It would appear that as well as a bag of chocolate gingers, two plays (Martin Crimp’s adaptation of The Misanthrope and a signed copy of Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art), and a DVD on Greek tragedy I brought home the common cold. Stupid rhino-virus.

The thing I hate about colds is that they are tricky frakers. They sneak up on you, make you stupid and have an inbuilt cloaking device. I was sat in a meeting for three hours wondering why my nose wouldn’t stop running until it dawned on me that I had a cold. When you wake up in the morning you always feel better than the night before because the rhino-virus is hiding. Sure your nose is running, and you feel a little under the weather but your brain doesn’t feel like a blancmange so you must be on the upswing. Wrong! Some time in the mid-afternoon everything goes horribly wrong. Your nose is simultaneously running and blocked, your brain hurts when you try to do anything other than the most basic of tasks and you feel like you are submerged under water.

By the late afternoon the only thing I could do was shred five years worth of notebooks and tidy out my desk drawers. My poor nose had started to turn a delightful shade of crimson, and my friends in the back office formed a Greek chorus line suggesting that I stay home. I think they may have a point.


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