The Porcine Pestilence
I am writing this in bed, high on paracetamol, Tamiflu and dark chocolate - the only diet I can eat since I got swine flu. I've had three days of living with this alien life-form whizzing round in my blood and I'm not impressed. Apart from the headache, my throat is so sore that almost nothing trickles down (the leaflet helpfully gives instructions on how to take Tamiflu if you can't swallow!) and I can't even croak my name. Mercifully that lets me off answering the phone. And I have a cough that's like a gigantic wolf who's decided to come and live in my body against my will.
I've only got the computer's word for it that this is the genuine article, though. Not being able to speak meant that I had to go online to find out if my symptoms resembled those of the dreaded Porcine Pestilence. There were several pages of tick boxes which I expected to be followed by an advisory paragraph - you may/may not have swine flu - please contact etc etc. But what I got was an internet generated prescription code and the address of the nearest chemist with dire warnings not to go myself.
So, as the Man Himself is still in Italy, we have resorted to the rituals of Plague Britain. I leave money and a list under a stone outside the front door. Neighbours leave shopping and pills, ring the doorbell and run.
The laptop is a blessing. When I feel up to it, I can tap away on the duvet before dozing off again in preparation for another round of pills and chocolate. There are five days of this enforced isolation and I can't wait to feel well enough to want to escape!