Skip to content

Felled By Flu-like Symptoms

Friday 18th December, in snowlight

Felled by flu-like symptoms I've been living in a dreamworld, walled in fog, feverish painful doze alternating with feverish painful wakefulness (usually in the middle of the night), only eased by mechanically passing my eyes over the blurred pages of The Second Exile (Vol II of Stephen Walsh's monumental Stravinsky biog). Peter, intrigued, checked out my symptoms on NHS direct and found me well-qualified for a Tamiflu voucher, wanted to know if he should print one out and collect the elixir from the chemists?


Leavemealone, stupidgovernment medicine boundtoberubbish...

Diagnosis by clueless lay person multiple choice, for God's sake. Give me a workstation that can tell the amateur how to take a cheek swab, process the swab and deliver the results to robodoc... then maybe I'll listen.

Hey, I'm a PC and I invented that!

I've never suffered from seasickness but by reports this particular flu is similar. Your actual symptoms are trivial and fairly harmless (fever, sore throat, cough, aches) but the effect is such pure misery, so you know there's not much wrong but you sincerely want to die.

Meanwhile, Copenhagen seems to be foundering, just as predicted months ago. The Flood Countries rescue deal sorely hampered by the absence of Ax Preston, and the presence of National Governments.It's been strange for me (though I missed most of the actual action) to track Copenhagen, thinking of the same conference as staged, fictionally, in Amsterdam in Castles Made Of Sand. I note that in the years 1999-2000 (when CMOS was written) I:

a) Had no idea that climate change would take hold so fast
b) Was convinced that civil unrest would be the first result of the building global disaster, and that the economic growth model had to be shattered before anything could be achieved.

I could still be right. Certainly Africa already presents a horrible model on those very lines. I'm sure of one thing (but this is hardly news). The Business as Usual model cannot do a thing to halt the devastation. What's happened this week proves the ridiculous futility. Gordon Brown approves the third runway at Heathrow with one hand, while with the other he supports trenchant (ha) emission cuts. . .

Ginger comes to visit, checks me out: sometimes she gives me a bit of a wash and curls up on the pillow, whereupon she smacks me if I invade her space. Milo flees, terrified by a coughing fit. The last time I had flu was 2005, the end of January and Frank was still alive, I remember his warm, comforting weight against my side. When Frank felt affectionate, he leaned on you.

The last think I remember before the flu took over was Richard Strauss's Salome on the tv, arguing with Peter who would not believe the libretto was by Oscar Wilde. Please. I think I know Oscar Wilde, says I. Listen to her, how daft, John the Baptist's body white as snow etc etc, he's been living in the desert wearing a bit of camelskin. No he has not, says Peter, he's been in incommunicado detention bottom of that tin-roofed well-sort-of-thing for months.

Oh, okay. . .

Something's wrong with my comments again. I'll try to fix it when better. Meanwhile, Beth, yes, it was Hard Times. . . Yes, I did watch the Ballets Russes and we're going to see them re-enacted live on the Big Screen at the Dukes for our Christmas treat next week. Convalescent today, and the snow is falling on Brighton. We love the snow, because of the light.

Light A Candle on the 12th?

Another clear blue sky morning, no frost

Squirrels romping in the bare branches, the colony of goldfinch scolding around the feeders in Linda and Ron's acacia, but apparently the "unsettled weather" =rain, wind, depressingly high temperatures, is still roaming around, will be back over Brighton by midday. A big weekend for us has just passed, Gabriel playing the Grieg piano concerto with the BYO at St Andrews Moulescoomb, it's a thirties church, rather handsome, and equiped with a small, elderly and not in great condition grand piano. It did its best and thankfully did not fly apart, though it was touch and go at moments. The boy done good. If you missed this fabulous occasion, there's a reprise at the big BYO concert in February in Hove Town Hall.

Monday morning I look at the BBC news, thinking as the little green squares fill up, what would be good news? Can I imagine any good news? Yes, there is good news: Copenhagen makes the top headline. . . Wow. Of course it was back to the hundredth of OUR BRAVE BOYS dying in Afghanistan and the proposed new runway at Gatwick, by the afternoon. The sight of a coffin with a flag over it does very odd things to a lot of people. Eventually (so I've heard) they change their minds, stop feeling all warm and excited and start asking why, but why am I immune right now?

How I do keep banging on!

So, anyway, here's a link for you:

Still working on the new version of Gypsys & excited because Thursday is a big day for me.

Haven't started reading Stravinsky Part II yet, but we've signed up for the live transmission of the Paris ballet reproducing early Ballets Russes, at the Dukes on 22nd. Our Christmas outing.

Winter Sky

Tuesday December 1st. Clear morning, a touch of hoar frost on the grass.

A clear night, last night, and the night drop in temperature we miss so much. I saw Orion through the landing window, one of my winter pleasures, for the first time in weeks. Sadly, it's not going to last.

Bad news for me, my machine is misbehaving. It passed out twice yesterday afternoon, and various scans revealed nothing I could fix. It's over ten years old, so does not owe me anything. So, my Santa list may need changing. . .