Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Flamingo Dancer

chair forest

A Brontonian moment today. Is Brontonian even a word, or like Shakespeare have I just created my own word to suit me needs? I am trying to describe a scene from a Bronte or Austen novel when the invalid is first brought downstairs after a near death experience. I wasn’t exactly carried downstairs, well for one, we no longer have stairs, except for the stone stairs leading to the top garden terrace and secondly, it has been a year or two since Mr FD was capable of carrying me anywhere. His defect not mine. It was more a scene of me shuffling in my terry towelling dressing gown down the hall and out to the patio.

None of that delicate lace handkerchief pressed to my lips for a genteel cough, either. I was more your earthy, cough your lungs out and gasp for air character. Augie threw in a burp just for good measure.

Augie Dog actually lead the way, more see to if there was any food to be had along the way than out of care for his mistress, but the plague ridden have few companions and so I wasn’t about to complain. A friend in any port, right now.

Son has the lawn looking like a bowling green and so the garden has all the feel of some great estate, as long as one kind of scrunches one’s eyes up and looks into the sun while tilting one’s head to the right. It was quite refreshing to have some fresh air and a different view after 10 days in my room. It was a very pleasant minute and a half.

Back inside I decided to sit upright and watch some television with the family and actually lasted an hour or so before stars commenced flashing before my eyes and I felt quite exhausted, so while I still could I shuffled in my terry towelling dressing gown back to bed, this time unaccompanied by Augie Dog as he was eye balling Mr FD who was eating his lunch. Mr FD’s lunch, not Augie’s, though I wouldn’t… no we won’t go there.

Exhausted by my escapades I napped for the next few hours. It’s all go, here in the country.

Maintaining one’s standards under duress

tea 3

…that moment when you realise the coughing spasm is going to end in a vomiting bout and you don’t have the physical capability to make it to the bathroom in time and you don’t have a waste bin or bowl to use and your oxygen starved brain knows the quilt is going to be bull’s eye unless it improvises- that is how your husband finds you vomiting into a tea cup.

One is a goddess after all.

FD small

gratitude with a half twist


Still breathing, still coughing; not always at the same time.

Today was the first time I could speak more than two sentences, or walk further than 10 steps without an eruption of coughing. I announced to Mr FD that there was a chance I was going to survive, and I chose to ignore the flutter of disappointment that momentarily crossed his face.

Son is on mid-year break from his studies and has been keeping the home fires burning. He really has – he chops the wood for our wood fireplace! Mr FD is in pain awaiting knee surgery and so rather chair bound, so Son has been taking care of the house. His sisters’ won’t believe what they are reading should they read my words, but Son has been vacuuming carpets and running for more cough syrup. I think he missed the joke when I suggested that he apply for a carer’s pension for caring for his ill and suffering parents! He is a good man.

Not quite the way I planned to spend my holidays, but I suppose I should be grateful I had the time off work and so have not lost wages. I haven’t seen Petit Fille for over a fortnight now and hope she remembers me on my next visit!

reader’s lament

book art woman

I have a pile of books on my bedside table taunting me.

Like an addict I glance at them, longing to read them but the mere thought of the physical effort of picking them up and focusing my eyes to read the print just seems too much, as yet. Coughing and breathing is about all I am doing at the moment.
Once I get to read through my pile I will have accomplished some armchair travelling.

The book on top of the pile is The Happiest Refuge, a memoir by Anh Do. It is this month’s book club choice. Anh Do is often seen on Australian television as he is a comedienne and does quite a bit of community work. The memoir is actually on our reading list for senior students, and I expect many of the group may have read it already, but I haven’t. The few chapters I have read so far have been very enjoyable.

The other books are:
Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss which is a memoir of Moss’s move to Iceland;
House on an Irish Hillside, Felicity Hayes-McCoy’s memoir about life on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland’s southwest Kerry County.
Our House in the Clouds: Building a Second Life in the Andes of Ecuador by Judy Blankenship

I have always been interested in biography and memoir, especially by and about women. To me it is infinitely interesting to read of the lived experience of women, past and present. Additionally , as Mr FD and I embark on our “second life” in the country, I find strength and comfort in reading the highs and lows; positives and negatives, and the pure joy that others have experienced as they travelled their own life changes.

Sadly, for now the books are acting only as a plinth for my box of tissues. Surely, tomorrow will be a better today…


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exciting the sensitive nose to tears

bed 4

Still trying to shed my lungs. At this stage I am not sure if my throat continues to feel raw due to the infection, or from the coughing and I don’t think it really helps me to have discovered that letting chocolate melt slowly in my mouth and drizzle down my throat actually helps ease the pain. I am almost through my second block of chocolate!

Mr FD is awaiting knee surgery, so he hasn’t been as helpful as I might have wanted. I was touched yesterday when I noticed tears well in his eyes as he brought me a cup of tea, until I rolled over and got a whiff of my own fevered armpit and realised that I hadn’t showered for a day or two. Needless to say, a shower and change of pjs were the next order of the day and I have not witnessed any more tears of sympathy in Mr FD’s eyes.

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

bring me no gifts


My body gifts me a Trojan Horse before launching an attack.

Monday and Tuesday I was filled with pep and vim (neither word has been colonised for caffeine laden drinks as far as I know) and actually felt productive. Heaven forbid, I think there was even a corner of me that actually wanted to go to work and contribute. I felt so great I felt like I should have run ahead of myself to announce I was coming.

Then the first early warning signal of imminent attack was fired over the parapet. My nose bleed. Sitting quietly at my desk, working away and I felt a slight sniff and there was the divine blood running from the divine nostril. It was then that I knew my body had being playing silly buggers with me.

I have no idea why, but often my nose will spontaneously bleed hours before I feel the first symptoms of a cold. Perhaps my genes are adhering to some medieval ritual of blood letting to let the evils out, but it certainly embarks on its own course of illness.

Confidently, I announced to Minerva, who had kindly not commented on the large white tissue rammed into my left nostril when she walked into my office to gain my signature on a form, that I was about to get a cold. She asked no more questions, knowing from experience that my pronouncements often do not bare close scrutiny, yet somehow come to fruition. The goddess skills and all that…

By the following morning I had what could only be term a cold, which seemed to take up major positions as a dry cough and a raspy throat. Why do men often sound sexier when they get a cold that causes them to get a deeper voice? I sound merely like fingernails racking over sandpaper.

From there my disease progressed in a downward spiral until now I feel as though I a resident molecule in a flu germs navel, where I endeavour to dry cough myself to a gagging regurgitation of my lungs with a desperate fight for breath before the floor show starts again.

Fear not though, I am not leaving my work undone, my students untended, oh no, I have the great timing to have ensured that I am sick on my vacation! Life doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Well, not in my neck of the germ navel anyway.