This is no time to be sick, you swine!

It’s been a while since I blogged, so first my excuses.

Mostly my silence has been due to work, which has been manic of late. This recently culminated with a triumphant event hosted in London, but for the weeks leading up to it I had neither the time nor the space in my head for blogging. Thankfully, that is now done, so life returns to some semblance of normal. Unfortunately, no sooner do I get back to something like normality than I get sick, so there go a few more days. And of course things don’t really get back to normal because now we are full steam ahead with installing the new kitchen. My wife has the strange notion that I should be helping with work on the kitchen rather than blogging, so radio silence is likely to resume shortly. Meanwhile, at some point, I really must get on with writing that book!

Being sick at the same time that work is being done on the kitchen is, frankly, poor planning. Despite regular female jibes accusing us men of having ‘man flu’, I don’t like to think of myself as too much of a whinger when sick and I rarely have time off work because of it. As an aside, what is all this ‘man flu’ business about any way? From my experience, women are at least as likely to make a fuss about being ill as men, but how long do you think we would last if, instead of sympathy, we poured scorn and ridicule on a woman’s illness? Our life expectancy would be seriously curtailed I suspect.

But I digress. My illness was not serious, thanks for asking. In fact, initially I thought it was just an especially bad hangover. I went out on Saturday night for a friend’s birthday, where I drank too much beer and ate my own body weight in curry at an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet. It was unsurprising therefore that on Sunday morning I had a headache, nausea and dizziness. It was unusual, however, for it to get worse as the day progressed.  Unfortunately, the assumption of a hangover meant that it was not a good excuse for getting me out of kitchen-related hard labour, but luckily, being a man, I could just knuckle down and get on with it without making a big fuss.

By Monday morning it was clear that I was properly sick and in no state to go to work. Whether a whinger or not, what you want to do when you are off work sick is stay in bed late and sleep it off, right? But this is not easy when workmen turn up at your house at 8:30am and spend most of the next 8 hours drilling bloody great holes in the wall. When one of the main symptoms of the illness keeping you from work is a headache this is especially bad planning.

Another thing about the timing of my illness was that it occurred when swine flu is in the news. One of the first things my wife did when she realised it wasn’t just a hangover was to go on line to check the symptoms for swine flu. This isn’t helpful as the symptoms largely seem to be identical to any other kind of flu or cold. However, everyone panics that this is what you might have. After a couple of days at home with the drill, I decided that work was more peaceful and went back. Obviously I was still looking a little peaky, sufficient to cause comment. However these comments were less in the vein of “you poor thing you don’t look at all well” or “well done for struggling in, have a pay-rise to reward your dedication” and more along the lines of “bugger off home, I don’t want to catch your swine flu”. Charming.

Thankfully I am now back to full health, just in time for a long weekend removing our old kitchen ready for the new one to be installed. We are moving parts of the old kitchen into my old darkroom/ the new utility room, so anyone who knows of my legendary DIY skills will be itching to see what a mess I can make of that! And there’s still the book to think of, so I’m off on a research inspired drinking trip in Bristol Road on Saturday night, which hopefully won’t cause a return of my swine-flu symptoms*

*swine flu symptoms: a pain in my trotters, a craving for truffles and crackling in my ears


About Darrel Kirby

I am what I am.
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