Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Strange and sad things happening which are too dull to burden you with. As if to amplify this, my body explodes in cold. Yesterday night, there was the smallest suspicion of a sniff; today, phlegm city, as if my whole head is filled with gunk, and then they poured some into my chest for good measure.

Colds are so boring. They are not worthy of sympathy. They are banal and mundane and everyday; every single person gets one, at least once a year.

They are also clichés. I lie, palely, on the sofa, a box of mansize Kleenex tissues by my side. Why MANSIZE? thinks my feminist brain, which can kick into gear even when overcome by sneezing. Is it because we delicate pink little ladies have such teeny weeny noses that we need tissues made by fairies? Bugger that for a game of soldiers.

But back to the cliché. So there is the huge box of tissues, which gets surrounded increasingly by little balled up white fellows. There is the trumpetty blowing of the nose. There is the stupid voice where you can’t pronounce your Ns. No comes out as DOH. There is the old lag coughing, as if I have spent a lifetime on the Captsans. There is the frenzied making of chicken soup. (This one with carrots, courgettes, celery, garlic and flat leaf parsley.)

There is the sucking of cough drops. There is the swigging of Benylin, straight out of the bottle, because even when I have a cold, I’m still not bourgeois enough to use that stupid little plastic measuring thing. I’m a cough mixture outlaw; I just swig what I want.

There is the hooting sneezing; huge, gathering sneezes which take about seven seconds to appear, so I am left motionless in the middle of the room, doing that breathing in sort of thing, waiting for the sneeze to hit. Then it does, in a long shout, so I sound like Edith Evans doing fake sneezing or one of those performance art comedy troupes who like to try to shock the middle classes.

God, it’s a BORE.

And I need to finish my book, and I am very fretful, and I have three bloody dogs staying, and I just want September to be over.

You know I hate it when I give in to wailing. I like stoical. I like mostly stiff upper lip. Everybody has their dramas after all, and mine is quite a small one.

But oh oh oh oh OH.

If this goes on much longer, I’m taking to hard liquor.


No pictures today.

But there must be the Pigeon because the world cannot survive without that sort of beauty:

13 Sept 1.ORF

I’m so sorry, I’ve really go no idea if this makes any sense at all. My head is swimmy and I’ve got that hot and cold thing going on, so it might all be arrant nonsense. BUT YOU MUST HAVE THE BLOG. So please forgive.


  1. I'm there with you. Out of nowhere and I've had one painful blocked sinus that is making me clutch my face and feel extremely sorry for myself.

  2. Sending a heartfelt *get well soon* glad to hear you're on the soup.xxx
    PS-Stunning picture of Pidge :)

  3. I have this wonderful image now of you GLUGGING cough mixture with wicked abandon. I am on day four of dog ownership - OH MY GOODNESS!! All I can say is: I now get it. Lou x

  4. The blog is lovely and we would all miss it but it is more important that you get well soon and look after yourself - so if you fancy a day off tomorrow, take one. You sound as if you have too much on - a cold, a book to finish and three dogs!

  5. This is a horrible cold doing the rounds. EVERYONE I know has got it. My brother has got it and he is supposed to be having a holiday. My son has got it and he is trying to have interviews. I don't know why I haven't got it, but trust me, I will be the first to let you know. The wv is the exact spelling of what happens when you try to sneeze but fail - eynxrhot.

  6. Just sending get well soon vibes.

    Hate those 'wait for it' sneezes. Benylin is far more effective if swigged direct from the bottle I find.

    Am sure The Pigeon is gazing on sympathetically.

    Be kind to yourself x

  7. Very funny description of a cold! Not at all pleasant for you, but it made me laugh. Someone I knew had a bad cold once but got fed up with sticking at home, so he went off to a party and did Scottish country dancing all evening, and had several drams of whiskey - next morning the cold had vanished!

    Like you I swig cough mixture from the bottle. I believe in slight over-doses in the early stages of something.

    I do hope you feel better very soon - you've got such a lot on your plate.

  8. I'm sorry you're not feeling well, but also glad to hear that your feminist brain is still able to kick into gear. If you need to rant or wail, it's okay. We are hear to listen.

    When either my daughter or I have a cold, we take courage from quoting (and laughing at) Bilbo's banquet speech in The Hobbit: "Thag you very buch."

  9. Heartfelt sympathy regarding the cold - I've had one for a week now, along with sore throat and cough. I've had to resort to waving my hands about in a frenzied manner when unable to speak, mid-coughing/choking episode, several times in the past few days. Busy times mean that I can't just hide in a corner till the bugs flee, unfortunately. Hope you feel better very soon - and like another Dear Reader, I say - have a day off from the blog, we will understand!

  10. Colds are hideous and I think swigging from the cough syrup bottle is the best way to deal with them.
    Hope you feel better soon, take best care of yourself and please don't feel you have to check in with us - we will understand! xx

  11. delurking to wish you well, and a short cold. . .my own system involves just giving in and being as sick as I am, moaning and eating chicken soup (I am a vegetarian, but CHICKEN SOUP)

    On the day I finally feel just a little better, I moan some more and let folks do things for me. . .

    I love your blog. Almost as much as I love your Pigeon.

    Be well soon!

  12. If you're going to take to hard liquor (and circumstances DO warrant it), large numbers of toddies are called for. Either rum or whisky.

    Do trust all dogs are behaving and not having to be thrown out of the house on a regular basis due to rambunctiousness.

  13. I do hope you will feel better soon.

  14. Oh Tania, not what you need at all. Buggar that for a game of soldiers indeed! I hope you are feeling better soon. Please don't take to hard liquor - I highly recommend buckets of lemsip instead, and snuggling with the beautiful Miss Pidge. KBO and everything will right itself. Lou

  15. There's NOTHING worse than the common cold. Saps all the energy when you have so much to do. Hoping golden days of Autumn show their faces. Thank you for keeping us up to the minute. Hope the 'sad' isn't too sad.

  16. Colds are horrible. The worst part is that there is often the feeling that you must go on as it is "only a cold".

    I hope you feel better soon, that as connie said the "sad" is not too sad and am glad you are baulking at "mansize" even when poorly (I do too)

  17. Bless you! Only thing worse than "long intro" sneezes are when you stand still, breathe in, eyes get watery, and then.... nothing. Getting faked out by a sneeze sucks.

    Viven's friend may have gotten rid of his cold by going out country dancing and drinking, but everyone he touched probably went home with it. Toddy away, but stay home if you can. Spreading the misery is just downright mean.

  18. Oh, oh, the kindness of the Dear Readers. Thank you all. :)


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