Nearly two weeks have passed since I last wrote anything here.
What's been happening? Have I lost my internet connection, or merely my writing mojo?
Actually, I've been ill. I started sickening for a cold while staying with GrannyBear, en route for Lyme Regis. I almost perked up, but then didn't. Perhaps it was a 500 mile round trip in 5 days. Perhaps it was two days tramping around a cold, wet beach. Perhaps it was a serious sleep deficit caused by The Noisy Family. Whatever it was, I took the almost unprecedented step of taking a day off work. I spent 7 hours sat on the sofa, drinking lemsip and allowing the Winter Olympics to wash over me. I thought I felt better after that, and returned to work. That was thirteen days ago.
My nose streamed, and then streamed some more.
And then I developed a sinus infection, and it was excruciating. The right hand side of my face was an inferno of pain. Swallowing drove needles of agony through my right ear. But I had a party planned, so I dosed myself up on pain-killers, drank gin and had some friends round for a Saturday evening of merriment.
And when Monday rolled round, I just wanted to stay in bed. But since my boss had come to the party, it seemed a tad cheeky to be well enough to stay up late drinking, but not well enough to work, so I went to work clutching a hot water bottle to the side of my face. (Yes, I actually did.)
I slept with my face on a hot water bottle.
I took painkillers.
I took decongestants.
I steamed my head.
And then I started coughing. I coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed. I coughed so much I kept myself awake for hours at a time. And, much like my irritation when other members of my family cough, I became quite vexed. I tried to banish myself to the spare room so I wouldn't keep me awake. But that didn't work. Instead, BigBear retreated to the spare room so he could get some sleep. And I coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed. And still my face hurt.
Unlike me, with my severely limited stores of patience and sympathy, it turns out that LittleBear really is as lovely a little bear as I always say he is. One morning, at around twenty past six, when my coughing had kicked off again, a little voice called out from the neighbouring bedroom, "Are you alright Mummy?" I may be biased, but it's almost impossible not to love him.
Just to add insult to injury, on Thursday night, after I'd had a scant 3 hours of sleep, my LittleBear woke up and was sick. Since there was already spare space in my bed, he joined me there, along with the washing up bowl. And we proceeded to have half-hourly interludes of being sick or having emergency trips to the bathroom to evacuate other parts of his digestive system. And then it was morning. Three hours sleep. This part of my life was supposed to be over.
I went to work for a rest (and a meeting with an important customer) in the morning, leaving BigBear holding the fort (and the bucket). Fortunately the bucket was not necessary, and in fact LittleBear showed every sign of having nothing whatsoever wrong with him. I managed to survive the afternoon with him without swearing, which felt like a major achievement.
This morning I, finally, woke up feeling somewhat improved. The cough was abating, my sinuses were no longer discharging all manner of yellow, orange, red and brown unpleasantness, I didn't even have a headache. So LittleBear and I went into town to cheer BigBear on as he ran a Half Marathon. By the time I got home, after an hour outside in the cold, I was trembling, my face was throbbing and I wanted to cry. So, despite BigBear being the one who'd just run a Half Marathon, I went to bed in the afternoon and slept. And took painkillers.
I'm almost human again now. Almost.