Over the summer, the children and I went on a George Boole themed tour of UCC. Among the things I learned about the great man was that his wife was a great believer in an early variant of homeopathy and firmly believed that giving you a small dose of what had made you sick in the first place would help to cure you. The great man got a cold after walking home from work in the rain (something those of us from Cork are all too painfully familiar with) and his wife wrapped him in damp sheets to help him recover and it was too much for his constitution and he was carried off by pneumonia at the tender age of 49.
As attentive readers will know, I got sick on Sunday, December 6. I have been utterly unable to shake the cold since and announced to Mr. Waffle on Friday that if it was not better by next Friday, I was going to see the doctor and check whether it was pneumonia (a colleague has been diagnosed with pneumonia, it’s on my mind). “Good luck with that,” said he “as next Friday is Christmas Day.” Happily, however, this weekend, I finally, finally seem to be recovering. I am, fortunately, never normally ill. As a colleague who suffers from regular colds remarked to me, disapprovingly rather than admiringly, I thought “You normally have the constitution of an ox, don’t you?” I certainly have never had a cold for this long. Every night last week I was up for at least an hour between 2 and 4 coughing my little lungs up. I had to absent myself from the hall during the course of the Princess’s Christmas concert and cough away in the toilets and also, during a work conference where, mercifully, I was not required to be on the podium but where I hacked through the conference dinner like typhoid Mary [actually, does typhoid make you cough? You know what I mean anyway].
I don’t think that my condition was helped by the fact that every time I hopped up on my bike, the heavens opened and it lashed rain. It never normally rains in Dublin but apparently this has been the wettest November ever in Dublin and the rain held on grimly into December. There is no better way to get soaked than on a bicycle regardless of how good your rain gear might be.
But where you ask yourself, is my George Boole link? It was a low point, I have to tell you. I had returned from work late, peeled off my damp cycling gear, crawled into bed with a hot water bottle, a dose of Benylin, a lemsip, a temperature and my ever-present friend the cough. I was woken up some time later by the distinctly unpleasant sensation of wet sheets. Alas, my hot water bottle had leaked.