Mon 30 Jan – Sun 5 Feb 2017
The twentieth point on my last blog stated that my beloved boyf was overcoming man-flu but I thought I had caught a touch of it from him… Well to be honest, I took it both barrels. The whole of last week was dominated by me feeling like shit and shouldering on whilst I could before retreating back to my bed. And at points I was knocked out completely.
I felt rougher and rougher as the day passed. I went to the gym in the morning working on the assumption that a little bit of gentle exercise can’t do too much harm. Probably true. But through the rest of the day I kept getting hot (temperature-wise) and ice cold. After meeting a colleague in the afternoon, I struggled back to Dave’s and crashed out in bed. Dave was still off ill and I did mention to him that this might end up how we die – together in bed, victims of a pandemic. Didn’t eat anything and forced myself to have a shower before bed. Felt freezing cold in bed but then woke throughout the night boiling hot.
Terrible night’s sleep but I had to go into work to get the last lot of Tech for Good assessments done. To be fair, getting out in the cool morning air and walking to the office probably did some good. But throughout the day, hot and cold kept sweeping over me. And I kept turning the radiator next to my desk on and off in sympathy and solidarity. Home on Tues night and some soup. Good thing about being ill is how it hits one’s appetite.
Slowly I seemed to improve but it was drawn out. My chest felt less red raw than two days previously. But I was still coughing up crap (as happened all last week). The amazing thing about phlegm is how sticky it is. No wonder you feel rough when stuff like that is blocking up all the tubes and tissues in your body. Into work all day to finish off the TfG assessments. How to survive a week feeling like shit? Just keep on going until you collapse then rest. I should have know something was wrong when my lunch felt like a struggle and I couldn’t finish it all. I never leave food, it makes me feel guilty about wasting stuff. Home and to bed relatively early. Blessed bed.
I wasn’t at work and should have gone to the gym. But I still felt clammy and sweaty so it became a do nothing day. So what did ‘do nothing’ mean? Well it meant pottering around during the morning and trying but failing to get a haircut in the afternoon – my barber had a day off. Tube up to the gym and just had a shower/sauna to clean myself up. Then more pottering and some noodles before the Velvet Page book club in the evening.
Back into work to get the papers out for the panel next week to decide the Tech for Good projects to be funded. Another sweaty night of intermittent sleep. And out in the cool morning air which seemed to make me feel better. However, my throat felt red raw and was so sore. I was doing some wonderfully hacking coughs and producing lots of sticky green phlegm. Got the papers done and to the barber’s for a haircut. I felt cold and went back to Dave’s where I crashed out in bed yet again. The whole of last week seemed to be about getting stuff done before crashing out. Some time on the sofa with Dave in the evening watching TV but also soon to bed.
The wasted weekend: Saturday
I had such plans for the weekend. God looks at our plans and laughs. A pretty bad night’s sleep again but up and out on Sat morning. No way I could make the gym as planned. Porridge at Pat Val with Dave but felt ill still. Back to his flat and basically spent the rest of the day in bed drifting in and out of sleep. I forced myself to have a bath in the evening to try and freshen up. Moments of lucidity enabled me to read. But didn’t deal with all the pooter stuff I had planned. Asleep by 9pm.
Weird dreams, many and varied as well as the latest Little Mix song on constant repeat in my head. Though also awoken by someone having a fight outside around midnight. I slept for about 11 hours though with lots of coughing. Up and out for a coffee nearby, that did it for me. Sweaty and clammy so straight back to bed. Did rise in the afternoon and stayed up for a bit but back to bed by 9pm. Phoned mum to find out she was ill as well and had been taken to bed after a fall.
As planned, last week I got the Tech for Good interviews done and all the assessments written up – yippee! I love doing tech for good work but getting this phase of our programme completed during Jan has exhausted me. The final two interviews were on Tues. One was where the applicants insisted on attending and the other was a more regular conference call. So during Jan I did 16 assessments and wrote up 15 of them (one pulled out after assessment). Nissa took on 5 other assessments and wrote up them as well. 20 assessments pushed through the system to my boss to sign off then papers prepared and out to the panel on Fri. Phew!
