Not to exaggerate, but I am at present the sickest person in the whole world. No, it’s not terminal, and yes, I’m clearly well enough to be sat up in bed typing this, but a certain hallucinatory clarity is one of the happier side effects of the dreaded sinus disease: you feel like someone’s gripping your face with their long-fingered, merciless hand, but strangely everything appears much larger than life as a consequence. This is why I’m sat writing while Tim is watching the new series of Armstrong and Miller – I can’t handle moving pictures, but a nice blank Word document is quite soothing.
During one of my grim little episodes sat on the floor of the bathroom earlier – a position made even more depressing by our current lack of sink and floor tiles – I passed the time by using my superhero sinus-vision to read the front of our washing machine. I needed something to focus on that wasn’t the ancient crumbly cement beneath my backside, and there weren’t many options under the circumstances. Anyway, I discovered that our washing machine is called a ‘Lavamat_Turbo’, which prompts more volcano and carpet associations than I think the makers intended (and why the randomly situated underscore?); it also has a mysterious setting called ‘Aqua Alarm’. Much more high-concept than the boring old ‘40’ and ‘60’ cycles I’ve been using all this time. I wonder if it plays a jingle when you wash your clothes. I will find out, when the angry hand lets go of my face.
Next to four-hour doses of paracetamol, Timothy is my best friend. He is all the time, of course, but especially so when I’m ill. He runs baths, fetches drugs and sick bowls, rifles through our cupboards to find something I can eat and then heroically eats it all himself when I can’t finish it. One of the best, the very best things about marriage is that you always have someone to fall back on. Except when he’s doing the dance he invented for the Total Wipeout credits: then you just try and avoid the flailing fists. Be careful, love – my head hurts.