…or, what I’ve achieved in the last 48 hours, when all I should have been doing was manuscript edits, but have been too ill to manage.
Being a conscript sucks. I never asked to be here. I didn’t sign any joining-up papers. I never enlisted myself with my friends and marched off into the sunset through cheering crowds of nationalistic fervour.
And yet I find myself cowering under the iron-fist rule of Major Lurgy. And let me tell you: I’m doing exactly what he says. When Major Lurgy says “stay in bed”, I stay in bed. When Major Lurgy says “drink your body weight in water”, I drink it; all the way to the bathroom and back. When Major Lurgy says “wear as many clothes as you can regardless of the sweat levels”, I obey. And when Major Lurgy dictates that all I can swallow down my razor-lined throat is custard, then custard shall be my nourishment.(Did someone say ten-a-day? Hush now. My head is sore. And anyway, haven’t you heard of the custard apple? Thought not).
And so, finding myself unable to do a final read-through of my manuscript edits due to Major Lurgy’s insistence on only concentrating on things which need little, or no, concentration, I have had to look elsewhere to make use of the time I’d put by for the important stuff.
In between enforced naps (Major Lurgy has a way of making you comply when he says “get some sleep”), I have managed to enjoy – I think I enjoyed them; it’s hard to tell when you’re drugged up to the eyeballs – the following cultural highlights:
- The Lego Movie.
How has this passed me by until now? It’s a hoot. And when you’re on an emotional and physical low, it’s amazing how much meaning can be found. President Business is Trump, right? I mean, he says he’s going to build walls…those folk at Lego Movie HQ either saw something coming, or it’s a conspiracy of some sort.
And The Lego Movie has given us one of the greatest film characters of all time…
I give you Unikitty. After two days on the Beecham’s powders, I’m ready to leap into her Cloud Cuckoo Land, rainbow realness and party on down to her bubblegum sound.
Everyone should be prescribed a dose of Unikitty when they’re ill. The health benefits are, as yet, unfounded; but who cares? Look at her. Unikitty is great!
2. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland
You know when you think you’ve read something, because you really ought to have read it by now, but in fact, you’re not sure if you have? That feeling.
I must have read Alice, because, you know, I write for children. And I know the story. I know the verses. I know the characters. But I don’t think I’ve ever read it through a Major Lurgy hazing. And it’s not the same story when you’re as high as, well, the caterpillar, on cold and flu medication.
Ok, so I’m not smoking my paracetamol. Although who knows? They might be more effective inhaled through a Hooka.
It might not have been the closest reading of Alice, but I needed it on day one with the Major.
Fargo has long been in my top five movies, and last night’s viewing changes nothing. I love the blackness of the humour, and the whiteness of the landscape. I love Frances McDormand’s character Marge Gunderson. I love the left-field whackiness of the Coen Brothers. But last night, the thing I loved most of all about Fargo, was the bowl of jelly* Marge selects from the all-you-can-eat buffet.
How my virus-ravaged throat longed to feel that cool jelly wobble its way down.
Just as some nights, only a gin martini will do; other nights, it’s jelly.
There you have it. My lurgy-induced, cultural diary, volume one. I’m hoping there won’t be a volume two, as I’ve a ton of things to get done before going back to work. But the way Major Lurgy is looking at me from under the brim of his beret, I think he’s not finished with me yet.
I think I’d better investigate how to get hold of some jelly, without actually leaving the house.
And now, before I drag myself back to a dark place, padded with cushions, I’ll leave you with the Awesome Song, from the Lego Movie. Ironic, really, because being with Major Lurgy is anything but awesome.
* jelly, for my stateside readers, is JELL-O. Your jelly, is our jam.