Last week was about getting the TfG assessments done and the papers out. And as it turned out, recovering from illness in-between. Thus no real exercise. Yes, one gym session on Mon but I probably shouldn’t have done that and no great shakes. No other gym sessions and definitely no swim nor jog-run. Keeping going last week was my main success.
I did some DuoLingo but not the amount I had hoped and planned for. Indeed on Fri I managed to do nothing at all. Just getting to work and sending out the papers was sufficient before crashing out in bed.
Also I failed to see mum last week. No washing on Mon but obviously I planned to see her during the week. However, I just felt too ill to travel and I was worried about her catching whatever infection I had. Though looks like she had caught something by the weekend anyway. All in all, a very strange week.
Books and reading
I was determined to read the book for the Velvet Page Book Club and attend on Thurs evening. Though it turned out leader Chris wasn’t there because of an operation. And during my moments in bed being sweaty and coughing, I frequently used the time to do some intermittent reading. Thus I managed two books last week.
‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe’ by Fannie Flagg
I read this for the Velvet Page Book Club and probably wouldn’t have done so if it were for that group. I remember the film from the early nineties – a fab film with a lesbian under-theme. But the book is brilliant. And it’s a lovely set of stories covering so many relevant issues: feeling good about yourself, getting old, sexual orientation, and dealing with racism are just some of the topics covered. It’s main setting is red state Alabama in the first half of the twentieth century when racial segregation and the KKK ran riot. If you want a lovely story about how people can just live together and learn to love each other then this is it.
I think the book made such a good impression on me due to the politics of now. In a week where it became clear Trump is just a white supremacist and Bannon the real vice-president. And our spineless, stupid MPs voted against what they knew was right to start the process of leaving the EU. So if there was a referendum and 52% said execute the other 48% then those MPs would approve it because that’s the will of the people? What is the point of MPs without bollocks and courage. Too many of them are just worried about their salaries and pensions – pure cowards. Looks like the end of the UK as well. Good luck Scotland and time for a united Ireland. I will still carry on fighting for a liberal nation, Europe, and world.
‘The Last English King’ by Julian Rathbone
Typically, a book that I picked up at the local charity shop for 50p. It’s about the life and times of Harold Godwin who was defeated at the Battle of Hastings. The reviews were pretty cool. It is a good, grimy dip into life in the eleventh century. All the key characters are here including Edward the Confessor and William of Normandy. It is a bit like a dynastic history with lots of bitter family conflicts, plotting and scheming, and even some incest. The author does make you think that the English were the ‘goodies’ with a wholesome lifestyle destroyed by the Normans. And William as someone who is totally anal. I wonder if it was that clear cut? Interesting to note how England might have been torn apart by rivalries even if Harold had won.
Dr Who audio adventures
‘Company of Friends’ (eighth Doctor Paul McGann and various companions)
Another of those Big Finish adventures where you get 4 self-contained episodes. This time, they all concern the inter-action of the wonderful eighth Doctor with one of his companions. Including ones written about as well as portrayed in audio: Benny, Fitz, Izzy and Mary. All perfectly OK though no classics. The best is the last and actually introduces Mary Shelley as a companion. The Doctor comes across Mary, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and John Polidori at that fateful meeting in Switzerland in 1816 when Frankenstein is created.
‘Patient Zero’ (sixth Doctor Colin Baker and companion Charley Pollard)
A weird but fun story. The Doctor and Charley arrive at a Viral Containment Centre and encounter the Daleks and Viyrans battling for control. They are stuck in a stalemate with the Viyrans basically being indestructible. The latter take on the voice of the Fratalin who guards the installation and which definitely suits them with his clear, sharp tones. There is a wonderfully sinister Dalek Time Controller. And a new companion appears called Mila who it turns out has ‘existed’ in the Tardis ever since the Doctor’s first incarnation, watching him and now only able to take shape through the time cheating Charley.