Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Ill in bed today. There is a low grade virus going round the compound. My mother had it last week. My ears hurt; I can't think a reasonable thought; my entire body feels as if a cross Welsh Mountain pony has cantered over it. It's that kind of illness that drives one mad, because it's not really that bad. I should really butch up and carry on, but then I feel too weak and have to surrender.
Really, I think to myself: it's not pleurisy. I had that once, and it made me cry. I actually thought I was going to die, it hurt so much. Sarah had quinsy last year, which really can be fatal. Although I must say, they did know how to name a disease in the old days. Quinsy and pleurisy fall so much more beautifully on the ear than swine flu.
I lie, tossing and turning, feeling slightly like a skiver. I wonder how cross I should feel about Mad Sarah McPalin of the Clan Bonkers saying that all peace-loving Muslims should 'refudiate' a mosque being built near the site of Ground Zero. When very strange people go on saying strange enough things, I almost lose the capacity for outrage. Although I really can't quite work out why the erection of a place of worship two whole blocks away from the place where the World Trade Centre stood should 'stab' Mrs Palin in the heart. In the end, I think: refudiate is rather a splendid new word.
Hugh Sykes is reporting from Afghanistan. He is the best, most humane, most interesting reporter in the entire BBC. He is public service broadcasting in one human. I love him.
I ponder what it is all about. I always get a bit of a mortality attack when I am ill. I think: life is so short and strange, and sometimes I struggle to invest it with meaning or sense. Usually, when my mind strays into this avenue of thought, I turn my head and see this:
They lounge around on the bed like duchesses when I am under the weather, dozing, stretching, occasionally gazing at me in karmic contemplation. I think: that'll do.