When, on January 2nd, my sore throat disappeared after a few hours, I thought I’d dodged the bullet. No flu for me, I told myself smugly, Brighton business as usual. Poor, deluded moi. Not only had I not dodged the bullet, I’d probably been walking around with it lodged in my head for a few days. The following evening I awoke in the early hours to find my head throbbing and stomach churning.
If the great Renaissance artists were alive today, well, they’d be dead, but if they were able to paint, what masterpiece could the likes of Michelangelo have created confronted by this wondrous sight? What portrait would he have produced given the intoxicating surroundings of my studio room? Indeed, what man could resist the finery and fripperies of my boudoir area – the Primark duvet cover, Shoe Zone indoor, fur-lined booties, the Rental Accommodation Beige walls? And there, in the centre of this captivating scene, me, swathed sexily from neck to toe in pink winceyette, hot-water bottle clasped close to offset the shivers that wracked my limbs. Head above the covers, my brow, tainted by the poisoned kiss of fever, covered with a wet flannel. An enchanting sight indeed.
That was almost a month ago. Since then, time has relentlessly pushed night into day, day into night, while my body, wretched and retching, shivering and sneezing, has been mainly bed-bound. Around Day 4, the Universe, deciding I needed a break, must have had a word with Mother Nature, and I woke to find that the scenery guys had wheeled in a blue sky, sunny backdrop outside my window. If I had felt well enough to get up and pull back the curtains, I might have seen my neighbours below clambering onto our communal bins in delight, parading arm-in-arm along the street, bursting into song, joyous at my rising. But like I say, I didn’t get up to look, so I can’t be sure they did. Anyway, this is Brighton in January, not the set of bleedin’ Oliver!
I am slowly regaining my strength. I venture out only for supplies. I sleep a lot. The good news is that with little appetite, I’ve lost my unwanted winter weight – the mince pies, Christmas pud and occasional Asda individual panettone have melted away. However brief their visit, my abs are back. Every cloud, eh?