Saturday, May 30, 2009

Uh oh

It's been a difficult couple of weeks and it's about to get worse; in addition to the usual four novels a week I have a fifth novel, a long and major one, to write a full-length review of, plus a PhD thesis to examine, and only those who have done the latter know what a delicate, responsible, time-consuming and difficult task it actually is, and one for which the pay rate works out at about ten dollars an hour, tops.

(Back in the day, you were given three months to examine a PhD thesis, on the understanding that you were a fulltime academic and would therefore be doing the work in what was laughingly called your spare time. Now it's six weeks, which in my case are shortly going to run out, and they get very snotty with you if you're late. My understanding is that this is because funding is now directly tied to 'productivity' and one of the criteria for productivity is how many finished and passed PhDs your department/school/faculty/whatevs can churn out in the shortest possible time. It's all a bit like the Soviet Union's stats for boot production circa 1946.)

And so, naturally, I am crook.

As Laura from Sills Bend would (and indeed did) say, this is crap! Who is responsible! I woke up this morning with a sore throat that has gathered strength during the day, and has been joined by sniffling, sneezing, a temperature, a head full of cement, occasional fits of faint shuddering that have nothing to do with being cold, and a general overall feeling of utter crapitude, plus a sinister sensation that my skin is hurting. That's the one I associate with flu, as distinct from just a cold, and am muttering to myself, like the old man in Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends, 'I maintain and I maintain strongly, to this minute I don't believe it's an ordinary cold.'

Naturally I plan to examine my nose for suspiciously flattened nostrils and my bottom for any sign of an incipient curly tail before I go to bed; as you can see, the squealing has begun already. In the meantime I've just finished the hot drink I made instead of dinner, which I don't feel like at all (in my case a definite sign that something is amiss): the juice of a lemon, the last of the Scotch, the last of the Ginger Honey and a slosh of water, all heated up to boiling. The good it'll do is more psychological than physical, but that is no small thing. I still feel frightful, but I care a lot less than I did half an hour ago.


Deborah said...


librarygirl said...

I think I read some where that a swine flu symptom is nausea and/or vomiting as well as the flu symptoms.Plus a cough.
But, gosh, good luck with that.

Peter said...

The good news is that, in about 20 years' time, you will have had them all and will be able to snigger evilly as the bugs bounce off you.

Um ... I suppose this is me sniggering. Sorry about that.

May you be clear headed and tail-less tomorrow morning!

Anonymous said...

I'm figuring if you get the pig flu now, before it mutates into something really really hideous (as opposed to how ordinary hideous you feel right now) then you might have at least partial immunity to the extra hideous variety coming. However not being a virologist, myself, that may just be wishful thinking. So hoping you are, as Peter suggests, building up iron immunity to everything there.
Word verification dittedi not promising, however.

Mindy said...

Hope you are feeling better soon. If they get snotty about the PhD being late tell you had swine flu even if it's ordinary flu. That should shut them up. As long as they don't read your blog.

WV chedon

Anonymous said...
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Pavlov's Cat said...

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Pavlov's Cat said...

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