This week I have had a cold. No. I haven’t just had a cold: I have struggled valiantly through a week of hell. A week of headaches, shaky limbs, sore throats and runny noses. A week of continual tiredness, made only worse by cricking my neck after napping in an odd position. A week where I’ve felt generally crap, my internet kept stopping working and my phone didn’t want to receive incoming texts of sympathy from a myriad of my friends (I assume). It’s a miracle I’ve made it to Friday, to be honest.
On top of this, I had to be working on some internship and masters applications. You won’t be surprised to hear that feeling like you’ve done ten rounds against an unsympathetic Hulk does not improve your confidence for writing reasons why someone would want you to work for them.
So I’m trying a few cold remedies. My usual tactic at university was to battle through with the help of a high street chemist’s own brand mix of paracetamol, caffeine and something else magic until I ran out of essay writing adrenaline and collapsed in a heap. Probably not the best. This year, however, I’m at home and I don’t have much on this week, so I can properly take my time to recover heroically from the evil germs lodged in my system. And why struggle nobly on when I’m just going to end up infecting people? For the good of the populace, I’ll stay at home, in my PJs, and watch TV. I know. There should be statues erected to me.
Remedy number one, then: bed rest. Well, technically I’m going for sofa-rest, because there’s a TV opposite the sofa and it’s less staggering distance to the kitchen. There’s also a higher chance of my parents walking past me, so I can pounce and sweetheart them into making me cups of tea more than I could upstairs in my cold room.
Remedy number two: lemon tea with honey. This is the stuff, man. Soothing. And also very helpful because I kept forgetting to buy honey and lemon linctus last week and there’s no way I’m leaving the house now. There are quite a few home remedies involving lemon, ginger and honey floating around on the internet which seem a good idea, because you’ve got a strong taste coming through with a soothing ingredient too.
Remedy number three: entertainment. If you’re not just wanting to nap, then you need some entertainment. I haven’t any TV series to catch up on, so it’s time to crank out my feel-good films. Top of the list is Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes film. Also Independence Day, Hot Fuzz, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I’ve seen these four so many times I can keep track of the plots with my eyes closed and my body unconscious. In fact I can quote these in my sleep. Pick your own feel-good films – I just recommend funny ones with lots of explosions or sword fights.
This relaxing is lovely, but I’d really like to try to get better now. I shall attempt to speed up the process.
Remedy number four: inhaling steam/Vicks. Turns out the Vicks my mam gave me expired a few years ago. A few decades ago to be exact. It smells funny, and I’m not sure I’m supposed to feel it seeping in through my tear ducts. The expired-Vicks did send me off to sleep, but I think it also inspired the dreams where I’m chased by the entire cast of The Hobbit dressed as dinner ladies and teabags, so I won’t be trying that again. No-one wants to awake in a cold sweat, fearful that an elf is aiming an arrow at you because you slighted his teacake.
Remedy number five: touching the hand of a recently-deceased person.
Well, Pliny and a Tudor bloke (Reginald Scot) suggest it. Either that or getting the Queen to touch you (A Dictionary of Superstitions, Opie and Tatem, Oxford 1989). Sadly, there is a shortage of both corpses and royalty in my immediate vicinity, and I’m sure Buckingham Palace would have some objections to bringing back the tradition of curing the sick by letting the Queen have a touch. Health and Safety.
Remedy number six: whisky. My Dad is a registered healthcare professional. I want you all to know that, so when I tell you that he suggested this remedy you can appreciate the thought behind it. He thinks the alcohol makes it easier to breathe, and I agree, this has worked for me before when I’ve got a pub sesh I really can’t avoid. However, there’s no point in me having the nice stuff at the moment – my sense of taste has taken a holiday – and we’re out of the seriously nasty stuff I, ahem, picked up somewhere last year. (Why I kept the nasty whisky after a party is well beyond me. I think it was the only thing left, and I knew we were running out of paintstripper at home.) So I must turn to the “Brand X” stuff that eagle-eyed readers may recognise as the ridiculously non-flammable liquor Dad used on the Christmas pudding.
It doesn’t have the same effect as whisky. I am now more bunged up than ever. I’m going to give up and just go back to watching action films with lemon tea.
Not the best conclusion I’ve ever come to, or even the most coherent piece of writing, but stuff it, I’m ill. Pity me. No wait, don’t just pity me. HELP ME. Any cold cures that you’d swear by? Please tell me in the comments below!