Tuesday 13 April 2010


I regret that I cannot make the usual Tuesday entry in this blog because I did not file a  Journal column this week; I did not feel well enough to write one. True, I could have made the same claim for the last several weeks, but now at least I have the backing of an official (if figurative) Doctor's Note certifying that I am suffering from pneumonia. Which is what you get, now I come to think about it (because I have been around this particular course before, hard though it is to believe that anyone would be stupid enough to do it more than once), if you try to ignore a hacking cough for weeks on the grounds that your NHS doctor will sniff "it's only a virus" and send you home without any treatment. Keep that up for long enough and you will end up, like me, scarcely able to move and swallowing the sort of antibiotics normally reserved for elephants with rampant septicaemia.

That is only my layman's interpretation, mind. The NHS doctor I finally consulted believes that I am actually suffering from Legionnaires' Disease. The test results are due tomorrow, and may open up the exciting possibility of wasting the next several weeks trying to track down some poor sod with a dodgy air conditioning system and then suing the backside off them.

Anyway, that's all, folks. The column may return next week or at some more distant date - though, like banging your head against a brick wall or indeed working in general, I have to say that it is lovely when you stop. In the meantime, I hope that this note may serve as an explanation and apology to any of you who have been wondering about my unexpected non-appearance at your office, meeting, church, pub, shop, club, political rally, dinner party or other social event; or why I have been so uncharacteristically dilatory in responding to your letter, e-mail, phone call etc etc.

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