...in other words: I Don't Feel Well.
I have been wiped out by a bug; completely flattened. Maybe it is a revenge attack for something I said about the French, but Gallic germs seem more vicious than Anglo-Saxon ones. I swear I never felt this ill this often in London. My French friends blame it on the "collectivité", which means "community" but is used for groups of people, in this case children; in short La Fille picks up bugs at the nursery and passes them to me. In that case it should also happen when we are at collective nurseries in south London. So far it has not.
The Frenchman said: "Why don't you stay in bed." I thought he might be having a laugh. He was not. I said: "And where exactly is La Fille's 'pause' button?" Instead of cutting his losses he continued: "You know what it is? It's weekend flu; it's well-known that people fall ill at the end of the working week when they relax." Unable to shout because of the sore throat, I hissed: "It is not the weekend and there is no end to my working week." (The "end" and "working" were especially hissy.) Then he said what he always says: "Go to the doctor." This is very French. I have only once gone to a French doctor about a cold and then only after the Frenchman nagged me until I felt worse. The doctor diagnosed a cold and wrote a prescription for five medicaments, three of which I could have bought over the counter at the chemist next door but because I had a prescription were reimbursed, ie., free. No wonder France's health service is broke. In any case they did not make me feel better.
So, in spite of having one hour's sleep and feeling as if there are shards of glass in my throat every time I swallow and suffering a low-level throbbing in my head and a permanent snivel, I am carrying on heroically. I refuse to go to the doctor and because of this I have lost all sympathy from the Frenchman. I said: "I took what he prescribed the last time. It hasn't made me feel better." He said: "It's probably past its use-by date." He is right, but I feel too wretched to point out it did not work even before it decided to lose all effectiveness at 11.59pm on the 31st December 2007.
I took a Fervex, the French equivalent of a Beecham's Powder - prescribed and paid for by me - and felt slightly better. There is nothing like a dose of self-righteousness.