his seasonal responsibilities and now neglecting my sisters and their families, (who'd all descended on us for the holiday, bizarrely), he tried to drive off with some woman he'd known in the past to yet another pub.  Aghast, heart-broken, and fearful for his safety I tried slow him down by grabbing the back bumper (which was a nice old-fashioned chrome one, held on by bolts, not an integral part of the bodywork) tore it clean off the car and smashed the back window with it until they stopped.

Shades of Mrs Tiger Woods, eh?

In the midst of all this convoluted dreaming I heard a knock on the door which I groggily dismissed as part of my diseased imaginings, especially as The Dog was with me on the bed and he didn't react to it at all.  A little later, when I was half-up and about, leastways slobbing about shambolically in my dressing gown, I checked if there was any post to find a pile of eBay parcels, Xmas cards and letters in the porch atop which was a pack of luxury mince pies and a Camembert.  Flummoxed, I tried to think who the mystery benefactor might be.  A visitor for the lodger?  How strange, if so - surely his friends would know he'd be a work.

OMG NO!  A horrible dawn of realisation crept over me (shamefully, it was by now the middle of the afternoon - I don't DO mornings in the winter, especially if unwell, so "dawn" isn't quite the word I should have used there).  It was a neighbour who'd I'd invited over for tea before I'd got ill.  But surely she was coming on Thursday? Tomorrow.

A quick trip to the wall calendar confirmed it was Thursday. Today.

I've somehow lost a day in the muddle of being poorly, and so now my name is as much mud when I am awake as when I was asleep.  There is no place to hide from my incompetence and dilatory nature, both real and imagined.  I shall have to take up residence in Grovelsville day and night until I get myself sorted OUT.  I've sent an abjectly apologetic e-mail (I also can't find her phone number; is there no end to the error of my ways?) and will try to make amends by not touching the mince pies and cheese until we can enjoy them together.

Tomorrow I must get up and dressed good and early and take them round to hers for elevenses.  Along with a big fat juicy slice of home-made humble pie.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

On The Powers of Suggestion

I am again doing the one-fingered typing, lying on my side leaning on my elbow, in bed, with The Dog at my back.  Day 2 of Being Poorly In Bed, and the novelty is waning.

In the days of The Daughter's childhood, if she were off school with a cold, after a while if she seemed a bit perkier I'd suggest she got up and put her dressing gown on, if not actually get dressed, and come downstairs.  The mere act of becoming vertical can often make one feel so much less ill.  It sets one right in some way, being upright.  Is it that the balance of the four humours resettles itself?  You'd have to ask an alchemist or an apothecary. Certainly the phlegm gets a chance to drain away, phlegm in its modern sense, that is, all the grot that is stuffing up the spaces of the face.  Not phlegm in the ancient sense, one of the aforementioned humours.  That's something else entirely, although (without a trip to Google) I couldn't tell you what exactly, except that it gives rise to a phlegmatic personality. Which is preferable to being choleric or melancholic, in this writer's view, and about as good as sanguine.  But I digress...

Slobbing around in a robe doesn't work the full restorative magic. Getting up and dressed, with proper shoes on, not slippers, is the most efficacious option, as it brings with it the idea that one might even Go Outside.  This is a big step when one has been coddling a molly.  Outside, after all, is where the Well People are, so by crossing the threshold one might become one of their number.  Is being ill perhaps more enjoyable? Does one want to indulge it - and by extension oneself - yet more or does one want to begin to try to shake it off?

Easy does it though, there's no rush.  A nice hot bath first/?  See how that goes, and then consider the option to put on day clothes and potter about the house a bit, or if that prospect overwhelms, pop on some fresh PJs and have another little lie down.

(Addendum.  I got into day clothes, as the temptation of a new dress off eBay which arrived in today's post was too much to ignore.  It's by Sandwich, a designer I discovered  a few weeks ago in the mid-Wales boutique I praised to the skies on here.  It cost me - wait for it - £2.20 with £3 P&P, for a dress which would have been at least £80 or £90 new.  Hooray!!! I am wearing it with a long sleeved T under and my boots, also bought in Wales which have hardly been off my feet since I got them).

New clothes = almost total cure, by the way

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Coddling My Molly

I have taken my tonsils off to bed, the better to take care of them.  The back of my throat is an arc of raw red, with a bright pink uvula descending therefrom and a yellow-spotted tonsil on one end.  I think spots like these will march over the red arc and take up residence on the other tonsil before long.  Every once in a while I get up to look in The Husband's magnified shaving mirror to see what progress this pesky pathogen has made.  It's doing very well so far in its colonisation of my soft palate. I'm impressed.

The Dog is with me, lying curled up just behind my bum, comfortingly.  I am lying on my side typing this with one finger.  The other finger I normally use to type is on the hand attached to the arm which is propping my head up, so otherwise engaged.  The Dog has been with me all day.  He does this when someone is in bed a bit poorly.  It's the pack mentality - everyone moves at the rate of the slowest.  In this case no movement at all.

