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Posts tagged ‘cold’

Snot vapour

Four days ago, I contracted a headcold. Prickly throat, grumpy cough. It was mild to inclement, as colds go. I self medicated with 5000mg of calcium in powder format, and congratulated myself on my stoicism in the face of disease.

Turned out the cold was just warming up. Yesterday morning, it struck me down in my prime. I am currently a scene of carnage: small, rubbery red eyes; backfiring lungs; my throat an acrid furnace; snot exploding from every orifice and several pores. It might be the calcium.

All I felt like doing was lying in bed, moaning in between sips of brandy. Unfortunately, I was flying to London. I was going to decant a few million milligrams of calcium powder into an empty jar, but feared Security might think it was cocaine. So I didn’t. Doesn’t seem to have done me much good, *cough!*

My ears popped with unprecedented violence on the plane and have not fully unpopped. Chantal met me at Liverpool Street Tube Station. Conversation was tricky, because everything sounded like it was under water. Or it might just have been the effect of a dense, humid cloud of snot vapour

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A life of privilege

Mum: Will you ever stop scratching your arse against that heater?

Me: N-n-no. This house is f-f-freezing. It’s bordering on ch-child abuse.

Mum: Will you ever go and put some more feckin jumpers on ya.

Me: I’m w-w-wearing them all. D-don’t have any m-more.

Mum: I could lend you a vest.

Me: <look of slowly dawning horror>

Me: I would rather die of hypothermia.

Mum: For fecks’ sake! Will you ever toughen up! And stop wrecking my head! When I was a girl, we were so cold we were practically crippled with chilblains. We didn’t have ‘radiators’, just baked potatoes. We used to walk four miles to school, barefoot through the snow-

Me: Well, you’re lucky you’re hardy. I, on the other hand, was born into a life of privilege-

Mum: GAH!

Freezing point: higher than you might think

This country is f-f-f-free-hee-heezing.

There has been no circulation in my nose for two weeks now.

At present, I am stretched out on the floor of the living room, trying to press as much of my body length as possible against the heater. I hope nobody comes in, because it looks suspiciously like I’m attempting to shag the radiator. Except that I’m fully, in fact possibly over-clothed; and instead of counting the cracks in the ceiling, I’m typing on my laptop.

Every morning, I wake up lightly chilled. I pull the bedclothes higher, tucking them around my neck to create a vacuum against the outside world. Then I wrap my arms around my torso and tuck my feet into my armpits. I’m more flexible than I thought.

After half an hour of fruitless, soulless, yearning for warmth, I can’t delay getting up any longer. Mentally bracing myself, I fight off the duvet and three blankets, scramble over the cold hot-water-bottle, and make a desperate dash for the bathroom – specifically, the wall-mounted fan heater.

[Wait a minute – Radiator and I are shifting position. Mmm baby you’re so hot.]

Since leaving the UK ten years ago I have spent little time in Ireland. Husband and I were here for Christmas 2002, but I didn’t notice the temperature because I was fuelled with mulled wine.

As for my formative years in Limerick, I tend to view my upbringing with anti-rose-tinted glasses. I seemed to spend an awful lot of time trying to locate the ‘nuclear’ setting on my electric blanket, or huddled miserably in front of a fan heater, or wondering whether purple was my natural lip colour.

Now I can confirm: it really was that cold

Time zone flu

For those of you who missed the countdown, my husband returned on Saturday. Bit smelly, featuring rampant stubble and eyes like shrivelled raisins – VEINY shrivelled raisins – but still hotter than Jason Bourne on a cracker. And you can’t say that about many men. Or women, for that matter.

This morning, he came down with an acute case of time-zone flu. A regrettable side-effect is that his rating has slipped. He is now hotter than Jason Bourne in a wet t-shirt – but it’s a close thing

Urgent medical attention

Near the Westfield Shopping Centre, heading southwest along Henderson Valley Road, the Waitakeres rears up ahead. It’s a stunning view, but rather dispiriting from the vantage point of a bicycle. Far in the distance, at the very top of the Ranges, is the television arial which – if you’re me – is your destination.

Today’s cycle was a desperate mission of mercy to save Husband’s life: he had run out of Strepsils. He had also run out of bread and milk. This morning in the house, there was a distinct tension in the air competing with Husband’s exponentially increasing germs.

I was looking forward to the outing (apart from its urgent nature). It’s been ages since I’ve had some exercise and the day was glorious. Also, the cycle to Henderson is no hardship.

The cycle back, on the other hand . . .

Action shot of my evening shadow before it crash landed in the ditch. The photo at the top of the post is the Waitakere Ranges in afternoon sunlight, shot from #132

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