Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend...

“Ingratitude is treason to mankind.” James Thomson

Saturday 18 December 2010


Things I have doused in red cough linctus in the past 24 hours:
- the right lapel of my white dressing gown
- the quilt
- the duvet cover
- many tissues and paper towels
- the tray by my bedside
- hands
- face

Despite the similar colour, this is not the mildly acrid cherry Robitussin of my childhood, but a sinister conflation of sugar syrup and diesel fuel, which produces horrible petrochemical burps.

What they do share is the characteristic of being uncontainable in a teaspoon. No matter how careful I am, how slowly I pour, how steady my hand, I'm incapable of getting a dose from bottle to mouth without a detour all over everything. Its uniquely glutenous consistency means that it doesn't immediately soak in, but rolls wherever gravity takes it, covering a lot of ground. It's too viscous to mop up, but spreads beautifully all over the bedding in the half-dark half-asleep half-morning.

I am quite pleased I managed to sidestep the vomiting bug that's been doing the rounds, but I've had enough of this one now thanks very much.


  1. perhaps still under the influence of your previous post, i visualised each of the items on your list as if filmed by guy ritchie - all smooth camera angles, all artfully blurred - white silk, fluttering tissues, tasteful antique silver, your bejeweled hands and a final close-up of your red lips.

    having been sick on more than one occasion, i am fairly certain that is NOT how it went down, but hey, at least you didn't tie anyone's shoes...did you?

    here's hoping you get better soon. congrats on the vomiting bug!

  2. No, you got it right the first time - it was all very elegant and cinematic. The red droplets of medicine falling in slow motion, spreading like scarlet petals over my duvet cover, me swearing like Scarface. It was beautiful.

    I could barely tie my own shoes, such was the pain in my sinuses; that put paid to anything ambitious.

    Many thanks! Feeling better already.

  3. Ugh, sorry you're sick, hope you get well soon -- it's unfair that medicines have to be so nasty, aren't they supposed to be making you feel better, rather than worse?

    I had Strep Throat of Death this summer, and just laid in bed with packets of Tylenol PM and Cold Medicine and such so I never even had to sit up to take my next bit.

  4. Well, I hope that elixir actually works! Feel better soon...being sick as an adult sucks...I'll take the cool hand of my mother on my forehead anyday...

  5. PS Love the new banner and how it is always morphing into something new!

  6. Poor lady! When you get better from the flu'o'the'swine, let's go OUT!

  7. Ooh, I return - sort of - to the land of the living and lovely comments!

    emmysuh: I can totally relate to that. Every time I left the bed and returned upstairs, I made sure I had a care package with me. By the end of the week, my side of the bed was littered with pharmaceutical detritus.

    Kelly: I think that one of the hardest things to envision when you're a child and eager to grown up is the experience of being on your own and sick and having to get your own soup and orange juice with no one to hover over you with cool cloths and concern. And thanks for the banner love - I enjoy changing it, though I rarely like the new banner more than the original one.

    Harridan: Yay - let's!