Goosnargh, night. Just after coming home from the beach (sand bank, waves crashing, saving an animal from drowning), “our lot” in a holiday camp type home, listening to music. I spray cola over a far-wall, and can see in intense close-up tiny fragments of paint coming off as I clean…These aren’t just dreams, these are illness dreams….

Actually, my illness turns out to be benign. My throat has the sensation of tasting as I would imagine tree-bark covered in brown sugar would taste, and I sniffle and snort a bit, but whatever knocked me down yesterday has essentially lifted. There was a short while of feeling the same chill down my chest as is often seen in chewing gum adverts, although this was temporary also.

However, whatever it was (okay, so maybe a BIT of manflu, I concede), has lifted without the use of medicine, so I can now say without fear of contradiction that minor colds can be cured by drinking water, Ribena, Yazoo Milkshakes, and cups of tea, whilst the only food you need is Builder’s Breakfast crisps. NHSDirect will no doubt send you down the Tamiflu route but that’s all a vested interest con. Trust me, I’m proof; milkshake and crisps, it’s the future…


Turning my head to one side causes both nostrills to fill with gunk. This is not a good look. Turning to the other side swells washes of dull, aching pain across my head: thinking about anything seems as hard as writing a word into wet sand. Meanwhile my throat seems unable to take swallowing any more frequently than every five minutes or so, while my ears appear to have blocked out sound from a certain frequency to such a degree than walking from my house to London Road sounded as though I was walking in new shoes along a courtroom corridor.

To summarise, then, I am ill. I feel like a character in a computer game who has, against the measures of “health”, almost no coloured-in blocks indicating things being alright. I should stumble to somewhere selling foods enabling a swift restoration of well-being but so far that has only been to the corner shop (one bottle of Yazoo and a ‘paper) and Gregg’s (one ‘steak bake’, the intense heat from which could be tracked down my body but the taste of which was muggy and foggy, more than usual). Like most amateur players of games like World Of Warcraft I appear to use my funds on wholly inappropriate foodstuffs taking my gran’s “feed a fever starve a cold” to mean purchasing anything but, say, medicine. Because, when all things are considered, the typical bloke element kicks in, and this means utilising the medicinal goodness of Yazoo milkshakes, and soups from the work canteen.

Swine-flu this probably ain’t – I am walking about pretty much as ever, just unable to breathe through the nose without sounding like a swamp-based creature. Again, it’s the typical bloke elements – for as long as my legs can carry me from place A to B, then it cannot be serious. Although sneezing once in WHSmith caused everyone else to fall deadly silent for a few seconds – with man-sized pride comes power…

But, yeah, in general terms, I am sofa-bound and grumpy, sniffly and sneezing. Any cake-bakers or tea-brewers are invited to pop round whenever they like….