It's not often I start writing a blog post with no idea of where it might go, although by the same token it's not infrequent that the destination of such a post is not where I had predicted. And it is positively common for me to meander along the way into areas I had not known were on my mind. But today I don't even have a plan to divert from. I just feel I ought to write something or other during this semi-lucid moment. God knows no other blogger seems to have had the common sense to take a break over Christmas. Bloody lunatics.
No I have not been existing since the courts closed for Crimbo in a haze of alcohol that has left me incapaboble of typing. Although the chance would've been a fine thing. I've been unwell (Yes yes thanks for the sympathy etc). Something masquerading as flu before Xmas, that was very unpleasant but oddly gone as quickly as it came and left me feeling washed out and fraudulent, and then at about 8pm on Boxing Day - uh oh - achy shoulders. And I've been in bed from then until this morning. Excellent way to spend the only time off that one can ever take without causing any more of a cashflow aneurism than is already built in to a month with so many bank holidays.
Yes, this Christmas I need not your trinkets and baubles, your gorging and your merrymaking. For I have been sleeping and watching news 24 on endless loop (the only thing that kept the bizarre recurrent dreams at bay) and eating tomato soup and yoghurt. My tonsils are dangling pustulent baubles, my aching body like that of one who has had a bloody good night out. Only I haven't.
I suppose I should give this post some kind of purpose other than irritating whingeing (I am reassured in the knowledge that some of you will find it funny conjuring up a mental image of me looking pathetic). It hasn't really been that bad. By comparison, when I have had tonsillitis in years gone by (and I have had it many many many times since glandular fever at 14) it usually keeps me in bed for a week, swimming in sweat, unable to talk or swallow (small mercy for the poor sod who has to nurse me). This one has been comparatively mild. But I digress from the path that had so recently begun to emerge. The point is this I suppose: Nobody wants to be ill at Christmas. But for some of us it's a double bummer because it is so difficult financially to take time off at any other time of the year. And if you haven't been able to afford much of a summer holiday (2 long weekends camping, both involving small children and a fair amount of rain since you ask) this is one of the only chances for a bit of much needed R&R. I'm pretty robust, but if I've been ill two times in as many weeks, it's a pretty good sign I'm completely knackered. So I'm paying attention to that and taking it easy before going back to work. Because I can't afford a recurrence next month or the month after. Barristers can't afford to be ill - most of the time we take our viruses, plaster casts, neck braces, and excess mucus to work with us to avoid letting down a client (until my day off in December the last time I bailed on a client was when I was caught up in the Kings Cross tube bombing). And sadly these days, at least in my line of work, barristers can't afford to slow down because you have to run ever faster just to stand still. There will come a point when we'll all start slipping off the back of the treadmill, and landing in a crumpled sweaty heap of knackerdness. And the clients will have no running partner.
I like that metaphor. Not bad for a woman with spotty tonsils and glands bigger than her brain. Still a bit whingy and self interested though isn't it? Sorry, I've been cooped up with meself for best part of a week. I'll be better by 2012.
Note: I reserve the right to delete this post if in retrospect this appears to be the writing of a delirious fool.