I had the most bizarre dream this morning.  In it I had engaged the services of a very expensive singing teacher, from London, who'd brought up his star soprano for me to do duets with - I was paying her as well.  We were in a village hall which I had hired (yet more expense) and when we broke off for refreshments they were provided by the local WI (was I reimbursing them too?).  I drank only water, a strange dry dusty water which made me thirstier and more parched than I had been before.  In the second half of the lesson I couldn't sing properly, only croak, so I was treated to the expensive ignominy of the guest soprano being wonderful and myself sounding like a bull frog. I apologised to the teacher who chided me sternly, saying I was always getting ill and that had put paid to all the careers I'd ever attempted.

Which is true, but my dream had no business rubbing it in.

When I woke up I had sandpaper where my soft palate should be and a feeling of profound failure left over from the dream. And so I determined to stay in bed feeling sorry for myself all day, only getting up to make hot honey and lemon.  Now we have a laptop I have all I need in milady's boudoir - Facebook, e-mail, eBay, this blog, i-player and 4oD.  Add to that the phone and The Dog's gently reassuring ministrations I'll be as right as rain by, ooooh, about Friday, I think...

Monday, 6 December 2010

Tinsel & Tonsils

Got the tree(s) up good and early, as always.  The traditional date for The Husband and myself to deck the halls is 1 December.

This has been going on since 2000, making this Christmas our eleventh spent together.  It was decided we would counteract the years I'd endured of the bloody-minded Bah Humbug tendencies of The Daughter's Father with lashings of other extreme, all Yo Ho Ho and bonhomie.  Not No Tree (which had been a feature of the early years of marriage #1 - her father relented when The Daughter got old enough to ask for one) but a Splendid Tree on 1 December.  And never again will I be given a pair of kitchen scissors or new oven gloves as a present from my spouse.  Yes, honestly, you read aright. One year I had the scissors and another year oven gloves, and not as silly stocking fillers, as my ONLY present. One never-to-be forgotten year I got nothing whatsoever.  And yet he was surprised when I eventually divorced him...

We have added little traditions along the way, now I am joyfully ensconced in marriage #2, which has nothing in common with the first one except my presence as the wife.  One tradition is always drinking snowballs whilst decorating the tree and house.  Our recipe for this seasonal cocktail is a splash of brandy, a dash of lime, 1/3 glass Warninks Advovcat, topped up with well-chilled good quality fizzy lemonade.  Plus a couple of maraschino cherries on a cocktail stick on the side of the glass and maybe a few drops of the syrup into the snowball mix. I find I can't drink them with the enthusiasm we once held for them.  But I must have at least one on 1 December.

This year we brought in the live tree which we got last year because we felt sorry for it.  It was straggly and scrawny but we thought with some TLC we might be able to fatten it up.  After 6 January we planted it up in a half barrel filled with coniferous compost, and in the spring the end of each branch and twig had an encouraging spurt of lime-green new growth.  We watered it in hot weather and turned it a 90 degrees a month so each side of the tree got a little holiday in the sun.  The top two-thirds of the tree looks OK, but it must have got off to a bad start as the bottom "rung" of branches is a skinny and the second "rung" doesn't exist at all.  An entire year's growth is completely missing.  Which makes for a very uneven Xmas tree as there is little or nothing to hang baubles etc off in the bottom third of the tree.  I have been wondering if we could confect and add a ring of imported branches to bulk it up.  Meanwhile we sing "Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how feeble are your branches...!" at it, somewhat cruelly.

We have dressed it as well as we can to disguise its wants and deformities, winding extra lights and tinsel where the branches ought to be, but The Husband says it nevertheless looks "like a tramp in a suit"

Another tradition is we buy a few extra baubles and decorations every year.  This year I toddled off to Homebase on this errand to find all artificial trees and lights were half-price, so I went a bit mad and "spent some silly money", as my late mother would have had it. I got a 4ft tree, a string of 80 LED lights and about two dozen gold and two dozen lime green baubles,  I have always wanted a tree with lime green baubles.  So now I have one, in the corner of the living room, on a table.

I wanted gold tinsel for it, and bought three strands, but haven't used it.  It is too lustrously thick and heavy-looking.  I like thin, skinny, well-worn tinsel, but thin tinsel is no longer The Thing. I may have to trim the stuff I got with scissors to get it to fit with my post-war rationing concept of tinsel, like the stuff we had in the 1950s.

So that's the tinsel of the title dealt with.  What of the tonsils?  Well, I developed an inflamed right tonsil in the night, and swollen glands and earache on that side .  Examination in the magnified side The Husband's shaving mirror shows an enlarged tonsil with few yellowish spots thereon, textbook tonsillitis.  Swallowing is a scratchy, ouchy affair.  I need nourishment that is smooth and unctuous, and will slide past easily, preferably chilled.

Another snowball maybe...